When we’re struggling with something and we want help, whew, it can bring us to a place of vulnerability – where all our fears, concerns, and questions come rising up.
The fear of receiving help
So even though we long for relief and want healing and support, there’s a part of us that feels scared to trust.
This part of us may say things like:
- I don’t want to spend money on one more thing that won’t help.
- I never get better, no matter what I do.
- This is a waste of money!
- Nothing helps, so why bother?
- What if it doesn’t work?
Underneath these feelings is a tender place: a part of us that’s afraid of getting hurt, afraid of being judged, or afraid of not getting better.
(I suspect that underneath these feelings is a deeper fear: that it’s somehow our fault that we’ve struggled. Oh, so so vulnerable.)
How we cope with the fear
Sometimes we cope with the fear by seeking perfection – looking for the highest, best, most perfect place to get healing and support. Yep, I’ve done this – particularly with spiritual communities.
Our hearts want a place where they feel safe, held in compassion and love and kindness.
Sometimes we feel shy: will I be judged if I share my vulnerabilities with others? Will I be shamed? Will I be understood? And so we shy away from receiving help, and try to do it on our own. This is when we tend to read a lot of books!
The courage in receiving help
For many of this, this vulnerability can create a push-pull: where we want help, and reach out for it … and also push it away.
This may be timely for you if you’re thinking about taking my upcoming When Food is Your Mother class – but you’re unsure, feeling all kinds of mixed feelings.
I really want to normalize this experience for you. It’s really okay that these feelings are there.
It took me over 7 years of reading newsletters from a beloved business teacher before I felt comfortable taking a class from him. 7 years – even though I really liked him and felt very safe with him!
Afterwards, I chuckled that it took so long for me to go deeper with him – for once I took a class, I received so much. His teaching was life changing!
Likewise, I’ve had people say they’ve read my newsletters for 7 or 8 years before they took a class with me.
And many of them have also written to share how much they received from the class – how grateful they were to go deeper with me.
Moving through the mix of feelings
If you’re feeling caught in that space of both longing for support and also feeling afraid – afraid of making a mistake, afraid of ‘wasting money,’ afraid it won’t help – a couple things can help.
The fear is normal. There’s nothing wrong with the fear. Whenever we come closer to something – whenever we face something – it’s normal for tender feelings like fear to come up. It’s simply the way we’re wired as human beings.
This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, that you have an anxiety disorder, or that you’re not ready to receive help. It simply means that some part of you is facing something vulnerable, and feeling scared.
What other feelings are there? Just normalizing the fear can really help! And – we can feel so focused on the fear that we may not notice the other feelings that are also present – like excitement, a desire for growth, or a tiny bubble of hope, or yearning, or wondering, or curiosity, or attraction.
So you may take a few moments in quiet and wonder: what else is here? Do I feel some excitement, an inner yes?
Check in with your deeper knowing. It takes time for the heart to feel safe, to trust, to feel ready to take the next step. So be with the mix – the fear and the excitement. Be with your longings, desires, and yearnings.
Spend time with yourself and ask, “Do I want to go deeper? Is this class and teacher right for me?”
And if you feel the yes, I encourage you to take the plunge – no matter what form of support feels right to you.