A genuine and deep feeling of gratitude emerges as step into our receptive or yin nature and open up to being helped.
Most of us pride ourselves on how self-sufficient we are. We like being responsible and being able to take care of ourselves. This is exactly why it can be so very frustrating when we find ourselves in situations in which we must rely on others. With my recent accident, I found myself in exactly this position. Personally, I was not even able to dress myself without assistance. But this can happen for many reasons: injury, illness or even something as positive as having a new baby.
Sometimes, we just need help and it’s okay to ask for it. For most of us, one of the most challenging parts of this is letting go of our feeling that we should be able to do it all on our own and accepting help from those who love us.
The first step is accepting the situation exactly as it is. Sometimes, we can make things worse by trying to do more than we should or sinking into a feeling of uselessness. In both cases we actually run the risk of prolonging our disability or dependency on others. There is a valuable opportunity here to practice both acceptance and humility. The ego wants to resist things as they are, so when we move into acceptance we move into a deeper part of our soul, beyond our ego.
In needing others and allowing them to assist us, we experience the full realization that we are not on our own and that we all need each other. While this may bring up feelings of vulnerability and fear, a deep feeling of gratitude will also emerge as we open to this experience of being helped. This feeling of gratitude will then soften us and make us wiser when called upon to help or service others in their time of need.
It takes both wisdom and strength to surrender to our helplessness and to accept that we have limitations. The gifts of surrender to our own limitations will be numerous; we discover our humility, gratitude and a deeper understanding of the human experience, ultimately making us more compassionate to ourselves and others.