Aren’t babies cute? There is nothing more adorable and exciting as watching babies take their first steps.
Twelve Step and other recovery groups often emphasize the need to take “baby steps” as we move along our journeys towards growth. But what does that even mean? When I think of baby steps, I see several crucial facets that can be applied to my personal journey.
First, no one expects a baby to run a marathon when she takes her first steps, yet I often expect too much of myself when I begin something new.
Second, a baby steps out on faith that his caregivers will pick him up if he falls. One of my biggest (unjustified) fears is that I will fall and no one will care enough to help me up — not even God.
Third, babies don’t give up. They may stand, step, and fall one, two, three hundred times, but they never stop trying! I, on the other hand, frequently think “I just can’t do…” whatever it is, and I see no other choice but to give up. I can look back over my life’s landscape and see innumerable times when I left the path, stood still, or even turned backwards.
Finally, babies aren’t too proud to seek help when they need it. They know when they need adult support and will reach up to grasp the hand of a parent or other caregiver. You can probably guess that I have a problem asking for help. A big one. Until about 10-15 years ago, I never asked for help directly. Instead, I used passive-aggressive methods and sheer manipulation to get my needs met.
Today, it is still very difficult for me to directly and openly ask someone for help. A voice in my head showers me with poison:
“Why would anyone want to help you? You should be able to do it by yourself! It will destroy you if she says no, because you’re not worth it! Go back into the shadows where you belong! Stop bothering the important people!”
I guess it isn’t surprising that I’m afraid to ask for help.
— tbc —