Please, ask for support. Even when it’s heart-wrenchingly hard.

Asking for support.

Ugh.
It’s tough.
Painful.
Really, really, hard.

Along my Radiant Self Care journey, it’s been one that I’ve had a hard time mastering (if there is such a thing).

Support is the thing we all desperately want, but are too afraid to ask for.

And, on top of it…the irony is, we are eager to give it.

On Saturday, I was helping at a Rebuilding Together project.
Fifty plus people had come together in Las Vegas to beautify the house of a disabled elderly woman.

As I watched the masses jump in where they could – painting her kitchen a pale pink, going wild with the chainsaw removing the dead tree branches, shoveling a fresh layer of rock onto her front yard landscape (this is Vegas – no grass :), and the tear-jerking moment for me….5 men putting their heads together on how to lift what looked like a 300 pound rock and place it just so into a hole so that it became “rock art” – I realized that for any of this to happen…the woman had to ask for help.

Or someone had to ask for her.
The point is…someone requested support.

In the middle of this home beautification project, I got a text.

“She took her own life.”

My heart sunk.
Sweet Elle.
We had been part of a retreat to Peru together.
One that changed all of our lives – for better or for worse.

Elle in Peru - Sacred Valley
My favorite shot of Elle during our trip – Pisac, Peru (Sacred Valley)

I thought of the attempts I’d made to reach out to her after the retreat.

Most of them went without response from her.
Some, with a simple wink smiley face.

I wish she would have asked for support.

You can only support someone if they are willing to receive your help.

I’m learning this as I attempt to bring together successful women coaches around the topic of self care AND success. My vision is to create a Movement. To share our experience of why #MeTimeMatters (see what I’m talking about here…more on The Movement later).

But I can’t do it alone. I’m asking for help. (gulp)

I reached out to 20 people I didn’t know.
And it felt scary.
Admitting I can’t do it alone.

It’s like I’m supposed to prove myself, my worth, and the only way to do that is…
…to do it alone?

Support is the thing we all desperately want but are too afraid to ask for. ~ Jess Tomlinson

There is no strength or worthiness in crossing the finish line by yourself. 
I think back to when I finished the half marathon, exhausted, about to cry…
…it was the PEOPLE lined on the sides of the road for the last mile that kept me going,
knowing that I would have someone, anyone to celebrate with when I crossed that line.

Crossing the line without anyone to celebrate with?
How boring is that?

“I shouldn’t need the people.
I should be able to motivate myself,
and that should be ENOUGH.”

I frequently tell myself this.

But the truth is, we have nothing more to prove to ourselves than we have to prove to each other.

Just by being alive, we are worthy of help. 
Just because we ask, we are good enough to receive.

Oftentimes, it’s more a matter of wanting to protect each other that holds us back.

They are too busy, I don’t want to burden them.
What if they say yes to be nice, but they really want to say no?

When this happens, it’s a matter of trust.  Trusting that the person we are asking is able to say no, if that’s what they really want. 

[Note: While writing this I received a text from one of my dear friends requesting me to come stay with her after surgery.  I felt a swell of happiness that she trusts me enough to ask.  And that I could be there for her.  I said yes.]

Amanda Palmer, the author of The Art of Asking (which, by the way, I think is probably the best book I’ve ever read….seriously, and I’ve read a LOT of books) says this about asking:

“if the surgeon, while slicing that vulnerable brain, hits an unexpected bump in the process and needs to ask the person beside her for something essential – and quickly – she has absolutely no time to waste on questions like: do I deserve to ask for this help? Is this person I’m asking really trustworthy? Am I an asshole for having the power to ask in this moment? She simply accepts her position, asks without shame, get the right scalpel, and keep cutting. Something larger is at stake. This holds true for firefighters, airline pilots, and lifeguards, but it also holds true for artist, scientist teachers – for anyone, in relationship.  Those who can ask without shame are viewing themselves in collaboration with – the world.”

That’s what this life is all about, really.
Collaboration. Partnership. Connection.

We aren’t meant to do this alone.

I love you, Elle.

What do you need support with today?

Please share your comments/thoughts in the comments below…anything goes.  Asking for help starts here 🙂

To Your Radiance,

jess e-sig

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