Sunday Pause: How hard is it for you to ask for help? 4/23

May 1, 2023 | Newsletter, Sunday Pause Mailing

It’s been a significant week for our consultation community, as 8 month groups are gradually coming to a close. We’ve shared 16 hours connecting, supporting, learning and deepening our application and fluency in IFS—both professionally and personally. This work, this life practice runs deep. Parts are constantly stirred up; we’re human, afterall! Our responsibility is to learn how to recognize, gently welcome and get some space from our reactions so that we can interact with others from a calm place of curiosity, kindness and clarity.

In my consultation groups, I prioritize and work carefully to create a safe, trusting space for parts to land, to feel welcomed and validated. Most students don’t know me or one another and haven’t experienced group consultation before. In our first meeting, we welcome the Managers that brought students to the group—the ones that nudged them to sign up, that prioritized this time and expense. We appreciate the parts that were able and willing to ask for help and guidance.

I remind students that being a student is JUST that: students are supposed to ask questions, they’re not expected to be fluent in the craft; that’s why they’re here! Welcome, student parts, you’re right where you’re supposed to be.

I’m also well aware of the courage it takes to be vulnerable and honest about clinical challenges, especially with colleagues. My groups strive to embody a supportive, confidential space for honest conversations and disclosures. Just like clients, healing professionals need the opportunity for this process, too.

Today’s Pause invites you to consider:
What does it take for you to ask for help?
What makes it hard?
What makes it easier?

I’ve thought about this question a lot the past 13 years, when my extreme independence suddenly came to a crashing halt (literally) when my mountain bike crash left me as helpless and dependent as a child. I was forced to not only ASK for help but also to RECEIVE it. There’s a big difference, which you likely already know.  My healing and my life depended on this exchange—one of the most challenging dynamics I had ever faced.  But I didn’t have a choice.  
What helped in having to ask for help and needing someone’s care or assistance was if I trusted those I was asking.  I needed to trust that the other didn’t mind hearing my request, or even better– that they’d prefer to know and might even WANT to help. Imagine that? What a concept.
Finally, what nudges me to ask for help is determination and commitment. If something is THAT important, I’m persistent and do whatever I can to find some way to participate. And, this has been hard-earned. I’ve had to develop a level of patience and self compassion practice I never knew before this life challenge was handed to me. 

Also, Erik and I have become quite creative problem solvers over the years, thankfully. He has found ways to accommodate my physical or brain limitations in ways I still struggle to accept and believe. My parts can become overwhelmed (in a good way) by his genuine, generous spirit. He’s more patient with me than I often am! What I’ve been able to enjoy, despite serious physical challenges, is truly a miracle that I could not have reached alone. It takes a village of one or more loved ones to carry us over and through our limitations. 

Consider this:

When did you ask for help and were pleasantly surprised at the response?

What beliefs do you carry around asking for help?

Where did those beliefs come from?

I wrote more about asking for help during a recent backcountry ski trip. Sign up to receive your very own Sunday Pause 2x/month!