Receiving Help – A Shared Responsibility | Diane Viola
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Receiving Help – A Shared Responsibility

After facing the loss or potential loss of all the operating systems in my business culminating in the ‘disappearance‘ of my website just before Christmas, there have been more than a few times when I’ve absolutely ‘spat my dummy’ and felt quite justified for it!  Until my husband – bless his cotton socks – reminded me that life isn’t fair – or in my words, that it’s not so much what life ‘throws’ at you as how you respond to it!

So yes … I have been dragged kicking and screaming to set up new equipment, programs and systems, some of which I was very happy with just as they were, thank you very much! Despite wondering what on Earth ‘God’ was thinking wasting my precious time with all this ‘stuff’, I’ve also been so grateful that in the end everything is still there, many wonderful people did help me and along the way I released a plethora of outdated systems, information and connections that are clearly not meant to be a part of my life moving forward and whose energy had in one way or another been dragging me down.  All perfect for entering 2016, a year of completion, the last in a Nine Year Cycle.

Apart from all the new learning I have undertaken, the implications for my work were obvious to me.  See how I felt at times was as if I was on the other side of a glass shield looking out at everyone else who ‘appeared’ to be having fun, while I was being bombarded by one setback after another, kept out of circulation, attending to yet another ‘breakdown’ and moving further and further out of my comfort zone.

While I knew this was not a life or death matter, I was acutely aware that for many people dealing either with a mental health issue, or relationship and family breakdown, or what sometimes is a life-threatening situation, the feelings of isolation and separation are very real!  At these times it can be extremely difficult to reach out and ask for help, especially when what’s happening is hard to describe or something that, until now, we’ve either not wanted to talk about or just haven’t known how to.  And it’s worse still when you’ve already asked for help and those whose job it is to give it have either ‘failed’ to do so or been hamstrung by an inadequate or outmoded system.

Asking for and actually receiving help has never been one of my strong suits, so this challenged me in ways I’ve not been challenged before … to not settle for less than I needed or was acceptable to me, to have to keep asking the questions until someone answered them correctly; even if it meant challenging their authority in some way, or to stick with a difficult and often mind-numbing task until finally I understood and was able to finish it. Ultimately I realised that I was no more ‘responsible’ or ‘at-fault’ for my website being tampered with than someone who has been bullied, harassed or abused is for the behaviour of their tormentor. At no time did it escape my attention that this was a metaphor for what we need to do if we are going to go beyond the initial steps we’ve taken with issues such as Family Violence, or climate change, or any number of challenges humanity is facing at this time. 

So … what am I saying here?  Bottom line is … real change is pretty disruptive and at times mighty uncomfortable!  Responding to the challenges we face requires that we ask for help when we need it and keep on asking until our needs are met.  We need to join together to help dissolve the sense of isolation and alienation to make asking for help easier.  And … on the other side of the ‘glass’, our systems and services need to be receptive to the needs of those they serve and have the resources and support to respond in a compassionate, timely and effective manner.  There is no doubt that we are all in this together and that together is the only way we are going to work it out!

Inner Sense No. 43 | January 2016

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