By Megha Bajaj July 2011 There is no shame in baring your vulnerability and asking for help when you need it Megha is, above all, a seeker. These days sheis attempting to find herself in the role of a teacherthrough the online writing course designed by her.Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org As a child when I hurt myself, the scraped knees and bruised elbows could only be soothed by mummy. It wasn’t the medicine as much as the attention that worked. For dealing with strict teachers or bullies in school, it was daddy I turned to. Speaking to him, listening to him, I learnt how to handle the ‘tough ones’. For problems with my parents, I always had Nidhi, my sister, to bank on. A little venting, a little learning, and growing up became so much fun. I realised that whenever I needed help, I asked for it and received it. As I crossed that teenage threshold, however, I started feeling like I could not ask for help. My adult mind resisted asking anyone for anything as I felt I could do it myself. And even when I couldn’t, I didn’t want anyone else to know that I couldn’t. Feeling vulnerable was a scary emotion for me. There were times when I was going through absolute confusion and ‘lost-ness’ but somehow I could never open up, or ask for help… The result? I drove myself into a dark pit of depression and ill-health. On one of those black days, I saw something that shook me. The sight was commonplace, but the experience it led to, divine. A young mother was teaching her son to ride a bike. He was shifting from a tricycle to a bicycle and I could see that it was a significant moment for the child. He would pedal a little and wobble, pedal a little and wobble. The mother was walking behind him, holding the seat whenever he looked like he was about to fall and letting go when he could go a few feet by himself. After a few steady steps, the son said, “Mom, now you can let go, I think I can do it.” The mother smiled and said, “Okay!” She stood at a distance from him, allowing him to taste the winds, and yet close enough to run and catch him if he fell. Seeing the duo I realised that at various different stages of my life, I too had different ‘mothers’ who would hold me, steady me and enable me to regain my balance. Even though I was an adult, in certain bends along the road called life I was no less helpless than the six-year-old who was shifting from the tricycle to the bicycle. I didn’t know better. I needed help. And there was no shame in asking for it. When I gradually started opening up and sharing my hurt, my confusions, and my weaknesses with people I trusted, my relationships started improving. The happiest realisation was that most of the time, the other was as vulnerable as me – just pretending to be invincible like me. Sometimes my guru, sometimes my husband; sometimes my editor and sometimes my own students – all of them, in certain situations, started becoming ‘mothers’ who helped me to keep going.Whether we are CEOs or seekers, adolescents or elders, at some points of our lives, in certain situations, we need help. Let’s ask for it and move on… the road ahead is waiting for you.
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