The Happiness Connection  

A plea for help

Have you ever found yourself in a situation you can’t deal with by yourself?

I’m sure you all have.

How did you feel about asking for help?

This is easier for some than others, but most people struggle to some degree. I’ve been thinking of favours a lot lately. I mostly try to see if I can figure it out for myself, so I don’t have to impose on anyone else.

When I was in my 20s, I found myself needing to ask for a favour that was an extreme imposition.

On the night of this memory, I had gone to bed early because I wanted to be well rested for the next day. It was opening night for a play I had a lead role in.

About 3 a.m., I woke up from a particularly vivid dream about being in the ocean.

As I came to consciousness, I realized why my dream had seemed so real. My bedding was soaked, and I could hear the fast drip of water.

It wasn’t a leaking roof. It wasn’t a burst pipe. It wasn’t an intense night-sweat.

My water bed that had sprung a leak.

Depending on your age, having a waterbed may seem unusual. At the time of this incident, they were both common and inexpensive.

The company I bought the bed from had set it up for me. The only thing they had been concerned with, was getting the water into the mattress. No one had enlightened me on how to get it out, or what to do if it leaked.

Remember, it is 3 am. I needed help, but who do you call at that time when you need to ask a favor? I did the only thing I could think of.

“Dad? My waterbed is leaking.”

My dad was such a star. He was more than happy to have his sleep disturbed if it meant helping me out. I’m sure he would have jumped in the car and come straight over if he had been closer. As he was in Kelowna and I was on the Island, that wasn’t a practical option.

He started by telling me I needed a hose. I didn’t have a hose. I lived on the top floor of my building. Why would I have a hose?

It had been hard enough to phone my dad at 3 a.m.; he was family. What non-family person could I phone at 3.05 a.m. to ask for a hose?

Carol, I will love you forever.

As I approached her house, I saw a nightgown clad Carol standing at the end of her driveway. In her hands was a hose.

It took a few more calls to my dad to figure out how to get the water flowing from my bed onto the grass below. He stayed up until I finally called to give him the good news that everything was under control.

This story illustrates how it can feel to both ask and grant favours.

If there had been any way for me to get out of my predicament without asking for help, I would have.

Like many people, I hesitated to ask for help because:

I didn’t want to impose

be considered needy

be considered unable to care for myself.

When I needed help at 3 a.m., I chose my dad first. I knew he would love me, even if he thought I was crazy not to know how to empty my bed. He’s my dad. It is his duty to endure my neediness.

What I didn’t stop to consider was how much he valued being the person I felt most comfortable reaching out to. He didn’t go straight back to sleep after my initial call. He stayed awake and alert to be there for me.

I’m sure he also enjoys being one of the super heroes of my story. It continues to bond us in a shared experience.

Calling Carol was more challenging. She was a friend, not family.

I was dying as I made the call, but she wasn’t angry or annoyed. She didn’t hesitate to help me.

It was a compliment in a weird way. I felt comfortable enough with our friendship to reach out to her at that insane hour. She is the other super hero of my story. I will be eternally grateful for her help.

Asking for help may make you squirm, but it is likely to make the person you reach out to feel needed, competent, and helpful.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve been needing some favorus lately.

I been asked to host a show on the Transformational TV platform, an online subscription service being launched in a few months. It will contain a wealth of shows on all sorts of different topics.

My show is called The Practice of Living. I intend to use it as a platform to talk about common problems and challenges and offer advice and strategies to help.

What I need are real-life problems that are being experienced by real people. I am reaching out to you to ask a favour.

If you have an experience you aren’t sure how to handle, want some suggestions on how to find happiness in difficult situation’s or just want to practice living a happier life, please send me a Dear Reen Rose email.

If your letter is chosen for one of my shows, you will receive my advice in an email response.

All contact details will be treated with the utmost respect and privacy. You are free to sign your email with any name you want. The contact/email address information will be for my eyes only.

Thank you for your time and help with this project.

I got the idea because one of you has done this already. That email for advice sparked this idea. Thank you to every one of you who takes time to read my column.

If I can help, please email [email protected].

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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