Accepting help has,
for much of my life, been what
I was least good at.
It always amazes me how so often those of us who are into helping others, while we have no problem asking for help on behalf of others, are loathe to ask for help for ourselves, even when badly needed.
And although I have seen this trait play out in both men and women, women seem to be far more often afflicted, and often to a far greater extent.
Although there is a psychological element to it, much of the issue is societal, as much of society still sends messages that girls are less important than boys, that women are objects rather than individuals judged on their own merits, and an unfortunately large percentage of women harbor a version of these messages within, preventing them from fully stepping into and owning their own power.
One area where it often plays out is in an inability to accept compliments, which as a young woman I had a real issue with; from my perspective they often felt untrue, as I was judging myself far more harshly than were those around me, and thus I often felt the compliments were insincere, or that I was undeserving of them.
And we've all seen this in action, when you give someone a sincere compliment, and they either brush it off or contradict it; countering "You look beautiful," for example, with something like "No, I don't," or "You don't really mean that."
Like girls and women apologizing for simply taking up space, which I see almost daily, it is a disturbingly common trend, and has affected a high percentage of the girls and women in my life.
Fortunately, my confidence and sense of self worth are far greater as I've gotten older, in part because I've matured past needing to seek approval from others, and in part because I've come to appreciate my own gifts and talents as valuable in their own rights.
Though I still have my moments, as many of us do, I am now more likely to catch myself, thank the giver, and simply smile and let it flow.
And I go out of my way to give more compliments than I used to. They are always deserved.
And it remains a fact of life and the universe that the more we give, without expecting in return, the more we receive.
Such was the case a week or so ago, when I finally gave in and advertised for someone to come and rescue the honeybees that took up residence in the bay window of the original house on our property.
When I spoke to a local beekeeper about it last year, he gave me the impression that I was looking at several hundred dollars to get it done, not counting repairing the wall after the fact. So the project was put on the back burner, and when the hive disappeared mid-season, and I saw no more activity, it became a nonissue.
Then early this spring it became clear that the bees were back in force. And, whereas last year they appeared in April only to disappear by June, this year they were still active and very much in evidence through September.
So it was a pleasant surprise indeed when I got a message from a very nice local gentleman who had already done several cut outs in different homes, kept bees himself, and assured me that not only would he not charge me, but that he would replace the wood when he was done, with as little damage as possible.
During our conversation, when I mentioned that we were also dealing with a nest of yellow jackets on our front porch, he offered to take care of them at the same time when he took the bees.
When he came out to check the hive, he couldn't have been nicer, Lolo took to him immediately, and vice versa.
I instantly felt comfortable with him, and as we talked, we discovered a lot of common ground, including not only a love of bees and a shared interest in beekeeping, but a love of organic gardening and aquaponics, of dogs and animals in general, and of natural non-GMO foods.
For his efforts, I gifted him with a bottle of my homemade hickory liqueur, which happily he really liked, and led to more discussions about distilling, fermenting, home brewing and winemaking, the latter of which he and his wife have been experimenting with for the past several years, with increasingly good results.
Interestingly, though he initially thought that we were dealing with a monster hive, as it turned out the bees had only a few brood combs, and virtually no honey. Had we left them where they were, they would have starved to death, long before winter's end. Damn.
He left the area where they had built their hive open for a few days, so that the stragglers would vacate, and he'll be back in a couple of days to close it up, and to relocate the yellow jackets far from the house.
And had I not been willing to ask for and accept help, I wouldn't have made a new friend with so many shared interests, we would not have discovered in each other a depth of knowledge in our areas of interest, and we would both have been the poorer for it. I have little doubt that he and his wife will become good friends.
Life is wonderful and keeps getting better and better. ;-)
Half the liquid proceeds earned from my posts will be evenly split between the two organizations.
The photo above was taken by me, using one of my Canon PowerShot cameras, though I'm not certain which model, as I had a succession of them.
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