Recently a conversation came up in an online group I’m in about being labeled a “sensitive” person, and I remembered someone saying to me once, “My, you’re a delicate little flower.” At the time the comment made me angry. I definitely felt it was a judgment on me, and I certainly don’t like to be seen as weak—I much prefer the strong-and-capable vibe.
In the past couple of weeks, my recurring back spasms have reached new heights. I’ve been trying to power through, refusing any medication that may be addictive, avoiding any treatment that simply masks symptoms and ignores the cause. That all sounds pretty warrior-like, and I like to think of myself that way. But everything came crashing down a few days ago when I was at the hair salon. As I was in the chair in the middle of a haircut, a brutal spasm came on. I actually made myself smile, pretending nothing was wrong, when in reality I was in crippling pain. There was no way I was going to reveal my pain, draw attention to myself, or put anyone out. Why? Because I didn’t want to be seen as that delicate flower, and why should the world stop just for little old me? But the pain got so bad I was forced to confess.
Turns out Stephanie the stylist gets back spasms too. She was full of empathy, and she and her assistant sprang into action. They put me in a reclining chair, brought me hot towels and cushions for my back, and gave me hand and scalp massages. Literally they did everything they could to make me feel comfortable, and I felt so taken care of. Eventually the pain subsided, and I was able to continue with a pretty fabulous haircut. If I had tried to warrior through, I’m convinced the pain would have gone in the other direction.
So why is asking for help so hard? I realize now that by asking for help, we are honoring ourselves—and that can be the hard part. It’s a form of self-love to recognize when we just can’t do it all and need (and deserve!) the kindness of another.
My cat is twenty years old and to anyone else, she’d seem like a delicate flower—super skinny and hard of hearing. But she never hesitates to tell me what she needs. She sits on my head in the morning to wake me up when she wants breakfast. She takes over the couch proclaiming that’s her spot. She meows loudly when I’ve been working too long, and it’s treat time. Animals never think, “Oh I don’t deserve her help” or “I don’t want to impose on that person.” They know they are worthy and so should we.
So here’s to all the delicate flowers out there. It doesn’t mean you’re weak to ask for help. It means you value yourself. Plant the seeds of that concept, and you’ll grow in beautiful ways.
It’s all about the magic. 🙌