Oct 07

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I need help

“I need help.”

Over the past several years, I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing my own mind and asking for what I need. But hot, fat tears ran down my cheeks as I typed those three words.

The logjam started a couple months ago while I was working on the 175th anniversary special edition for the newspaper. It was a massive undertaking in a short period of time and I felt too incompetent and stupid to get the project right.

Since it came out I’ve received countless compliments for it, but I never quite lost that feeling that the whole thing was a travesty.

I started dreading going in each day because every task I was given felt bigger than me. By early afternoon all I wanted to do was go home and curl up on the couch.

It all came to a head last Wednesday. The thought of going into the paper made me want to cry. I finally messaged Rev. Nancy, my mentor, coach, friend, and general life-saver.

“I need help.” She emailed me back immediately, “Of course, Boo!”

The funny thing is that just writing the words – moving past the fear of admitting weakness and saying what I needed – started me on the road to feeling better.

That evening on the phone, I spilled out my tale of woe. Rev. Nancy let me talk and cry for a few minutes. Then she stopped me cold by asking the question that I didn’t know needed to be asked:

“What are you pissed off about?”

She was right. I was totally pissed off because I really don’t like feeling stupid and incompetent. Having gone so far down that road, I didn’t regain my equilibrium even after the project was over. (To be clear – no one else made me feel that way; in fact, my colleagues had my back the whole time. This was a head trip I was playing on myself.)

Once I admitted that I was pissed off, it began to resolve pretty quickly.

There are a lot of personal development teachers out there preaching variations of, “Just think positive!” and “Don’t be angry or you’ll attract more anger into your life!”

I firmly believe in the Law of Attraction, but I think there’s something really important being lost in that bumper-sticker kind of teaching. I couldn’t get to a place of thinking positive until I admitted that I was angry. As long as I kept stuffing the anger down, it continued ruling me. I could have put on a happy smile on top of it (“Fake it ’til you make it!”) but that wouldn’t have done anything to address the underlying anger. It would have been like adding a layer of icing on top of a stinky pile of poo.

I had to let myself see and acknowledge the anger before I could move on. That is the missing part of so much teaching on The Law of Attraction – life isn’t rainbows and unicorns all the time. It wasn’t meant to be!

I know for myself that admitting those awful feelings can be scary sometimes because I’m afraid that I’ll get stuck in them. But the truth is that I get stuck in them when I DON’T admit them. Case in point: I spent six weeks denying that I was angry and feeling progressively crappier. I spent ten minutes admitting that I did feel angry and it began to dissipate immediately.

Today’s miracle: Admitting that I needed help was the strongest, most self-loving action I could have taken.


Images found here and here.

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.leahcarey.com/themiraclejournal/2012/10/07/i-need-help/


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  1. Denise Wolf

    It’s so wonderful you have a friend who can really see you.
    What a painful and growth experience.

    Glad you asked for help and there was someone there to catch you.

    1. Leah Carey

      Your comment got me thinking, Denise. For me, having that kind of conversation with a friend is absolutely normal – it wasn’t until I read your comment that I realized that I’ve made a concerted effort to surround myself with people who can communicate on that level, and I’ve let go of a lot of friendships with people who weren’t in that place. So thank you for your words – they brought me a new insight that I’m very grateful for. 🙂

  2. Nova Wightman

    I completely agree about the processing anger and other strong emotions before moving into positivity part! The whole “what you resist persist” thing tends to rule when you try to go straight to feeling good – this is a great reminder that it’s okay to feel those emotions first, that they are in fact important to feel and have gifts of their own. And you’re so right, sometimes the simple acknowledgement and asking for help is all it takes to feel better. Thanks for sharing this experience, you always articulate the things we don’t necessarily think about consciously so well, Leah!

    1. Leah Carey

      Thank you so much, Nova. I’m honored! 🙂

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