Donna says: The following is an excerpt from Amanda Owen’s forthcoming book Born to Receive: 7 Powerful Steps Women Can Take Today to Reclaim Their Half of the Universe. (Tarcher/Penguin, 2014). Thanks to what I learned from Amanda’s earlier book, The Power of Receiving, I was happy to accept a complimentary copy of the new one.
I was glad I did. It’s as powerfully helpful and easy to read as her earlier book. So many people–myself included–are good at giving to others but find it uncomfortable to be on the receiving end. This excerpt from Born to Receive is printed here with the permission. Please contact Amanda before reprinting it elsewhere.
ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT AND ACCEPT IT WHEN IT’S OFFERED
(c)2013, A Guest Post by Amanda Owen
Do you ask for help only after you have exhausted what you can do by yourself? You are not alone. In our pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps society, asking for help is, for many people, a last resort option. Yet, while you may feel it is undignified to ask a fellow human being for help, do you feel perfectly comfortable asking God, the Universe, or a Higher Power for help?
Perhaps we should designate one day of the week as “Ask a Mortal Day” so that we remember that we are all in this together and that being helped is as natural and as important as helping others.
The reality is that people perform tasks that help you every day. They pour your coffee, bag your groceries, give inspiring sermons, educate you, cook your meals, sew the clothes you wear, and make the products you use, to name only a few. But sometimes you need to ask for what you need or want because others don’t anticipate your needs, or they don’t know how to help, or they don’t want to help.
Reluctance to ask for what you want contaminates your ability to give. This is because the giver and the receiver are a team. Every act of giving has a recipient—the person who receives what is given. When one member of the team is not healthy, the other is not either.
When you think about it, how do you really feel about the person you are helping if you have such a dim opinion about being helped yourself? And why do so many of us look the other way when we walk past people in obvious need and call the individual who stops to help a hero?
The reality is that everybody at some time will be in a situation where they need help, whether due to a natural disaster, an illness, a loss of mobility due to aging, or for countless other reasons. It’s a shame that in addition to needing help, people are distressed by having to rely on someone other than themselves. They are twice traumatized—first by needing help and then by receiving it.
NOTE: Goodreads is giving away 10 copies of “Born to Receive” in a drawing that ends on Tuesday, December 17th . Read about it here: Goodreads “Born to Receive” Giveaway.
READERS: Are you one of the people who give willingly, yet squirm when someone tries to do something for you? What gets in the way? Pride? A reluctance to appear needy? A feeling that you don’t deserve it? Share your insights in the comment section below this post.
About the Author: Amanda Owen is the author of The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve (Tarcher/Penguin, 2011) and the forthcoming Born to Receive: 7 Powerful Steps Women Can Take Today to Reclaim Their Half of the Universe. (Tarcher/Penguin, 2014) Both books can be ordered at these links.
With a background in social work and a twenty-five year practice as a counselor and consultant, Amanda has been presenting lectures and workshops since the mid-eighties. Visit her site at: Amanda Owen.
N.Y. Times best-selling author Christiane Northrup, MD calls Amanda’s power-of-receiving philosophy “brilliant, elegant, profound, and enormously practical,” Maria Shriver calls her work “insightful,” and Elaine Shamos, the Director of The Women’s HealthResourceCenter at Dartmouth-HitchcockMedicalCenter.