Participating in this month’s Tarot for Growth from @bujowitchcraft on Instagram has really helped me this month in several ways:
- I’m connecting more with a new deck through everyday use.
- I’m writing every day.
- I’m actually diving in and doing “shadow work” in answering these questions.
And today’s question left me with a cramp in my hand I was writing so much. Too much for Instagram’s caption space, so I thought a proper blog post would be just the thing.
It was also a timely prompt because today I had to ask for help. More on that in a bit.
But first, today’s question “How can I become more comfortable doing so?” was a follow up for yesterday’s prompt “Where may it be beneficial for me to ask for help?” And while yesterday’s answer was more business inclined about where I need to be asking help, today came through loudly about how to get to the point I can ask for the help I need in business.
Practice is the resounding answer I received from a Reversed Eight of Cups. The Eight of Cups can generally represent a journey, and all that goes with it: the baggage, the change in routine, the path you take.
The image in is of a person carrying a bundle on their back. They carry papers with them, dropping a few along the way, and are guided only by the light of a crescent moon. Here they are bundled up in layers of coats and thick pants, leading me to think of how those layers must feel like protection from the elements, but in the incorrect environment, they can choke you from the heat.
Reversed, I see this as an inner journey just as much as a literal journey. The moon can represent how we feel and how little we show those feelings. This card reversed is telling me not to drop hints along the way, but be direct in what I need, when I need it, and how I need it. I have a tendency to not ask for help and then resent the person for not helping me. No one can read minds! But I work so hard to predict what I think the other person needs, I begin to expect the same behavior from the other person. It’s a one-sided and vicious cycle.
So why do we not ask for help, or communicate our needs? I don’t know about you, but I do it out of fear. To ask is to be vulnerable. It’s to put yourself out there and say, “Hey, can I trust you to help me?” And when we are used to trusting the wrong person, or the right person for the wrong thing, we are shown that “No, you can’t.” So we stop at some point and start taking it all on ourselves.
On top of that, some of us were also raised just to do it all and not complain or risk titles of weak, selfish, demanding, overbearing, nagging, bossy, etc. So we don’t ask. We hide our needs because we were never taught how to communicate them.
Instead, we load up our inner dialogue like baggage and weigh ourselves down. This can show up outwardly as stress, anger, resentment, fear, anxiety, and other non-good feeling things. And that can show up more by not asking for the help we need when we need it.
The card this morning perpetuates the message I’ve been receiving all month to work on myself, rather than others. To look inward. Perhaps I have such a hard time asking for help because I can’t clearly see where I need it. I’m just storming ahead without mindfulness or awareness about my own needs. I end up doing a lot of thinking about what I think the other person is thinking when in reality, that other person is probably thinking absolutely nothing I am. I need to work on what I’m asking for.
I need to be direct.
The reason this resonates so clearly today is that today I had to ask for help. I had a long, late-night with my kid. They were up with nightmares, couldn’t fall back asleep, and we both ended up on the couch struggling to sleep. Then I woke up, saw the clock, and realized, in a panic, I had a half-hour to ready them for school. And ready me for my day.
My brain “was on fire,” as I like to explain it, with the running list of everything that had to be done at once that I knew I couldn’t accomplish alone without burning up the rest of my system.
So I rushed into our master bedroom, saw my husband was awake and clearly stated: “I need your help getting them ready.” Boom. He was up, at attention, and took point with our kid while I rushed around getting dressed, preparing lunch and breakfast for the kid, something that resembled breakfast for myself, and mentally trying to slow down. He got our kid awake, focused, dressed, and kept them calm while helping usher them along.
It was a rushed morning, but my child was off to school on time, and I returned home able to slow down finally. Now, I was irritated and pissy and snappy upon my return because my anxiety built up, and now it needed an outlet. I apologized to my husband for snapping, sat down with a lovely coffee he had made me while I was gone, and was able to pull myself back to focus and talk about my irritation.
I hated that I had to ask. But because I had an open dialogue from asking for help in the first place, we had an open discussion, and I was allowed to vent and be validated in my feelings of frustration.
Before, instead of asking, I would have just stewed and resented my husband for not waking up “on time” and helping me unprompted when I needed it most. This would have lead to me stonewalling, or cutting off all communication, about anything else for the rest of the day, which is unhealthy. So when Eight of Cups popped up, a card about a journey, I realized that asking for help is a journey in trust. It has steps. It has a destination.
Here’s what mine looked like:
- I realized I was overwhelmed and made a choice to ask for help.
- I showed vulnerability to my husband by making the ask.
- I was concise with what it was I needed at that moment.
- This showed faith in my partner that I trust him enough to ask for his help.
- My needs were met, and my goal (getting the kid to school on time) was achieved.
- A trusting bond was made with my husband, and this builds intimacy in our relationship.
- I returned home and was able to further speak about my needs, further building on “the ask” and showing trust again.
This is hard work: trust. It also requires trusting that you can trust, which is an odd sensation. Asking once and having that need met builds up a lot of confidence quickly and makes it easier to ask again.
For example: when I ask my husband to stop for milk on his way home from work, and he says, “No problem,” there is nothing hidden in there. He’s not thinking I’m a horrible wife that can’t manage to keep milk for our child at a sustainable level in our fridge to maintain their health and vitality. And I’m not asking him to drive to a dairy farm, milk the cow, bottle & pasteurize the milk, and ensure the cow was a happy, healthy heifer. So why would I feel the need to project that he thinks I’m horrible or that I’m demanding too much of him… on to him? It’s unfair to both of us. My husband is literally telling me he will stop because it is no problem for him to stop off at the store on his way home, and I need to allow myself to trust this statement.
Every ask is an exercise in trust, and I need to be asking enough to build a relationship of trust with myself just as much as others.
I need to trust myself that I am asking for what I need, either at the time or in advance of me needing it. To be able to do that for my business, I need to dive deep and understand my wants and needs more clearly. Like this morning: I knew what I needed and asked for it. If I can’t ask for what I need, I won’t get what I need, and I’ll be back at square one of lack of trust, resentment, anger, anxiety and on and on.
As with any journey, it’s going to have its ups and downs and twists and turns, but it is essential to keep moving forward. The paths can change, hell even the destination can change, it’s critical just to keep moving.