Unasked for help is often unhealthy.
Strangers don’t know each other well enough to know what’s helpful. I’ve had strangers “help” me in ways that left me feeling creeped out, ashamed, disempowered, and upset. In closer relationships, helping without asking can lead to a pattern where one person feels indebted and disempowered while the other feels taken advantage of. Even close partners sometimes get the kind of help that is needed wrong.
In Wicca, we hear “Thou art Goddess. Thou art God.”* This message of the inherent divinity in each of us is one of the pieces that led me to believe everyone deserves help. Certainly, there are plenty of stories about what happens to those who don’t help disguised gods or the fey! (Think “Beauty and the Beast.”
It is actually this same piece of pagan theology that leads me to believe in the importance of asking for help. When we claim our own Divinity, our own sovereignty, we are able to articulate our boundaries and needs. Assuming someone needs help without asking robs them of the personal power to complete a task that is within their capabilities or at least the power to recognize their needs. Enabling this loss of power in others in turn gives people a sense of inflated power and unbalances their connection to their inner God/ess/x. Just as nature is a delicate web of interconnectedness, so to are our relationships to each other. Unasked for help, like toxins, can poison the water s we all drink from.
*Hopefully coming soon, there will be more and more options for those of us who identify outside the gender binary!
How do you support other’s sovereignty? What do you think of helping others? Share in the comments!