Learning to ask for and receive help is one of the biggest spiritual lessons. It can be so difficult for many people, myself included, to ask for help and receive the care and support of others. I learned the hard way; I broke my ankle! While painful, it actually turned into an amazing experience where the Universe showed me just how much love, friendship, and support I can receive. And I really learned how nice it is for others to give you that support! It is a gift for them to be able to help you.
I think Oprah says it best, ‘listen to your life when it whispers to you first so that it doesn’t have to knock you upside the head or come crashing down on you like a brick wall.” Well, I didn’t listen to the whisper or knock upside my head, so I got the brick wall – a broken ankle. A few months prior, my therapist and I had a conversation about receiving. As a lifelong people pleaser, I’m great at giving, just not so great at receiving.
Why is learning to receive so important?
There is a universal law of giving and receiving. This means that everything in the Universe operates through dynamic exchange. Giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy. In order for the energy to flow freely, it can’t be one-sided. You can’t always be the giver and then refuse to receive. Similarly, you can’t always be the receiver and not give. Both scenarios stop the flow of energy.
My Receiving Homework
My therapist gave me homework to do. I was to ask five people for something – a favour – in order for me to practice receiving.
I immediately felt panic. FIVE people?! I was able to negotiate my therapist down to two people. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? No big deal asking two friends for a favour. But when you’re extremely independent and feel extremely uncomfortable in the receiver role, it felt daunting.
I wanted to please my therapist (see previous admission of being a lifelong people pleaser!), so I did the homework, but I put very little effort into it. I asked two friends for a favour, but once they said yes, I immediately told them I really didn’t need it. I was only doing it to make my therapist happy.
So even though I asked, I still wasn’t truly open to receiving help from others.
Cut to two months later. I’m walking in the park with a friend. It was a beautiful sunny January day, which meant there was snow and ice on the pathways. One second I’m taking my phone out to show my friends cat pics, and the next, my phone is flying through the air as I’m crashing to the ground with searing pain in my left foot.
As I sat on the bench waiting for the ambulance (and after getting over the shock of not only breaking my ankle but hearing the bone break – GROSS!!), I had a very clear understanding that this was my brick wall. I live alone in a home with lots of stairs. Nine steps from the front door to the kitchen/dining room. Six steps from the kitchen to the living room, plus another fifteen steps from the living room to the bedrooms.
With a cast up to my knee and not being able to weight bear, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do this alone.
Once I accepted that I now had ZERO choice, I was going to be forced to receive – the entire experience became a positive one!
The ambulance attendants and I were laughing and joking on the way to the hospital. My stay at the hospital was short, as everyone I interacted with was extremely efficient and fast.
I sent a few friends a picture of my leg in a cast, and that’s when the rallying began. Over the next few days and weeks, I had friends drop everything to come to my aide. They brought groceries, cleaned my house, did my laundry and drove me to doctor appointments. In the first few days, one friend called every couple of hours to make sure I was OK. The amount of love and caring shown to me was amazing!
I quickly learned to love to receive! This resulted in me getting quite cocky. I had fun bossing my friends around and would point to my cast when they made a face or rolled their eyes. Lots of fun and laughs were had.
The big lesson from the Universe
I understood that the Universe not only wanted me to be open to receive but also to sit on my sofa for six weeks while I had my cast on (not sure if sitting on the sofa watching TV/movies for six weeks was really the Universe’s plan but I went with it!). A couple of days after the break, I sent my therapist a note. I reminded her of my half-assed attempt at my receiving homework and that this is what I got for not doing a better job!
Asking for help is a gift you give
I also learned that receiving isn’t all about the receiver. It feels good to give. You are taking away the good feelings of the giver if you refuse what they offer.
By being open to receive, you’re actually doing a nice thing for the giver as it makes them feel good! It creates that flow of energy. When we are open to the giving/receiving energy, it will bring an abundance of things to give and receive.
You can learn from me; practice receiving!
Other than the initial break, I had very little pain (thanks, Reiki!). Not only was I able to veg on the sofa for six weeks guilt-free, I had no pain, received an overwhelming amount of love and care, and also learned a very powerful lesson. Breaking my ankle turned out to be a really beautiful experience – NOT that I would recommend it! My advice – let’s all listen to those whispers, so no more bones need to be broken! ❤️
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