Welcome to this shitty place, join the club of We Who Have Made Our Deep Call For Help. You are not alone. I am no longer in that place, but I was, for years. Some people are trapped there for decades. Maybe you even know some of them, maybe they are hiding it well, like I used to, like perhaps you are now. Having been there, I’d like to say I’m sorry for how painful this is to your life, and for any ripple effect it’s causing to the people around you.
We have to begin gently. Before you run a marathon you need to stretch and warm up, because starting a long hard run immediately, from cold, can damage your body parts. It’s the same with your mind, with some of the things you’ll be facing here. I want to prepare you into thinking the right way about your asking for help. This chapter is an important step to take before you take your first step into the book, because the way you think about asking for help, and accepting help, might be the very things standing in the way of you actually opening to the kind of help you need. You may, without realizing it, be asking for help but also blocking your own efforts to find and accept help.
Let’s clear up your ‘asking’.
THANK YOU FOR ASKING
I want to thank you for asking. Asking Help Me Please may seem like a strange thing to be thanked for, but I am thanking you because you inspire me. To ask, means you still have strength, some iota of hope, whether you feel it or not, no matter how tough things have become for you. And I have so much respect, even amazement, at what people can withstand and survive and even thrive through. Life can become so hard; I pass people on the street, even simply the ‘normal’ people, and I have so much respect for you, just getting this far. Whether you’re ten or forty or eighty… man, just getting here, through whatever trials you’ve endured, good for you.
And if things have become this hard for you, yet you’re still alive and asking for help… just thank you for taking this next step. Most people have a variety of fears and guilt around asking for this deep help. To ask for a cup of coffee because you forgot your wallet, to ask someone to help you lift something heavy, this is normal stuff and doesn’t threaten your sense of your own strength, worthiness, ability, pride. But to ask for deep help…
…It can make you feel weak, a failure, it can feel like an assault on your vulnerable ego and pride, it can make you feel embarrassed and like you’ve lost control of your life, maybe like everyone around you is coping and has the answers and you don’t. This can be an especially impenetrable hurdle for those of you who may have lives that outwardly seem powerful and successful; because when people have looked up to you for a long time, depend on you for anything, consider you ‘a rock’, then when things start to fail for you it’s natural to try preserve your in-control life and your in-control outer face to the world, even while you’re feeling that, internally, everything is crumbling apart.
The reason I said ‘you inspire me’ is because I myself did not ask out loud. I was too confused by what I was going through, and too terrified of ‘losing face’ by admitting my falling-apart mind and life to anyone. I was always thought of as being on my way to fame, riches, success, by everyone around me, and for good reason because I was extremely talented and skilled from a young age. But when I began crumbling inside, I was dealing with entirely new thoughts and feelings. They were strange, out of control, completely unknown territory to me, and that was difficult enough without adding to it the unthinkable pressure of everyone around me actually knowing! So maybe you haven’t even asked anyone for help, maybe you’re asking on the internet because you’re afraid of anyone in your life finding out; here, it’s just you and the computer. And so many people around the world must unfortunately ask for help in a quiet, hidden way, especially if your family or society or government would leap on you, punish you, kill you, if they knew anything about why you are asking for help.
Still, you asked. No matter how you ask, whether you ask people openly or whether you ask quietly, alone on a computer, alone with a book… it takes courage to ask. Because it is admitting something to yourself, definitively and clearly. It is admitting a limitation and a reality, and those things are terrifying for many people to admit.
So I have to validate to you that you are doing this. It may seem like a small step, but it is incredibly large. Thank you for your courage. Everyone who asks, inspires me.
ASKING IS PROOF OF LIFE
And trust when I say this: if you can still ask, then you still have some will, some life, some spark inside you. If you ever reach that unfortunate stage where you don’t ask any more, don’t even feel like you want to be helped or delivered any more… well, I was taken to that extremity too, it’s a place where you’re beyond thinking that you can ever be helped again, beyond thinking there is anything left for you. At that stage you are beyond looking for or even accepting help, some other force must literally and physically save you because you are beyond being capable of saving yourself. It takes some small miracle, some happening you might never foresee arriving, to bring you back over to this side of the edge, where you start to feel some measure of hope again. The good news is that those tiny miracles are more common than people think. But that’s for another chapter.
Very few people ever quite reach that completely-lost stage, regardless of how much you feel you have. I know you are not there, because you are still asking for help, still reaching forth. Do you see the tremendous validation that ‘asking’ proves in your life? When you’re beyond asking, beyond even the tiniest act of asking like typing Help Me Please into a keyboard, then you’re totally gone.
But you asked! Even if that is all you have left, if everything else in your life has gone for shit and all you have left is that you asked those three words… you’ve still got that much of a spark left. And a spark is all we need, to start with.
And I’m trying to hear you, no matter how faint or how loud your call. Sitting here, writing very slowly, I close my eyes much of the time and stop typing, trying to hear what I was asking for years ago, to hear what you are asking for now, trying to hear through all the distance, differences and borders between us.
I admit that while writing this, I still sometimes get sidetracked, caught up in ‘writing’, trying to get this book done, rather than listening and hearing. When that happens I later have to throw out all that writing, and it might take me a week or two of not-writing to erase all thought of accomplishment, of getting this done, and return back to that state of just listening, of letting only the hearing pass through my typing fingers. It’s hard to write a book like this, to maintain that constant openness to just hearing. But it’s worth it, to listen more clearly to you, to be true to what you need, and to be true to what I have to offer you.
HONOR, VALIDATE YOUR ASKING
Many people–far too many–are feeling like you, right now, the world over. Some might be faring better than you, others might be doing much worse than you. But do not fall into the trap of comparing, of thinking ‘maybe I shouldn’t be asking for help, others are much worse off than me’. Also don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘they’re doing so much better than me, why are they asking for help!’ You can have fame, riches, mansions, a career you love, family you love, travel anywhere, have the adoration of the world… and still actually feel so awful, so hopeless, that you want to end it all. There are no borders when it comes to who feels so deeply awful that they make the call for help.
Validate whatever you’re going through, with a validation that is pure and has nothing to do with comparing the magnitude of your problems to whatever perceived magnitudes you feel others are going through. You can be rich, you can be homeless; you can be old, you can be young; in torture or terminal illness, or in fantastic athletic condition; starving, or obese; none of your details need to be compared with any other human on Earth.
This is about YOU.
This is about what you, and you alone, are going through. We are not concerned with magnitudes and comparisons here. You have made your Deep Call For Help, so we are going to deal with that completely, because you have met the only qualification needed, in order to be answered: you asked.
Generally, for most of our lives we carry along in a kind of ‘normal operating’ lifestyle mode, where we go through our days working and coping through our usual lifelong struggles and successes. Sometimes some of us slip and slide and are knocked so far off the course we wanted, that we become trapped… elsewhere. Trapped in some state of living where we have become so overwhelmed we don’t know how to bail ourselves out and climb back into a life we can deal with. Some of us visit this dark depth only briefly because we are answered, the situation is ‘solved’ or escaped from quickly. We didn’t spend enough time there to live with it, learn, become familiar with it, become changed and deeply transformed by it.
Others of us become more deeply entrenched by it, consumed, overcome, suffer long-term from it. At that stage, coping becomes corroded away and all that’s left is being lost in dark depths and not knowing how to climb out again.
But the short-term visitors, and the long-consumed visitors, still experience the same ‘I’m in hell’ feeling of despair. And being immersed in this feeling for any period of time can seriously impact your health, can corrode all aspects of your mind and your life, demolish relationships and careers, cause you to lose all the belongings outside your skin, and all the belongings from your skin inward, too.
When it’s that bad, when we exhaust all our inner resources again and again and then some part of us finally admits we cannot solve our situation alone, then we start to ask other people, consult other resources. And if those fail us too, then we start to ask… anything, anyone, ‘out there’. Anywhere.
WHO ARE YOU REALLY ASKING?
When you make this kind of call, you might fool yourself and think you are still searching externally for help, for money, solutions, salvation, Jesus, God, Buddha, Allah, some answer from someone outside yourself, some book, some guru, some deity, some system;
But at this level of asking, you are really asking… yourself. You are asking, “How can I be okay, within all this that is happening?” On some level you are recognizing that it’s a ‘mind’ thing, that it’s your mind thing, and on some level you know that even if you cannot ‘solve’ or ‘be rescued’ from whatever troubles are happening, your mind can be worked on. The way you react and respond and feel to your troubles, can be worked on, even if the troubles themselves persist. And you are only seeking outside sources, like me and my website, because you do not quite know how to ask your own inner self for the kind of help you need.
You may have asked yourself a thousand different ways, every hour of every day, but that doesn’t mean you have learned how to ask yourself in the way you need to ask.
That kind of asking, and that kind of answering, usually takes years of learning before you can hear in the way you need to hear it. It’s a ‘developed skill’, for lack of a better term. This depth of asking and answering has always been inside you, but somewhere along the way you stopped knowing how to listen to it. Life beat it out of you and you need to go find it again. That’s a long way of saying:
This book offers you only one thing: answers which you already intrinsically know. These are answers that already live deep inside you, but perhaps you’ve forgotten or life has blinded you to them. And that deepest place inside you, the origin of your gut-deep call for help, is where your answers also dwell, waiting to be called upon in the right way. Your deepest place of calling for help, is also the place your deepest answers will whisper back from.
One day you’ll learn how to ask and answer entirely within yourself. When you do, it will help you, save you, even create you. Until then, perhaps you need a nudge from someone who spent a few decades learning that for himself. This is all I have to offer you.
Thanks again for asking, for making the effort, for your courage.
A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT ASKING:
Consider that you have possibly grown up learning that to ask for help is a sign of weakness and failure. But consider that those of us who have learned to ask for help realize it is a sign of courage, of strength. We realize it is an acknowledgement of a limitation, an assertion that we are accepting a reality about ourselves. We realize it takes courage and strength to recognize this reality, to let go of old false preconceptions we had about our limits, and to break through the fear-barrier of asking for help.
Consider that asking for help opens a new starting place in your life, establishes a new and more realistic work table for your relationship with yourself and with the people in your life. Consider that when you ask for help, you are letting go of your old wish to have control over everything, to have the solutions to your every difficulty. Consider that asking for help opens you up to entirely new events and relationships that would never have happened had you continued trying to solve problems all by yourself, ‘in a bubble’. Consider that asking may actually expand your life into strange and wondrous events you could never have conceived of while you were trying to control things and work them out ‘your way’.
Consider that there are many ways of asking for help. If some of those ways are dangerous to you, know that there is no such thing as ‘being wrong’ in asking for help from some other ways, less obvious ways. If you are afraid to ask your government for help, or the law, then perhaps the right book or website can help in a hidden way. If you cannot ask your family or the accepted people in your life for help, perhaps there is someone on the fringes, even outcast from your regular circles, who will be safe to ask. Consider that perhaps you have been asking in the same ways over and over, ways that have never worked for you, and that there may be an entirely different way for you to ask for help. Maybe there are even endless different ways to ask.
Consider that you do not even need to ask your god or deity or religion, or anyone or anything, for help; consider that you can just silently… ask. Consider that simply the act of asking, without asking anyone in particular, opens you to accepting more realities about yourself, and often opens you to entirely new forces out there that you’d never really considered before.
Ask the source that can give it to you
That means every source and any source
And outside you
Consider that asking for help does not necessarily mean you will receive the answer or solution you originally asked for, or even an answer that you understand at this time. Consider that many answers will arrive gradually, through a process, perhaps in parts and perhaps not at all. But consider that, by asking, some answers will come, some solutions will come, in their own way and at their own time.
Consider that it is unrealistic to expect entire solutions and clear answers for all your problems. To have some answers and some solutions, no matter how dilute or strange or difficult to understand, may be all you need in order to begin really working at your salvation; a ‘bridge over troubled waters’ would be nice, but all you really need is enough scattered boulders, close enough to leap across from one to the next, to make it to the other side. Consider that when you ask for help, that’s all you may receive… just scattered boulders across the water, but each one appears before you drown.
And consider that, with all this leaping and swimming to the next boulder, when you finally reach the far shore… all that effort and exercise has made you so strong! The people who have things easier and can drive across that easy bridge are still pale and soft and don’t know the reality of real hardship, they are blind to the true experience of crossing hardships. But when you make that crossing, then you do know. And that experience gives you some very powerful knowledge and capabilities for the rest of your life.
Consider that asking for help, instead of making you weak, will make you so much stronger than you ever thought you could be. But it will make you stronger in its own ways, in its own time, so consider asking often, for a long time, in many different ways, and then letting go of expecting whatever outcome your old controlling mind thinks should happen in return.
Just ask for help. As often as you need to–even all day. For as long as you can. And even longer than that. In fact, consider asking forever.
I am currently writing the first two chapters, perhaps the most important ones to this book. Sorry they’re not ready yet, and I am working on them as I write this. For now, as long as this note is still here, please continue here. I promise I’ll publish the first two chapters very soon.