Edition #59 Weaving Webs and Turning Over Stones
Creating The Webbd Wheel: Show Me the Way
When I work with Tarot cards or feel stuck or lost, I frequently speak a simple prayer: “Show me the way.”
It’s not easy for me to acknowledge I need help. I learned as a child doing so leaves one emotionally vulnerable. This kind of early training teaches us it’s not okay to need support and ill-advised to admit it aloud to anyone. Only fools trust others. When I got hurt after asking for help, I blamed myself for being weak, incompetent, and stupid.
I’m proud of my self-sufficiency and independence, but I know I take it too far at times. As a helper myself, I also understand how it feels to be blocked from the ability to support and assist others when they need it. Much of my contribution to the world is in the form of support and love extended to those around me. When I’m unable to express those in a healthy, useful way my sense of connection and community breaks down and I feel unwanted and useless.
I know communities of all kinds work better when we are individually able to give and receive support with dignity and grace. I have a responsibility to my people to learn to participate in that reciprocity.
Surrendering to our need for help involves surrendering our expectation of how it will arrive or what it will look like.
I have prayed for help several times in my life, always in extremis, always with deep guilt and shame, and always with desperation, after I’ve tried everything else.
I read somewhere, a long time ago, that when we ask for help it’s already on the way. I’ve learned to appreciate the relief of admitting I’m in trouble I can’t get out of alone and the dignity of choosing to ask for what I need. Having reached that point, I can mentally fold my hands and turn toward doing what I can for myself in my current situation, knowing some kind of help will arrive.
Sometimes it’s been something I read or heard. Sometimes it’s been a person. Sometimes an intuition, a Tarot card, a dream. The idea of researching life coaching came into my head five minutes after I prayed for help nearly a decade ago. I researched. I found a life coach and learned emotional intelligence. Less than a year later I had moved across the country and was building an entirely new and much happier life in a place I’d never been before.
If we feel we have nothing left to lose and we ask for help, when a way forward opens will we take it? Asking for assistance and accepting it are not the same thing.
In post #59 of The Hanged Man, Eurydice does not know how to go forward in her life. Her one idea is to find the Norns and Yggdrasil. She does so, but the help she expects to find doesn’t appear to be there. However, she is welcomed, and she decides to stay put and live with her questions for a while, learning what the Norns have to teach and pausing to just be.
Then a way opens. She is shown a way forward, a mysterious way with no explanation and no guarantees. Her intuition tells her to go through the opening, and she does, with no idea where she’ll end up, but believing she’s going where she needs to be.
Try it. Ask from the heart to be shown the way through a dark place. Then relax and wait for help to come. It might be as fleeting and fragile as the sun on a dragonfly’s wing, as quiet as a whispered question in your inner ear, as innocent as the desire to buy a box of new crayons. But help will come. The next step will beckon you. And then the next. And then the next …
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
Artists are good pathfinders. Perhaps we are more confident of our intuition, or maybe we’re more accustomed to thinking outside boxes and lines. Maybe creative work adds a layer of intensity to our experience of life that means we feel more vividly, and thus fall into confusion and despair more easily and have more practice finding our way forward.
Here on Substack I’m constantly discovering all kinds of creative people sharing their art, experience, and lives. Whatever our medium, many of us have learned ways to allow our creativity to lead us forward. An example of this isat The Light On the Sea. Her post this week? “Blue Notes: Start With a Colour ...”
Turning Over Stones
What are your strategies for finding a way forward when you’re stuck, lost, or too disheartened to go on by yourself?
How do you feel about asking for help?
How would you fill in this statement? If only I _____, everything would be fixed.
Leave a comment below!