“My only advice is to stay aware, listen carefully, and yell for help if you need it.” ~ Judy Blume, excerpt from essay Mother/Confessor …
Advice is everywhere; so much so that we are often overwhelmed by the sheer amounts of advice we receive–from the people who care about us and are deeply concerned with us, from individuals who just enjoy sharing their advice, from those who feel the need to push their opinions and beliefs on others, and even from the things that surround us in our daily lives. And still, here, we are presented with a very powerful, yet simple and limited piece of advice: to remain aware in life, to listen carefully, and to not be afraid to seek help when necessary.
Perhaps the most important message I receive from Judy’s advice is to foster a greater awareness in my life–to always take the time to find areas that could use my undivided attention, areas that are speaking to my soul and trying to relay something that is vital to my growth and purpose in life. After all, our awareness is such a key aspect to life; we cannot effectively deal with the people, things, and situations in our lives if we are not aware of the multitudes of differing aspects that make them up–whether they are good or bad, productive or destructive, life-giving or life-consuming. For instance, it would be hard for me to decide to lose weight if I was not aware of what a healthy weight is for me, or even what I currently weigh for that matter. Having a profound awareness our thoughts, behaviors, interactions, attitudes, morals, and so much more is a very important factor in dealing with so much of what life throws at us.
And in the same sense, it is equally important that we take the time to listen carefully, honestly, and genuinely, for it is in truly listening with our hearts that we come to discover that deep awareness. The majority of us are quick to share our opinions, wisdom, and thoughts rather candidly, however, rarely do we listen without the intention of responding. It is by listening that we learn, and it is in the hearing that we grow.
Lastly, we should never hesitate to ask for help, for we both benefit when we help each other–one contributes positively to the world, and the other receives requested assistance. And we should always be aware that there are so many wonderful individuals out there who would love to help us out if we would simply ask them and allow them to. If we do not ask, however, they miss out on experiencing the joy, satisfaction, pride, and all the other positive feelings that come from helping others, and we miss out on receiving the blessing of their company, friendship, and assistance in dealing with the difficulties we are facing on our journey through life.
Find some ways to apply Judy’s advice in your life.
Questions to consider:
What kinds of things can we do to become more aware? Of what things should we become more aware?
How often do you purposely take the time to listen?
Why is it so difficult for us to ask for help, even if we need it badly?
For further thought:
“I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic” existence.” ~ Dr. Clyde S. Kilby