How do you ask for help?

Do you ask others for help? It is extremely hard for me. I have always struggled with it. Part of it I believe has to do with my issues with trusting others, and whether they will actually come through for me, but the rest I think results from having to do so much on my own at such an early age. I lost my parents when I was young, but most specifically my mom. I was just two months past 16 when she died. My sister was a strong force in my life, but at the end of the day she had her own life to live, and I was without a mom. My mom was sick for many years before she passed on, so I became resourceful early on. I learned that if I wanted something I would have to figure out how to attain it on my own.

Many years later I have wondered if my attempts to attain goals has been rooted in that early life dilemma to ruthlessly figure it out on my own. I rarely ask for help and, often, when I do, if I do not like what I hear, I pave my own way, steamroller and all. That does not mean that I steamroll others, more that I am going to do what I have set my mind to do.

Recently I read the book: “The Dance of Connection” by Harriet Lerner, and she shares an experience with a woman I think I would relate to:

“But this very same woman has enormous difficulty sharing her feelings of vulnerability with anyone close to her. A real do-it-yourself, she rarely acknowledges her own need for help and support. While she intellectually believes in the healing power of confiding in others, she herself is no good at it. As the eldest child of alcoholic parents, she had no experience of voicing her emotional needs and having them met. As an adult, she gains deep satisfaction from her capacity to give generously and to take care of others, but she is profoundly guarded against letting anyone return the favor. When she does share a serious problem, it’s as if she’s fiercely sweeping the ground in front of her to keep the other person from getting near her or emotionally connecting with her pain.” Page 42

There are countless times when I would go out and help anyone and everyone, but if asked if they can return the favor, I am at a loss for words. Partly, it is that the offer is freaky to me. I am not used to others asking if they can be of help. It is also that I am as the author says, “sweeping the ground” to keep others at a distance. I have often wondered if there is a way to put down the broom, and let others in. It is not easy, but I try to leave the broom in the garage, and invite others in, it just does not happen every time.

Any tips to keeping the dirt on the porch, and the offers open?

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