We All Need Help Sometimes, and That’s Okay!

Asking for help isn’t easy for most people. We all want to feel like we can do things on our own and asking for help makes us feel like we have failed. Asking for help means we aren’t independent, we aren’t smart, it means we are weak. At least that’s what we are taught. This is what society tells us.

I am here to tell you that is bullshit.

I have never had much trouble asking for help. I think any task can be made easier when the load is shared by many rather than one. On the flip-side I am always willing to help others too. I can’t ask for my load to be shared while being unwilling to help carry the load of those around me.

Imagine if everyone in the world felt free to ask for help and in return was willing to help others when asked. Think about how much less stressful life would be if there was always help available, all you had to do was ask?

We humans are not solitary creatures. We are meant to live in communities where the work is spread out among the entire group. We are a little like ants in a colony, working together to do more than any one person could on their own. Yes it comes with some sacrifice.

We lose our independence and part of our identity is wrapped up in the community. We open ourselves up to being exploited by selfish members of the group. We must follow the rules to keep our communities cohesive, even if we don’t agree with the rules.

I would argue that the benefits can outweigh the costs. If we would stop fighting our nature and just help one another without judgement life could be so much more enjoyable. Not only that but if we would learn to ask for, and accept, help from others in our communities.

Helping each other and accepting help in return builds connections and relationships. Connecting and building relationships feels better, and does more for our well-being, than pretending we are each an island unto ourselves. We are not meant to carry the heavy load of life all on our own. We are meant to share it, and walk lighter, and further, together.

Free writing in response to The Daily Post prompt, I Am a Rock.

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Trading One Sense for Another

What if you could give up one of your senses for super sensitivity in another? Which would you choose to give up? Which would you choose to gain? I read this prompt from the Daily Post and I barely had to think, I immediately knew the answer.

I would easily give up my sense of smell in order to have a better sense of sight.

I feel like my sense of smell is pretty sensitive now. I often smell things before those around me and the smells are usually unpleasant. I smell skunks, and trash trucks, and my dog when she comes in from the rain, ugh. I smell the sewer back-up at work, other people’s body odors, and a co-worker’s bad breath. I hate smelling bad smells. I actually get angry about it, especially if the smell is coming from a person!

I would give that all up in a heart beat and never miss it at all. Well, there is one smell I would miss and I’m not even sure what it is. I smell it here when spring is turning into summer. I smell it on the light breeze and it’s gone before I can ask the person next to me if they smell it too. It’s a flower, I’m sure of that, but it smells very, very sweet. It is my very favorite smell and whenever I smell it I stop and take in as much as I can.

I have never been able to figure out what it is exactly, no one I have asked seems to know. I would miss the mystery as much as that sweet smell itself should I ever lose my sense of smell one day.

Oh but to gain more sensitivity in my sight would be amazing. For one I wouldn’t have to wear these stupid glasses anymore. Sure, they look good on me but I have always felt that they were never a full correction for my deficit in sight. Glasses give me a very close approximation of normal human sight, but it isn’t the same. Real eyes never get cloudy with fingerprints and hair product and they don’t get covered in minute  scratches over time.

My lenses are at their best the first day I get them, then it’s all downhill from there for another year or two until I get another pair.

More than that, I’d hope by giving up my sense of smell I could get even better that the average human sight. I’d like to see better than 20/20, I’d like to see the world the way cats or owls do. I’d like to see every detail of the world around me. I’d like to detect the smallest movements in the distance. I’d love to see better in the dark, almost as well as I do in the day.

I’d like to be able to see more colors too. I’d love to see into the ultraviolet range like butterflies do, or into the infrared like boa and pythons.* I bet the world would look so different, so much richer. The most beautiful flowers made even more interesting by the pattern on their petals that no human can see. There are probably a ton of bugs and animals that glow bright in the UV spectrum. Can you image what they might look like at night?

So yeah, to give up my sense of smell for a better sense of sight is an easy-peasy choice to make. I wouldn’t have to deal with things that stink and I would gain a whole world of light that I have never experienced before.

Image by Allan-Hermann Pool (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Lonely No More

There was a time when I walked the world in a deep and true loneliness. It is hard to describe it and if you’ve never experienced it you might not ever understand. The colors were gone and everything was grey. No one could hear me or see me and if the pain of the depression wasn’t bad enough the pain of the loneliness made it almost impossible to bear. Then I met the girl who would change all that.

She came along and suddenly I could see light and colors. We both had been alone and when the world couldn’t see us we saw each other. There was only her and me, like the last two lovers left on earth.

We loved so hard and so fiercely we made light and warmth of our own. We become two halves of a whole and now I can’t imagine life any other way. People think we spend too much time together, they say they could never live the way we do but there is a balance. We spend a lot of time together but the space doesn’t have to be filled with activity and talk.

I still feel some loneliness when she isn’t around. I’m reminded that in this world I am essentially alone. I mean, she can’t be with me at all times and I could never expect her to be. Sometimes we all have to be alone, to know ourselves. I am learning that now. So instead of feeling lonely and wishing for someone to come save me I am learning to enjoy my time with myself.

Not that there is only one person in my life. I have family and friends and co-workers who care about me and enjoy my company but I don’t feel like they see me the way my ole lady does. I am a short girl, standing at slightly over 5 feet tall on the days when I walk tall. My voice tends to come out quiet and shaky unless I am overly excited. Then it comes out loud and awkward. I have been told I am too nice, and people feel the need to change me, to toughen me up.

People feel sorry for me and they don’t see the sides of me I wish they did, but she does. She thinks I’m smart and funny and she thinks my capacity for compassion and empathy is something to admire. We are both the same and yet opposites of each other too. We each see ourselves in the other and at the same time we accept and admire the ways that we are different. It’s us against the world! We are a team and both of us are in this together.

We don’t have to walk the world alone, we each have each other and I hope I never have to go back to the days before, when I felt that isolation. But even if I ever lost her, I hope I would have found comfort in myself and learned that when I accept myself and love myself so I never have to feel lonely again.

This was a free write in response to The Daily Post’s prompt, Cut Off.

A Manifesto for Self-Love

I will talk to myself like I would someone I love. I will remember that I am a human being, and as such I will make mistakes. I will remember that making mistakes does not mean I am a bad person or unworthy of love. I will remember to take time to recover from my mistakes and forgive myself.

I will not compare myself to others. I am unique and have many strengths. I will take pride in my accomplishments and character, they stand on their own without the need for comparison. I will stay positive and grateful for everything I have, everything I am, and everything I and have done. Failing to do so will only lead to bitterness and suffering and I love myself to much to do that to myself.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”

― C. JoyBell C.

I will love my mind. I will strive to always grow and learn. I am intelligent and that will not waste or take for granted. I will try new things and meet new people because that is the only way to grow and learn about the world around me. I will be my own cheerleader. I will encourage and push myself because I know I can be great.

I will accept myself for who I am. I will be authentic in everything I say and do. I will stay true to myself and remember that I am made up of many parts, all of which are to be loved and accepted. I will allow myself to feel my full range of emotion and never deny nor belittle any part of myself.

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

― Charles Chaplin

I will love my body even when society tells me I should hate it. I will never engage in negative self-talk about my body just because it is “what women do”. I will remember that this is the only body I will ever own, and I will honor and respect it. I will remember that the images I see on TV and in magazines are not true representations of what women should or do look like. I will not push myself to look like the women I see on TV and in magazines. I will remember that trying do so is unrealistic and sets me up for shame and failure.

I will love my body enough to take care of it. I will strive to be healthy and only put good, natural things into my body so that it can function and heal itself. I will remember that my health directly affects my mood and energy levels throughout the day. I will remember that my body cannot go on forever and I must maintain it in order to live a long, happy, and healthy life.

“The human body is the best work of art.”

― Jess C. Scott

I will surround myself with people who love me too. I will surround myself with people who are positive and encouraging. I will voice my feelings and needs to those around me so that they have a chance to make things right when our relationship has suffered. I will also be open to listening to other people’s feelings and needs so that I make efforts to preserve the relationships that I value.

I will not allow toxic people into my life. I will not allow others to put me down or put negative thoughts into my head. I will remember the saying “misery loves company” and I will not engage with people who’s only goal is to bring me down.

“Protect your space and circle. Invest in people who you know will feed you just as much goodness as you do them.”

― Alexandra Elle

Above all else I will remember that self love is always a work in progress. I know I will make mistakes and fall back into old habits. I know self-love requires constant effort and vigilance. I know that the way I feel about myself directly affect my relationship, my work, and my mental and physical self. I know that the way to find true happiness is through acceptance and love for myself. I will be present and ever aware of my thoughts and actions. Every morning when I wake up, I will look myself in the mirror and I will tell myself I am beautiful and perfect, even in my imperfection. I will then conduct myself accordingly throughout the day.

Weekly Writing Challenge – Manifesto