I have had a challenging week this week, with lots of work and heaps to do, and have felt a bit overwhelmed by it all at times, but I have also had the opportunity to ask for help, not for myself exactly, but for someone I am working with at the moment, who has been through a very difficult time. I was at the point of not knowing quite what to do about this situation, and I decided to ask my CHO email list for their assistance.
In doing this, I had in my head a conversation I had had with Richard about the pizza day at the community garden last week, when Cormac Russell came. Cormac is a community development thinker, and Richard reminded me that he said that there are no instructions for building communities – each one is unique and made up of the place and people in it. I was thinking of this, and of how I want not to be alone with my troubles, and how I want to have a community that knows how to help people when they are having a hard time. So I asked. And of course, I got help straight away. People responded in all sorts of ways, the first email back within a minute of me sending mine out. It was fantastic. I had the person I was working with in the office with me at the time, and when I said there had been a response, he just cried. This went on all day, and by the end of the day, the initial problems had been pretty much solved. Right at the end of the day, I spoke with someone on the mailing list who is herself in a very tricky situation, but who had contacted to say she had something for this other person. I met with her, and told her a little of what it meant to the guy to get help from his community, and how he had been moved to tears, and she then cried as well.
All this has had me thinking that actually I was asking my mailing list for help for myself after all. I wanted and needed to know that I was myself not alone, and that if I reached out, I would get help. I needed to find a way to see the world as a soft and beautiful place, to be reminded of how kindness is there, and how we need not be alone with our struggles. It was such a relief, and deeply reassuring, to know that we all shed tears, we all have hands and arms to hold out to each other and we all make a difference.