Things have been a little crazy in my life. Many of you read my post about the emotional conflict of moving, and moving is exactly why I didn’t write last week. I’m reposting this because asking for help was a painful experience as well. How is it we (and I really mean “I”) think that mentioning to friends and coworkers a challenge ahead of us is really communicating that we need help? Why is it so painful to actually admit we can’t do something alone? For so long I’ve been pretty independent. I really do love learning to do things on my own. I used to change the oil in my car. Because I could, and save money. I have primed the water pump on an evaporative cooler and changed the pads myself. (Those of you living not living in the Arizona desert might need an explanation regarding said evaporative cooler, aka swamp cooler.) I’ve change the O-rings on a pool backwash valve because paying someone to do it was out of the question. I’ve installed shower doors by myself. I’ve taped, dry-walled, and skip-trowelled a room. I’ve installed a ceiling fan, changed a ceiling fan light switch, and many other outside-the-box tasks. Asking for help is like nails on a chalkboard for me, so having to ask for help in moving last week was beyond difficult and way outside my comfort zone. But I had to do it. There was no way I could do it alone. And although there were many who couldn’t help because of the urgent-last-minute-nature of my request or the distance, those who were able to help, did so with a gracious spirit. I am extremely grateful and humbled by some who came a significant distance to help. Others worked throughout the night because it was cooler. Still others worked in the hot sun with no complaint and genuinely-giving attitudes.
So, that double dare? That came back to bite me. And I very nearly fell under the weight of it. Eating my own words was a bitter experience. In following through, I have grown and become more compassionate toward others who need my help. Hopefully I can remember this lesson the next time I need help.
“There is a season, turn, turn, turn…”
“No! Me do it.” Recognize those words? You must have heard them before from a toddler, recently finding his or her voice and discovering independence. We get aggravated with them because the additional time it takes for them to complete the task will most likely take significantly longer than if we did it for them, yet we secretly cheer at the thought of one less task on our agendas. We feel the sweet smell of success when our children can do things for themselves. For me, that independence took on a life of its own in adulthood. Why is it so difficult to ask for help? Is it the fear of looking weak? Like someone will think we can’t “handle” things? We’re somehow wasting their valuable time?
I love helping others. It’s why I became a counselor. Helping is just part of my nature. And it was…
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