I’ll admit straight out that I have a problem accepting the help of others. It’s not easy feeling weak and vulnerable or somehow less than. I also have a problem, quite related to this, of accepting compliments and gifts well. I’m getting better at that however it’s still not easy because of that inner negative dialogue that tends to run through my head. I’m not good enough
I’m not smart enough
I’m not pretty enough
I’m not talented enough
I don’t work hard enough
I know where all of the flaws are in that quilt and given the right opportunity I’ll point them all out to you
I can tell you why I failed to get that job I went after (at least why I think I failed to get that job I went after)
I have very gratefully accepted the help of a few others, particularly over the last year. One quilter, who I now consider a very dear friend, walked with me through a very challenging time allowing me to process a lot of stuff with her. She is a listening, understanding ear, kind, generous with her time and oh so much more. It’s hard to describe how deeply, profoundly this experience . . . well it’s been important on so many levels. As a quilter who teaches machine quilting at some national shows I have gratefully, cheerfully accepted the help of the Educators in the classroom. These folks are treasures, knowledgeable and gentle with the students and I could not want or ask more than that. Most of the time when I teach I’m it by myself and I can teach and check machines however the Educators in the classroom allows me to really focus in on teaching and spending precious time with my students.
Often I know I need help with something: confirming a decision, choosing an appropriate thread, telling someone something important, standing up for myself. Learning, realizing, accepting that I need to change my class descriptions and language in them until last week I’m not sure I would have accepted that without somehow feeling less than, imperfect.
I am imperfect – I get that.
My quilts aren’t perfect – again I can show you were the flaws are.
I have to ask for help on the quilts sometimes. It’s important because I need to process what’s going on in my head. See the crocheting going on? I’m thinking and processing the classes and quilts I’m working on. My friend had to ask for help this week in a way that she hasn’t had to ask for help before, in a way that I know she doesn’t want to ask for help. I know she asked for help and got it in a way that is good and, might I daresay holy, making the whole experience easier for all parties involved. As I read the experience there were two things I noticed, her reluctance (and I know where that comes from) and the response from those who gave assistance. I know I’m not there. I’d be happy to be her roadie. I know she’d do the same for me if needed because I know her generous heart.
One thing I needed to do early on – and it is difficult at best – to accept gifts from my students (they are gift enough for me). However, it brings them great joy and who am I to rob the person of the joy of giving and the dignity that brings them. You see what I see in this situation – is the dignity of each person involved both those who are giving and receiving and I’m not sure who is who in this situation. Generosity on both parts. Dignity shared. I’m off to quilt and think and write and crochet.