“Be someone else’s lighthouse.” ~ Patti Digh
Sometimes being another’s lighthouse means offering your help. Giving your time, energy, or resources to someone else is like shining a light on an area of their life that may feel heavy, foggy, painful, or unclear to them; your light clarifies, eases pain, creates lightness and space, and makes room for new opportunities.
I’ve been thinking about help a lot lately because I rarely ask for it and often do everything on my own. As a solopreneur, I complete almost every task related to my business — from scrubbing my hot stones clean to designing and updating my website to doing my own taxes to hosting my own events. Computer glitch? I handle it myself or suffer with my Mac’s “rainbow wheel.” Marketing needed? I’m my own girl for the job! Financial duties? I suffer through the messiness and make lots of mistakes.
The “Courtney-does-everything” realization came to the forefront when I was receiving an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) session from my friend Sheri Goodwin. In the session it became clear that I need help if I am to remain sane AND do all that I wish to do. Whew!
What’s my job now? To relinquish some control. One reason I run my own small business: I love being a one-woman show! I love having creative control. There’s that word again: control. Hmmm…curious, isn’t it?
When you do everything yourself, how do you feel? Recharged and empowered? Or exhausted and disempowered? A combination?
Here’s the thing: in my experience offering to help is easy. For me it’s like drinking a glass or orange juice — it’s sweet and bright and easy to swallow. What’s hard is asking for help and then actually accepting the help. Regardless of monetary attachments. (Whoa, did I just write that?) Lack of money has been my excuse for years for why I must do everything myself. Does this sound familiar to you?
Offering and receiving help is a way for us to experience interconnection — a state we can forget exists when we get into an independent streak or when our identity somehow depends on our strength in doing it all ourselves.
When giving help, ask yourself: What can I do to be the lighthouse for this person, even in some small way?
When receiving help, ask yourself: How can I let go of some control and fully receive these offerings gracefully?
Write down the ways in which you feel you can easily help others. It may be through action or words, money or presence. Now write down the ways in which you feel it is easy to receive help. Perhaps you can easily accept help with getting to-and-fro in the city by way of rides from friends, but you can’t even imagine asking someone for help with your financial woes. Explore the nature of your giving and receiving through writing and see what emerges. What do you learn about yourself and what are you going to try now that you have some new insights?