My friends, I am conducting a daring experiment. Because I, like many people I know, suck at asking for things, this experiment will consist of asking for something and:
1) noticing that the world does not end
2) noticing that I have not been ostracized or ridiculed for asking
3) noticing whether I receive what I asked for, and
4) trying to understand that if I don’t, I am no worse off than I would have been of I had never asked.
So, I’ve decided to ask you, my amazing followers and other readers, to do something that will cheer me up during the current tough patch I am navigating. It makes me feel really good when something I’ve written reaches a new person, so here is my challenge: I ask you to share a favorite piece from Not This Song on your social media or other means of propagation.
You may want to check out some older pieces, which can be accessed with the Read More list, or use the category archives–or here are a few suggestions:
Wow, this asking thing is hard. But I know it’s something that I–that many of us–need to work on. Maybe we learned that asking for things got attention we didn’t want, or just didn’t work. Maybe now we have an unconscious conviction that if something isn’t spontaneously offered, we must not be worthy of it.
But asking rocks. Asking honestly, while being willing to take no for an answer, can be magic. And sometimes we do get what we ask for–and we find out that the people who gave it to us don’t see it as some big sacrifice or inconvenience. Maybe they also got something out of it, or had their soul nourished by the act of giving. Many great friendships are born of one person helping another.
Someone once told me that we need to be more like baby birds sometimes. He elaborated: “A baby bird doesn’t sit in the nest and say Pardon me, mother dear, but if it isn’t too much trouble, could you bring me a bit of something when you come back? No, it throws back its head, opens its mouth and shrieks the bird equivalent of FEEDMEFEEDMEFEEDME until someone does.”
There are times to “suck it up” and accept that bigger concerns require putting aside some things we want. But there also times when asking for what we want isn’t going to harm anyone, so why shouldn’t we? Often, what stands in the way is pride or fear of rejection. I’m trying not to be ruled by these.