Ever ask others for help and no one seems available to assist you? This seems to happen to me a bit, although much less lately. I have not always dealt with this 'lack of help' in the most constructive way and have often found myself in that resentful, "I'll do it myself!' spot. Time to rewrite that unhelpful story.
I needed to rebuild the chicken coup during the week because of a construction error on our part. The walls were around the wrong way, which meant every time we closed the hutch door Mabel and myrtle, our chickens were knocked off their perch!! Some chicken coup remodelling was necessary to make their lives happier.
I began asking for assistance and was reminded of the children's story 'The Little Red Hen'. As I remember the story, the hen need help at various stages of a bread making process. She needed assistance with milling the grain, kneading and baking and no one seemed available to assist her. I felt just like the little red hen, as everyone I asked was too busy to help me.
The Little Red Hen at each rejection said 'I will do it myself then', In my memory she responded with kindness and cheer with the 'I will do it myself' coming from a helpful spot. I don't think I can say the same of my building resentment with each help request refusal. I went to go further into that resentful spot and 'do it myself' with resentment, much huffing and puffing and no joy, when I remembered some useful things. Reinforcing the unhelpful story "no one ever helps, I have to do everything myself', I have been telling myself for years, is never useful. Fortunately I remembered some wise words from Ghandi "In doing something, do it with love or never do it al all" and "Service whisk is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served". Thank you Ghandi - time to rewrite that unhelpful habit".
As I said last week sometimes we can get so habituated to reinforce a story like 'No one ever helps me', that we don't stop to question the truth of such thoughts or whether they are helping us be happy or ever did!! I know I did it for years. I now understand how reinforcing these untrue, thought habits makes me unhappy and under confident and unavailable for others. So asking those same questions to rewrite a more helpful story
So what did I do? I decided I could rebuild the coup myself with love and joy and planned a time to do it in the afternoon. Interestingly that same day a friend kindly offered to help me the next day. I thanked him and said I would give it a go and call him if i got stuck. My funny mind was so tempted to go "why can't my family help me?' STOP - back to those questions.
Also, I was reminded of that stubborn streak in me that can go to martyrdom and denies others the opportunity to help. So again a balancing act here. When we kindly offer assistance or gifts and they are dismissed with comments like - "you shouldn't have done that (kind thing); or No, I don't need help" it never feels good and denies the other person the opportunity to feel good too. It is good to give others the opportunity to help, but then let go of the expectation and judgment if they are unable to.
I began the coup dismantling and reassembly in the late afternoon. It wasn't without its tricky bits, but I remained joyful and worked on. Mabel and Myrtle were ready for bed before I had finished - I laughed as I placed their final wall in place and screwed it in as they were nestled up in bed.
So it is fixed now, I am happy to say, without resentment. I am so pleased to have remembered Ghandi's words and to rewrite that untrue, unhelpful story. The chickens are happy too, as they are no longer tipping off their perch as we shut the door.
As I recall at the end of the 'Little Red Hen' story - she doesn't share the bread she has baked 'all by herself'. Maybe she may have benefited from Ghandis wise words and baked the bread with love and joy to share with others. Because, the secret of our own happiness, lies in doing our best to benefit others.
I am so grateful to those wonderful teachers and friends who have helped me get over negative, unhelpful habits and be a more positive force in the world and to do my best to be of benefit.