Guest Post by Stephanie Dodd
Image by Jose Téllez
I’m not sure if I’ve always been like this, or learned it along the way but it can be very difficult to ask for, or accept help from others. Not long ago my cousin who I do not see often came through town and stopped by to meet my son. As we are getting ready to leave the playground where we caught up on family news, there I am with my son in one arm, his bag on my shoulder and his push tricycle all ready to go. And in a split second my perception of how I take to receiving help was made abundantly clear. My cousin moved to push the tricycle and I instantaneously reacted by almost elbowing him out of the way and asserting that I’ve got it. It was a pure raw, instinctive move. Almost a self-protective measure to ensure I can take care of myself and my family. As I stepped away and visualized what just happened, I was saddened. I’m in the warrior mom mode so often, the “I can do it” persona that in that moment I froze and saw it for what it is. Why am I not naturally receptive to help from others? Why is it difficult to allow others to help us more often without attachment? It was obvious in that moment that I latch on to the one person that can help me, my husband, and I give him permission to help to the point I expect so much of my help to come from him. I ask for his help so often that his load is more than what it should be. Maybe it’s because I was the last child in my family or maybe it’s just the way society was taught to raise children during the 70’s and 80’s; it seems we have a culture of independent and strong individuals on the outside, who are struggling on the inside for help, perhaps without the tools or permission to ask and receive. I laugh when I think it is not that far off from my toddler boy. He is willing to help with anything! But dare I help him without his request, it’s as if I’m telling him how to do something and he does not like it.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 out of 4 adults suffer from emotional distress or disorders, with low self-esteem often a contributing factor. One way to compensate for such is to put on the perfect front and act as though everything is ok and happy. It’s automatically easier for those to stand as proud as possible and shield themselves from disappointment by not letting others in. Are we a society that has a fear and discomfiture internally that says if I take the help, then I am failing instead of succeeding?
I decided in that moment this inability to comfortably receive help was my newest challenge to optimal health being revealed for healing. And so I began implementing a six step plan to retrain my intrinsic nature. You too can implement this plan for behaviors you’re ready to change and heal.
Step one: Turn my attention to the issue at hand
In order to successfully heal, I had to not just admit I have a hard time receiving help from others, but also to discover the underlying reasons why. Attention is a key aspect to all energetic healing. Where and how we focus our attention brings energy to the place in which we focus. I used an Emotional Freedom Technique of tapping on the side of my hand and tuning in to my problem. “Even though I have a hard time receiving help from others….” and I let my mind take over and give me the answers. Tapping – actual tapping on acupressure points on our body – into our problems is a great way to focus attention and then it is as if our minds working as we are looking for. So I now had my underlying issues to work on to resolve this predicament.
Step two: Trust in myself and my emotions
So often people think there must be something wrong with them for feeling negative emotions and have been taught to push those aside and think positive. However, emotions are malleable; we can train ourselves to actually feel positive thoughts if we find a way to release the negative. So my next step was to trust that I was able to handle the emotions that are paired with underlying core issues and that it was safe to explore these emotions. I began to allow my emotions to flow writing them down as they came, offering love and nurturing to myself.
Step three: Transform the emotions and thoughts
One of the underlying issues I found in step one was anger that things are not always done the way I want them to be done. In this step I worked to transform that energy into something more purified. I wanted to regain my true power in positions of being offered help instead of over-powering the situation. There is something very powerful about fire leading to purification and so I took all my underlying emotions and reasons to feel this way from step one and two and put them to paper. Then I took that pile of bits of paper and I burnt them in a fire! It was quite a release and as I offered this up to any higher power that be, I asked to be graced with acceptance and love in its place.
Step four: Give myself permission to heal
It is here that I began to work on my heart center to connect my thoughts and emotions with my outside persona. I now wanted to take my ability to love myself and give to others and so I offered of myself as often as possible to give help. And not just the really needed kind of help, but the offering of simple gestures to others even if they could do for themselves. And I began to see the joy this brought not only to those I offered help to, but the joy it gave me to see them smile. I knew in my heart I wanted transformation of myself and I gave myself permission to view myself as lovable and willing to give love. I’m not sure why it was as empowering as it was, but this step changed who I was and who I am.
Step five: Communicate my truth to others
It is here that I gathered together a team of others to aid in my release of these emotions and actions. Part of being able to receive help from others is accepting that others may not do as I would and that is sometimes the best course of action. I set about to form a team of energetic healers – a medical intuitive, an EFT practitioner, a Matrix Reimprinting practitioner, a massage therapist and support from Facebook groups. I gave my inability to accept from others a voice and asked for change. It is here that I saw the truth of others words and their desire to help me become the best version of me!
Step six: Changing my perception & Centeredness
I did not have to do a lot of work here to make the changes I desired. They were already set in place by working through underlying core issues and beliefs in the previous steps. I used my awareness to be less quick to react, my trust to know that if I have strong emotions arise when being offered help that it is simply a new issue ready to be healed, knowledge that I can change my beliefs, ability to heal myself, and a voice to talk to others because they can help aid in the speed of healing. And in doing all of the work, I no longer perceived help being offered as an attack on my ability to care for myself and my family but rather a pleasantry and sharing of kindness and love. I became more grounded and centered around others, receptive and open to what others my share and give.
I’m grateful for that moment in the playground in which I froze and saw myself from a new dimension. It has enabled me to stop controlling the door on who I allow to help me in life. I have a new definition of being independent and offer of myself to others as well as graciously accepting others offers of help. It has given me the chance to deepen my relationship with myself and with others.
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Stephanie Hope Dodd is mom to a precious boy who’s taught her more in 18 months than life before, as well as an emotional baggage handler. Holding a master’s degree in psychology and trained in several energy healing modalities, Stephanie fosters the opportunity for emotional and physical healing. You can see more at www.stephaniehope.me & like her page on Facebook.
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