â€œLiving with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.â€ -Â Barbara De Angelis
I began to arm the battle stations early yesterday morning. I moved the vehicle to the end of its landing strip. I pulled the windshield cleansing apparatus up to prevent it from freezing.Â I located the supply of salt pellets. I pulled my foul weather gear from the top shelf of my supply closet. I armed my youngest soldiers with the appropriate helmets and cold weather safety vests.
And we waited.
The assault started around 11 a.m.Â Large, white fluffy objects falling from the skies. We were clearly under fire and it appeared we would be for some time.Â I ran to the battlefield several times during the day and took as many countermeasures as possible.Â Alternating between salt and broom, the force of our attackers earlier on could not compare to our weapons. I was confident we would prevail.
Several hours into the assault,Â it became apparent that I was might indeed lose the battle and heavier artillery was required. I retreated to my garden tool bunker for a weapon that packed a bigger bang. The almighty aluminum shovel. Made in China. Red plastic handle.
Only it was no where to be found. Confused and with the attack becoming more aggressive, I ran quickly to my secondary supply shed. The shovel was missing from there as well.
Cursing myself, I questioned a member of my team on the status of our weapon of mass destruction.Â My younger team members informed me that the weapon had been destroyed last year during a separate battle and it had not been replaced.
Defeated, my unit and I retreated to the safety of our tent and watched the assault upon our land.
Yes, it is true I could have called for reinforcements. I could have also walked across my battlefield to the camp across the river and asked to borrow their shovel. I could have also called in the service cavalry armed with their own large weapons attached to their vehicles. Weapons that are quite adept at moving large amounts of the white stuff.
But I didnâ€™t. And why didnâ€™t I?
I donâ€™t like to ask for help. I would rather struggle, suffer, and perhaps even lose than ask someone to help me clear my silly driveway of the two feet of newly fallen snow.
This is a bit of a character flaw. There are times in life when you simply must request assistance; times when doing so does not indicate a weakness on our part but rather a strength.
As I reflected on the battle I lost yesterday, it brought to mind the many other times I have had to ask for help. And yes, the most difficult time of my life, when I needed help the most â€“ when I was pregnant with my daughter.
I realize now that the way I was treated during that time contributes greatly to my ability to ask for help (or not) and my faith in others to actually provide it â€“ no strings attached. To complicate matters even further, I am reminded of my parentsâ€™ statement to me as a child â€œGod helps those who helps themselvesâ€.
I tried to help myself yesterday. God was no where to be found. Not surprising really, he wasnâ€™t anywhere to be found when I lost my daughter to adoption either. I should have known better.
But again, the lessons I learned from my adoption experience:
If you ask for help, people will help you only if they get something in return. In the case of an unplanned pregnancy, they will help you if you give them your child. You dont deserve help but your child does. Others will do what is best for them and they will tell you that doing so is what is best for you.Â They will take advantage of your confusion, your lack of strength and ability to process information clearly. They will capitalize on your lack of knowledge and maturity and use it to their own benefit. And when it all goes to hell, they will remind, you that you called them. You asked for their help.
End result: asking for help leaves you scarred and wounded for the rest of your life.Â Help is not a good thing. It is a very bad thing that can leave you emotionally crippled for the rest of your life.
I couldnâ€™t risk asking for help fighting the snow army. As silly and benign as it may have seemed, asking for help is an incredibly triggering action for me. It means I am weak, vulnerable and easily taken advantage of.