We all have to ask for help sometimes.
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” ~ Ronald Reagan
In June 2013, on my 30th birthday, I put out my first ever GoFundMe fundraiser (it is one of the many online fundraiser, crowdfunding tools).
At the time, I was already suffering from non-stop chronic headaches for four years. I literally had a headache for every minute of every day, day and night, awake and sleep. The only thing changing was their intensity—from medium to unbearable. Though, it’s likely my medium was an intolerable 10 out of 10 for most.
I was already into holistic health; I cleaned up my diet and I started doing mind and soul work as well. Yet, I was still suffering without change. I knew that there were techniques out there I could learn. I knew that there were energy therapies and supplements for my aid. I knew the answer was out there, but I had no money.
Due to my headaches and several other reasons, I already hadn’t had a job for two years. I had no savings or family support. I certainly didn’t win the lottery.
So, I took a deep breath and asked for help.
It was difficult. I was full of shame and fear.
I actually received many, many hateful emails and Facebook deletes from people. “Get a job.” (Yeah, with chronic pain and living internationally, it is difficult.) “Oh, just drink more water.” (Yeah, as a runner I was drinking three to four or even more liters of water daily, since 2002!) “How dare you to ask for money, it is not like you have cancer.” (Actually, I had no idea if I did, I was never tested for it.) And so on.
I also received many, many kind messages of supportive words and prayers. I also received some funds: very little, many just five percent of what I was asking for, but nonetheless life-saving.
I ended up healing myself through a truly holistic approach focusing on my mind-body-soul. I’ve been pain free for a year. Not only am I pain free—my entire life has changed: I am a happy and positive person, I am embracing my journey and approaching my current obstacles positively, and as a holistic health and happiness coach I am actually giving back, guiding other women to their health, happiness and freedom.
Without help I would’ve never been able to get there.
The little money I received led me to a workshop that led me to some amazing people, tools and therapies that contributed to my healing. The supportive words kept me going. I knew I wasn’t alone.
But I truly learned we all need support and we all need to support others. Paying it forward has magical powers: since then I have helped with other people’s GoFundMes with money and by sharing their message, I have taken on clients on a sliding scale and even for free when they needed it and have supported others with written and spoken words.
We all need help at times. We all need support from others. We can’t always do it alone. In fact, we should never have do it alone.
Yet, asking for support is difficult, shameful and not encouraged in our society. Accepting support can be equally difficult because we may feel weak. We must deal with it alone. We must make enough money and save to be able to afford what we want. If we can’t afford it, we don’t even deserve health. We must not share our true emotions, but rather stuff them down, hide them, deny them and ignore them. We must be strong and deal with everything all alone.
“Don’t keep your heart safe…be vulnerable.” ~ John Mayer
This is, however, completely unrealistic.
Not only are we social creatures, we are all connected. We are connected not only to each other but to everything else around us. We are connected to other humans, animals, plants, the air, the stars—the entire universe. We cannot exist without one another, yet we keep trying to claim our individual strength but denying asking for and receiving help and by judging those who are brave enough to ask for help.
Asking for support shouldn’t be considered a shameful act. It shouldn’t be considered brave either—just as supporting someone shouldn’t be considered generous or holy. It should be normal: we need each other.
So next time you are struggling, need some help and support—whether it is money, a conversation with a coach, a supportive word from a friend, a hug or anything else—put aside shame, get vulnerable and ask for it. (Send me a message, whenever! I am here to listen. Seriously!)
Next time someone offers you some help—whether it is to carry your bag, offering you money, sharing their slice of cake, offering a free coaching call or anything else—put aside the pride and accept their offer. (See my offer above!)
Next time someone is looking for help and support, put aside any judgment, but support to the best of your abilities, even if it is just a simple kind word or a positive thought.
Remember, we are all connected. Kindness goes around. If we put aside shame, pride, fear and judgment, but support each other with loving-kindness the world will be a better place. You have the power to make a difference.
“The perfect tools aren’t going to help us if we can’t face each other, and give and receive fearlessly, but more important to ask without shame.” ~ Amanda Palmer
Author: Kat Gál
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr