All help is self help because you cannot receive anything you do not accept - actively or passively.
All Help is Self Help. At first glance, this statement sounds untrue. You think; "I ask for and receive help from my parents, friends, teachers, work colleagues, boss, wait-staff at my favorite restaurant—and none of these people are me. So, how can help I receive from others be self-help?" Read on.
Having worked in the administrative side of the healthcare system for twenty-five plus years, I have counted thousands of people coming to practitioners seeking help for one ailment or another. Patients seek answers based on the practitioners’ experience and expertise to assess their symptoms and problems, and leave with a treatment plan that may include rest, a prescription, a recommendation to change one or more aspects of their lifestyle, a visit to a specialist, a follow-up appointment, etc., all in an effort to get better and improve their health.
Given all of the treatment options presented – a "buffet of treatments," if you will, the patient is not helped until said patient accepts one or more treatment options, thereby helping themselves.
Self-help does not mean fully independent, isolated, exclusive, separate, alone, "by yourself" in a vacuum kind of help. Self-help is the recognition that we are the gatekeeper to all that comes into our life. As a gatekeeper, we respond to the world around us by either accepting, rejecting or placing an experience "on-hold" until we can get more information to determine whether we are to accept or reject it. In simple terms, whatever we accept, we receive, and whatever we reject, we set aside – good, bad or indifferent.
Sound too simple? Consider further. We live in a world inundated with information, able to keep all of our senses saturated—and then some. There is information that resonates with you—catches your attention, you agree with it—other information you conclude must have come from Pluto and you reject it out-of-hand.
You are processing and selecting various points of view right now. Observe yourself as you read this article. Watch what comes up. Watch what you accept and reject. Note when you shake your "inner head" up and down in agreement or sideways in disagreement or pause to gain greater understanding. Your actions of rejection or acceptance or questioning demonstrate your unique power as a filter—your filter. Ideas that you accept enter into your database for future retrieval and application. The ideas that you reject you make less accessible to your self-help menu. The concepts you question need a little time for more information to be added to give greater meaning. All are expressions of you helping yourself, or self-help.
Whether you know it or not, you have been exercising your self-help muscle your entire life—most of the time under your conscious radar. Today you are invited to recognize your contribution to what you accept or reject, consciously. To be more mindful of how you are helping yourself. When you do, you tap into the benefits that come with greater knowledge of yourself.
To do so, become more aware of the ways you open up or close off to the things that life presents. Spend an hour or two, or perhaps a whole day of self-observation, an important pre-cursor to a higher conscious self-help. During this time suspend judgment and just be your best friend, watching, learning and understanding how you relate to your life. Note what you would like to open up more, and why. Check what you resist, and why. Again, no judgment, just observe. In what ways do you help yourself by consciously watching what you accept, reject and question? Whatever your answer, accept and honor what you discover.
Your willingness to accept, honor and learn from your responses to the many aspects of your life opens your mind to the power of conscious choosing and greater self-help. You get to see how your choices are serving you, and how your choices are not serving you. You get to see whether your choices need to change in order to give you what you want, ultimately.
With every decision you reach you are making an impact on yourself. With every reflection you are learning about yourself in the moment, in the particular situation/application. You are affecting yourself—your development in one of three ways—you are helping yourself move forward, keeping yourself at neutral or helping yourself move back. In so doing, you connect with more of who you are, and accept more responsibility for your life. As you accept more responsibility for the things in your life, you develop mastery over those things – gaining a sense of greater control.
The next time you seek help, remember the help you accept is the help you receive.
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