Asking for Help

Why it’s good to ask…

Many of us …

… refrain from asking for help. How is this?

  1. To start with we all have abilities and shortcomings in our worldly situations, and very often if we are patient and are prepared to wait out the difficulties, then the situation we are in changes and in a few weeks, or months, or years, things will be different. So says the patient person among us…
  2. Then of course, we have been taught from when we were young that everyone has problems, and others’ often have it tougher than us, so “let’s have no complaints”. Put up with the trouble and move on.
  3. No resolution? OK. Then, some would say, if we are suffering then we should learn to suffer a bit more, and the result will be “our tolerance to difficulty will increase” and our problems won’t seem quite so big after a while. Tough love…
  4. As if this is not enough, along comes a moralist and says “well you wouldn’t be suffering if you didn’t want more of life….”. “So really you should just settle down and expect less of life.” This will solve all our thwarted desires and have us expecting much less, and therefore through less striving we will feel better about our lot.
  5. Some of us refrain from asking for help because we think we can ‘think’ our way out of our difficulties. Reasoning is very seductive and at worst has us making excuses for our concerns, and at best may build up a very good argument of ‘how we got into this…’, and ‘how we can think or plan our way out of it’.
  6. Oh, and then there’s our ‘PRIDE’. We have a sense that we are too proud to ask for help because we have been taught that in life it’s “everyone for them-self” and it’s not a good look and a very bad feeling if we in the least rely on someone else for our enjoyment or success, let alone asking for a bit of assistance

What then is some of the Wisdom in transcending these limited views?

  1. Sometimes our world, and our world view, never changes without a lot of time and experience. Exposure to a new person or environment (even just a holiday) can be a catalyst to change.
  2. Putting up with complaints in our physical body may lead on to even greater problems later. Better to make corrections now, and not wait.
  3. Suppressing our emotions and blocking what we feel can make us hard-hearted and not very friendly. It’s good to open up and share our feelings sometimes.
  4. We have two kinds of desires; one which just ‘wants what it wants’ in order to get its own way, the other a desire to develop life’s potential to its full in a warm and cooperative way.
  5. Not all so-called ‘thinking’ is necessarily true and self-consistent, so getting another’s viewpoint can, even if we don’t take the advice, lead to another viewpoint and a better plan for improvement.
  6. Our pride, or as we say “self-image” can always be improved by noticing how others ‘do it better’ – whether it’s an adviser, a therapist, an artist, or whoever. We can always learn something from others, no matter how much we think we are best, or better, or good enough.

Asking for help can and does make our world a bit more enjoyable, opens our limited resistances, makes us feel a bit more loving of ourself and others, changes our desire orientation to aim for better cooperation with others, gets us thinking a bit more clearly, and opens up our degree of self-acceptance to see both our limits and our possibilities in a new way. Asking for help is an imperative for healthy living. Ask someone for help and be prepared to help another when you are asked to assist. It’s reciprocal, and life grows when there’s an honest exchange.

by Malcolm Clark

Malcolm is one of our consultant practitioners here at Shining Light Tarot.

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