Vulnerability and Unconditional Love

Have you seen Amanda Palmer’s TED talk?

If you’re over the age of forty, you might not know her. She’s a musician who has alot to say about vulnerabilty and the art of asking for help. Just so you know, she’s pretty out there too.

She went through some really rough life events, as we all do. She had started out as a street performer who stood perfectly still as a bride, wearing whiteface and not speaking except through her eyes all day long. What she noticed was that the people who stopped, made a deep connection with her eyes. As they started to leave, she would hand them a daisy.

She was trying to get her band going and needed time to work on her creative projects. One of her friends suggested a Kickstarter campaign. She is one of those people who does nothing she takes on halfheartedly and she put together a campaign that got the largest amount of funding in the history of Kickstarter.

The learning from all of this was: it’s ok to ask for help. She realized that it was a way to establish a different kind of connection with the people who love her music. Letting them help her was an honor. And none of the investment cost much because it is shared over a large number of people.

She now uses a different platform, but is still supported by her fans which gives her the creative time she needs to develop new projects that she brings to the world. It’s a sustainable model.

I’m not sure what makes us think we have to do everything ourselves. Maybe it’s the lingering pioneer spirit that helped to start this country, the bootstrap mentality that makes us think that we have to walk the path to our purpose alone. It’s simply not true. It may look that way, but that’s the illusion.

Still, we all get stuck. Someone says something that creates a yawning doubt inside us that starts the old “what ifs” and we are off to the races building that doubt into a technicolor disaster flick where no one survives.

These are the times when we do need to reach out or at least look for the reminders that we are just fine thank you, and to recognize the times that it may be appropriate to ask for help.

We think we are intruding or being pushy or asking too much. If we do that, we are thinking in a one-way direction and there are some other ways to look at it.

We could consider an alternative way of thinking…. like giving someone an opportunity to help. This is a bigger gift than getting the help in many cases. Giving someone the connection to something deeper, something that takes on an importance which you don’t even realize, is a true gift.

When do you ask? And if you don’t, maybe try it when it seems appropriate and share your story with us.

Dale Power