“I grew up in a Beatles family. By that, I mean there’s not an inch of our basement that’s not covered in memorabilia, my dad’s seen Paul McCartney in concert literally 12 times (I’ve seen him three times), some of my first words were Beatles song lyrics, and I’ve got the Fab Four tattooed on my right shoulder. Suffice it to say I’ve got a personal connection to a few of their songs.
One of those songs is Help!
Just as the lyrics might suggest, when I was younger I didn’t really “get it” when it came to Help! I was under the impression that being an adult meant fending for yourself, that being independent meant gritting your teeth and bearing all your burdens through your own strength. In fact, I thought that’s what strength was–not having to depend on anyone else. Help! was always a catchy song, but I never really gave it a second thought.
“When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now those days are gone, I’m not so self assured
Now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors.”
Man, I feel those lyrics so hard! I think a lot of us do. I’ve written before that I think our social-media-saturated society puts us in the frame of mind of constant comparison. Because of this, admitting (even to ourselves) that things aren’t going as well as we planned can be difficult. It can be even harder if you decided to go against what your parents wanted for you, or what your professors or friends or pastor or rabbi or whoever advised you to do with your life. In cases like these, the moment we take the leap from safe territory to the beautiful yet risky clouds we’re dreaming of is often also the moment we feel we’re on our own. It’s sink or swim. All me now. Do or do not. Succeed or fail.
As I’ve mentioned before, I moved to Israel in August 2017. While my family has been very encouraging and I’m super blessed to have the support network I do, there’s no denying that, in the minds of the people I grew up with, I did things the hard way. It would have been a lot easier to stay in Nebraska, to remain a Christian, to get a nice office job and marry a nice Nebraska boy and have nice Nebraska kids. Honestly, there’s a reason they call Nebraska “the good life”! Those things are great, and they work so well for so many people. However, since I chose a very different path in life, I sometimes feel like I don’t deserve to ask for help. There’s a voice in my head that says, “You made your bed, Emily. You’ve gotta lie in it!”
There has literally never been a person who has said that to me–except myself. I realized this past week that by being stubborn and insisting on doing everything alone, I am the one getting in my own way. So, since the main cause of my stress right now is trying to juggle getting my MA, working to support myself financially, and not having enough time to take care of myself as a result, I swallowed my pride and sent an email to my professor to ask for help.
Yael sat me down in her office and started immediately listing off options. I’d gone into our meeting with the sinking feeling that the only way out was to quit my degree, simply because this was the only option I could see. Yael, however, ushered me right upstairs to the department office and proceeded to explain my situation to the women there who are in charge of getting shit done. Together, she and Irit came up with a plan for me that includes studying at a slower pace to make more time for my wellbeing and applying for scholarships that would relieve a lot of my financial burdens.
I was so happy I could have cried! Yael hugged me, saying, “There you go, honey. It’s going to be a lot better, and you’ll have time for yoga now! We’ll help you in all the ways we can.” As she said that, I was suddenly struck by the realization that had I continued trying to struggle along on my own, the situation wouldn’t have been resolved.
All I had to do was ask!
“Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me?”
The lyrics of Help! are resonating with me hard-freaking-core this week. If you’re feeling like I was, like you’re not sure what step to take next, what options are available to you, or how the hell you’re going to keep on living the way you have been, then you are here reading this for a reason. It’s SO okay to ask for help! Humans are made for connection, and we are made to support each other. You don’t have to feel guilty, you don’t have to feel like you’re not self-sufficient, and you certainly don’t have to feel like you failed.
Not only is asking for help OKAY, but it’s also a sign of STRENGTH. By acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers and that you could do with a little support, you are showing yourself (and others) that you’ve got the wisdom to stay open and allow good things to come into your life through whatever means they’re meant to.
Is there some kind of help you need that you’ve been hesitating to ask for? Have you been resistant to accept support from someone who’s been offering it? Take some time this weekend to assess where you’re at, and if you’ve been waiting for a sign to let you know that asking for help is 100% okay, this is it. ❤
NOTE: The Help! album artwork is the property of Apple Corps Limited.
© 2009 Apple Corps Ltd.