I love this quote from Cheryl Richardson: “There will come a day when you look back in gratitude for the cosmic rug-pulling that brought you here.” Yes, the gratitude will come, eventually, when we have learned the lesson and found the blessings in disguise. However, when something (or multiple things) causes you to lose your footing by surprise — whether it’s a slight stumble, or what feels like a free fall down the Grand Canyon — it’s hard not to get triggered while it’s happening.
Depending on your “default stress response”, you might react with anxiety, worry, anger, resentment, guilt, blame, fear, or a full-out panic attack. You might also feel sad, helpless or hopeless. I’ve been there many times myself, and even recently, I experienced a few minor “cosmic rug-pulling” that sent me into a little tailspin (yup, it happens to the best of us).
Being an introvert, when I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I tend to withdraw from social interactions. I was also brought up and taught to NEVER air your dirty laundry, show your weakness, or burden others with your problems. My parents are always very anxious and fearful that if we share something personal or show any weakness, some unsavory people will try to judge or harm us. So, I usually try to be strong and suffer alone. Can you relate?
Back to my recent cosmic 2×4 experience… It started with a car accident a few weeks ago. My husband and I were rear-ended on I-95. Thankfully, we walked away with minor injuries, but his car was totaled. We had to deal with getting treatments, replacing his car and all the tedious back-and-forth with the insurance companies. Then a few other “cosmic rug-pulling” happened, that got me so anxious, worried, fearful and overwhelmed, that I withdrew from FB and all social circles. At the time, I felt very overwhelmed, and social media felt like another thing “to do” that would add to my overwhelm. So I just stopped posting altogether.
After a week or two of silence, some of my FB friends started to send me private messages or post to my timeline, wondering what’s going on with me.
Well, this time, I did something different. I realized that it’s not very self-loving to deny myself the love and support that could help me. It’s also not fair to assume that my friends would see me as needy or a burden or wouldn’t care or support me. I was tired of suffering alone, and decided it’s time for me to ask for support.
So, I posted this update to FB:
“Hello friends, I’m back! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit and got some of you worried. Thanks so much for checking in on me (you know who you are and I so appreciate you)! ♥ I’ve been dealing with some stuff. There were some more-than-usual highs and lows in the last few weeks, since the car accident Carey and I had on Easter Sunday. Some joyful celebrations, mixed with surprises of both good and bad kinds, and a WHOLE host of very strong emotions. I’ve been dealing with it privately with my family and just a few friends. All is well in the grand scheme of things. I was just feeling overwhelmed and social media seemed another thing “to do” that would add to my overwhelm, so I withdrew… This has been my M.O. however — I withdraw from social interactions when I feel stressed and overwhelmed. I was brought up and taught to NEVER air your dirty laundry or show your weakness in public, or worse, burden others. However, by doing so, I also cut myself off from the support I could’ve received from my friends. I now realize this is not helping me. It’s not very self-loving to deny myself the love and support that could help me. It’s also not fair to assume that my friends would see me as needy or a burden or wouldn’t care or support me.
I need to learn to be okay to feel vulnerable and ask for help. I’m far from perfect, and I don’t have it all together — and I’ll stop pretending that I do. I’ll update what’s going on later. There are some happy news for sure (including new butterflies!) and some challenges I’m still dealing with. For now, I’m asking you, my friends, to send some love, light and hugs, please. Thank you!!! ♥ “
I admit, I was anxious about posting this update, showing so much vulnerability. What would people think? Would they think that I’m weak and needy? How can I be stressed and overwhelmed? I’m a stress management expert, for God’s sake. Would they think that I’m not good at what I do? These thoughts are not self-loving, of course. I quickly released them and replaced them with EXTRA dosage of self-compassion.
Breathe, Hueina, breathe.
Within minutes of posting this, I received kind words, love, light, hugs, prayers from SO many friends, both online and offline. And they kept coming in the following days. The outpouring of love and support warmed my heart and lifted my spirit.
But, what really moved me was the comments about vulnerability and being strong. Some thanked me for the courage and role-modeling to be authentic and vulnerable. Some offered assuring words that nobody has it all together and I’m not alone. Interestingly, quite a few people told me that I’m a very strong person, but it’s okay to be vulnerable too.
It does take a lot of courage to be authentic and vulnerable. The truth is, my friends have ALWAYS been very supportive. But, the fear of judgment and rejection is still paralyzing sometimes. However, putting on a brave face and pretending to be strong while I’m feeling the opposite, does not make me strong. It only cuts me off from the love and support that could really help me.
In my book Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul, I wrote about the importance of connection and asking for support in Key #7: Dare to Connect. Asking for help and support when you need is NOT being selfish or needy. It is an act of self-love. How can you receive any support if you pretend that you don’t even need it? How would people know you need help, if you don’t ask for it?
It’s a simple truth, isn’t it? Yet, so many of us still have a tough time asking for help. For me, it’s the fear of judgment and rejection. You might have a different reason why you don’t want to ask for help. We all have different upbringing and limiting beliefs that could prevent us from asking for support. The obstacle and the solution, I believe, are one and the same — the willingness to be vulnerable.
This is a huge lesson for me, and I’m grateful for the cosmic 2×4 that created this learning opportunity. What I learned from my experience is that it takes a strong person to be authentic, to show vulnerability and ask for help. Nobody has it all together. Nobody is perfect. When we share ourselves authentically, we also strengthen our relationships with those around us. More often than not, when we do ask for help, there are many people who are willing and ready to lend a helping hand. Don’t assume that your friends would see you as needy or a burden, or wouldn’t care or support you. Please know that you deserve the love and support. All you need to do is ASK, and be open to RECEIVE.
And if I can support you through coaching, please do not hesitate to contact me and set up a discovery session. I am here for you. Sending you much love and light.
|About Hueina Su|
|Hueina Su is an internationally recognized expert in helping heart-centered, successful but exhausted high-achieving professional women break The Good Girl Spell, and find the missing PEACE and BALANCE in their stressful lives. She is an international keynote speaker, certified executive and life coach, best-selling author of Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others, and a featured expert in the award-winning transformational movie The Keeper of the Keys along with Jack Canfield, John Gray and Marci Shimoff.
For more information about Hueina’s speaking, coaching, book and other products, visit www.HueinaSu.com