I walked into a Half Price Books store one evening when I was in Redmond. A book attracted my attention: "7 Rules You Were Born to Break" by Rick Lewis.
Even now, 8 months after I've left the forests of the NW coast, I still love skimming through this book as a reminder of the small things that pass by unseen, too often. It's not everyday that a successful street performer shares his life lessons with us. And what a perspective - the book talks about rules that we are more or less unconsciously taught and how, ironically, they work against us most of the time.
Today I randomly opened the book at rule no. 3: "Be Independent". I appreciate those times when I read something that I subconsciously know, but that I've never put into words before. This third rule says that we are taught to be self-sufficient and not to need anyone's help, ever. Sounds a bit lonely. Stand for a moment and look at it. Does it apply to you? I can certainly recall meeting with this rule not only within me but around me as well. What I like best about this book is that it talks about the misbehaviors that break these rules. Each rule can be broken by misbehaving in a certain way so that you can regain your natural balance and be happier. Asking for help is the way to ease the grip of "Be Independent". It's about trusting other people - an act that can scare most of us because it requires getting out of our comfort zone. Rick states it best at the beginning of the chapter: "Who we are as individuals blossoms as we discover and learn who we are in relationship to our world. We do this by deeply connecting with it, not by withdrawing from it." I love this one: "A mature individual is able to draw support and strength from others and provide a distinct contribution to the world. Our individuality suffers when we cut ourselves off from an exchange of help by trying to remain wholly independent." After all, true independence has never been reached alone.
Looking at this from a distance, we can see that being independent and asking for help can be antipodes and as all opposite things, the good spot is somewhere in the middle. It's knowing when you're imbalanced that is the challenge.