Help Is All Around

Help Is All Around

Riding in an ambulance with lights flashing, sirens blaring, whizzing past the cars on the highway sounds like great fun to a child. For me it was embarrassing.

Thank goodness my ride was the result of a false alarm, and that the outcome of a battery of tests shows that I am at very low risk of any serious problems.

So what was the embarrassment about? Being saved.

Since embarrassment occurs when you think something has been revealed about you that you don’t want anyone to know (not even yourself), I checked for what that might be. Here’s the belief I uncovered:

“I want to be saved, and that’s not OK with me.” 

You should be laughing right now at how perfectly this was playing out. Now that I get it, I can laugh, too, but even though I felt fine when the EMS arrived, I did not find the ambulance ride great fun at all.

In looking further, I found that I have somehow managed to collapse the idea of being helped with the idea of being saved. That is, the only time it is OK for me to accept help is when I really, really need it, but then it turns into being saved, which means somehow or other I must be incompetent since I needed to be saved in the first place.

So really the belief is “being helped = being saved = incompetent.” No wonder I was embarrassed. I wasn’t being helped or being saved, I was being incompetent, and that’s not OK with me!

If being helped is so inextricably connected with being incompetent, is it any wonder that I do so many things by myself? Or that it is still troublesome for me to ask for help?

Now that I am aware of the belief, the next step will be to SAY WHAT I SEE to myself, “You think being helped means you’re incompetent.” When I really get how true this is for me, it will break apart*, and I will be able to see being helped as the generous act it really is, and not about me at all. Then receiving help will be easy and natural as it was when I was a child.

Meanwhile, the memory of people buzzing around me in the ER has already become more of a comfort and a deeply moving experience of their commitment to caring for others than it was at the time.

*It broke apart! You can find my breakthrough update here: Independent or Alone.

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