"There are really only two kinds of prayers: 'help me, help me, help me' and 'thank you, thank you, thank you.'" Anne Lamott
I've been thinking about this quote a lot lately, at least partly because it's true. I find myself talking to the universe sporadically, in times of panic and in times of joy. My prayers are rarely articulate. They're usually sloppy with heightened emotion. One of those intentions is always there though, inspired by asking or receiving.
But, it's the order of that statement that strikes me most. Help me is first, thank you second.
Thank you has always come easily to me. I'm grateful for even the smallest things - in a deep way, down to my bones. I've been known to cry over heartfelt letters, surprise visits, or someone remembering my coffee order.
But asking for help is an act that I avoid. It makes me feel embarrassed and undeserving. Help me was the hardest lesson I learned this year. But, it's the only reason I made it across the country.
The fact that I don't drive made moving a shit-show. I couldn't do anything on my own. My boss Gavin picked up the thirteen boxes I needed to ship and loaded them into the trunk of his BMW. The next morning at work, he stacked them on one of the brass hotel luggage carts and he pushed it three blocks down the sidewalk to the post office. My sisters and her fiance put all the furniture into a truck. Tessa let me sleep in her bed. Jamie picked me up curbside with my last bag of stuff, on the day I turned over the keys to my apartment. When I finally arrived back East, my aunt drove me to Ikea in another state. Then she haggled with the mattress salesman.
I have never been more thankful - and more sure of my blessings - than when I let go of my standards for self-reliance. I've learned that needing can be the catalyst for gratitude. Help me is the first step in saying thank you.