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The other day, I received an email that was, at first, alarming and then laughable. It was from a dear friend’s email address and it read:
I’m writing this with tears in my eyes,my family and I came down here to Madrid Spain for a short vacation and we were mugged at gun point last night at the park of the hotel where we lodged,all cash and credit card were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us…We’ve been to the Embassy and the Police here,but they’re not helping issues at all they asked us to wait for 3weeks but we can’t wait till then and our flight leaves in few hours from now but we’re having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won’t let us leave until we settle the hotel bills,we are freaked out at the moment…Well I really need your financially assistance…Please let me know if you can help us out,Write me back so i can tell you how to get it to me.
“My friend’s name”
At first, when I saw that I had an email from this particular friend, it gave me pause. As far as I can remember, she hasn’t sent out an email for years. So, I felt startled that I was receiving one from her in the first place. Secondly, the subject line added to the disturbing sensations: Bad Experience….(I Need Your Help)
I took a breath and checked in. I knew it was spam because I had long ago received “notice” of the scam-spam-scandal that goes on through email. However, I opened it, curious to see which of the approaches the scam-artist had used. I had never read this version of the note and I realized that I was having an emotional reaction to the possibility that I was being cruel and that my friend was actually in real trouble.
Ironically enough, this hacker picked a woman who is actively involved in a very vocal community here in Utah. This community has a FB page and I went there, just to see if anyone had heard from our friend. I laughed when I discovered the very first post on the group wall read, “I’ve spoken with her. She’s fine and in Utah.”
What has stuck with me since this entire situation is the experience of someone sending out a plea that had a very good chance of never being answered. Granted, this particular plea shouldn’t have been answered because it would have eventually resulted in someone being ripped off. But it got me to thinking about all the different ways people seek “help,” send out pleas or, even, cry wolf, all in the hope of being supported in their requests.
Looking at your behaviors and how you are requesting support – from your loved ones, the Universe, God, coaches… whomever – provides an opportunity for you to get really clear about what it is you are asking for. This clarity starts with actually knowing what you’re asking for, then speaking that in a way that someone else can understand – to someone who is actually available to listen to your request.
It makes no sense to send out random requests to the atmosphere, hoping someone, somewhere will respond in a way that is helpful. But it makes even less sense to make direct requests of people who are not listening or in a space to support you in any way.
So, take a moment… breathe… get clear on what you need/want… find a way to express that concisely… breathe… find someone you trust to support you… breathe… and then inquire as to if they are available to listen to your request before bombarding them with something they may not be able to pay attention to.
Being clear in what you need and expressing it clearly to someone who is available to hear you establishes a co-creative energy which strengthens your relationship. It also deters any possibility of you feeling unsupported or another feeling as though you have accosted them.
© Angie K. Millgate 10/15/12