Writing a book has been a humbling experience. The writing part is fun for me, but there is so much I don’t know about the process of getting a book published and ready for the world. I have had to rely on professionals who know the world of editing, formatting, publishing, and marketing to see my baby finally come to life.
The most rewarding (and challenging) part of the process has been learning to ask for help. When I needed stories from real-life experience to illustrate the themes of the book, I reached out to my community to see if anyone was willing the help me out.
To be honest, I was shocked and gratified that so many of you stepped forward to share their stories and support my project. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me.
This experience has taught me that when we allow ourselves to ask for help, we make room for the generosity of others and the abundance of the universe to enter our lives.
That all made me stop and think, why didn’t I reach out for help more often in my life? Why not when I was being bullied as a tween in junior high school? Why not when I was heartbroken at the loss of my first love? Why not when my marriage was falling apart and I was trying desperately to hang on?
Childhood stories become default behaviors
I have always seen myself as a strong, independent woman. My mother tells me that even as a little kid, I would tell her “I can do it myself,” even if that meant she had to wait an extra 1/2 hour for me to tie my own shoes.
This pattern continued throughout my school years and professional career. I prided myself on not only writing my own briefs, but typing and photocopying them myself too. When I saw colleagues asking secretaries to do things they were perfectly capable of doing themselves, I thought they were being weak and exploitive. Even when I was stressed out and overwhelmed, I would work until 10:00 at night rather than asking someone for help.
In my relationships with family members and friends, I was always the one others came to for support — never the one asking for help or a listening ear. I thought this made me a good friend. I enjoyed being seen as the one who always had things together, even when I was secretly falling apart.
The problem with hiding our vulnerability is that it blocks any real intimacy. If we don’t allow ourselves to be seen in all our messiness, we can never be loved for who we really are.
Giving and receiving are part of the same energy
I have learned this so many times, but I don’t think I really got it until now. Giving and receiving are part of the same energy of abundance. If we never allow ourselves to receive, we block the flow. Soon we will be left with nothing left to give. Plus, when you think about it, we are depriving our friends of experiencing the joy of giving.
To really give with an abundant heart, we have to be open to receiving. Otherwise we are blocking the flow of abundance from the Universe.
It is funny how the same lessons keep coming around in our lives until we finally get them. I am grateful to this book-writing project for helping me to experience what I have known to be true all along.
I would love to hear your experiences with giving and receiving. Please leave me a comment below or comment in the Shero Sisterhood Facebook group so we can learn from one another.