I love having a bath. Usually, once a week I take a bath. Generally I soak for at least an hour. During which I may read, meditate, ponder, dream, imagine, pray, visualise, compose poetry. Being secluded brings more ideas and feelings, than come at other times. Which is where a large part of this entry comes from. I first read “The Art of Asking” several years ago. It still resonates with me, that I recently reread it.
Being a person-centred counsellor I try to embrace all I am. Being more open about everything, is consistent with the concept of congruence, one of the three primary qualities of a person-centred counsellor – unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence – ideals I aspire to each day. Aspire to, yet no doubt never completely reach. A line from Amanda Palmer’s book “The Art of Asking”, my bath reading, fits here, about the purpose of life being for:
A lot of thoughts have risen from the book. Recommend it.
Can the essence of the book be summed up in a word? Perhaps, connection is one word I’d choose. Another, vulnerability. Trust and faith are others. And of course, asking:
“Some days it’s your turn to ask
“Some days it’s your turn to be asked”
“Asking for help requires authenticity, and vulnerability. Those who ask without fear learn to say two things, with or without words, to those they are facing:
I deserve to ask
You are welcome to say no.
Because the ask that is conditional cannot be a gift.”
Some other words or phrases that stand out for me:
“Conditional love is:
I will only love you if you love me.
Unconditional love is:
I will love you even if you do not love me.
It’s really easy to love passing strangers unconditionally. They demand nothing of you. It is really hard to love people unconditionally when they can hurt you.”
“You can never give people what they want, Anthony said.
What do you mean?
We were lying by the side of Walden Pond in Concord, two towns from Lexington, where we’d crested a ritual of ambling around the circumference of the water, then lazing under the trees with a picnic for a nice long grok.
People always want something from you, he said. Your time. Your love. Your money. For you to agree with them and their politics, their point of view. And you can’t ever give them what they want. But you —–
That’s a dreary worldview.
Let me finish clown. You can’t ever give people what they want. But you can give them something else. You can give them empathy. You can give them understanding. And that’s a lot, and enough to give.“
On their own the words quoted above may not mean much. Read the book and hopefully they will. You will no doubt take different things from it than I did. And that is okay. And perhaps that’s another principle, idea, concept, of the book – difference is okay.
Not everyone will like Amanda’s writing style. If you have read and valued Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly”, then the ideas in “The Art of Asking” should resonate with you.