“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” Ziad K. Abdelnour
About a month ago I was out to lunch with one of my sweet co-workers and we went to a nearby Chinese restaurant. Delicious food, great conversation, and a break from work. What could be better? As we were leaving my friend handed me a fortune cookie and I know that it sounds silly, but I really feel like the Chinese Gods are always telling me what I need at exactly the right time.
I know that I’ve mentioned shared more than once that November was an insane month for me and this message came right in the midst of it all, “Do not hesitate to look for help, an extra hand should always be welcomed.” Now, if you know me personally this isn’t something that I would say I excel at. I would even say that I’m pretty bad at it. But, regardless the message got me thinking.
Why is it so hard for us to want to ask for help, even when we’re so incredibly desperate for it. The first thing that came to mind was pride. It’s hard to admit that we can’t do it all when we’re constantly looking through social media feeds that tells us the “other person” can. They can have all their children out the door by 7 a.m., dressed (in the most adorable outfits), fed, and smiles on their faces as they skip off to school….right?
Another reason I think it’s hard to ask for help is that a lot of us don’t want to feel like we have to depend on someone else. It’s hard to put that trust in someone else. Honestly, I’ve been let down a lot in life by people who I thought would always be there for me and that’s when it hurts the most, right? The old saying definitely rings true, the deepest cuts come from those we love most.
Regardless of your reason why you don’t like to ask for help, the truth of the matter is that we will ALL need help sometime in our life. Maybe it’s due to an illness, or financial strife, or a failed relationship. Whatever it is, there will come a time when we all have to let our guard down and trust that the people we need will be there for us
This happened to me last winter. I was on the wrong medication (tests showed later that I was unable to metabolize it) and it was causing me to have panic attacks (something I had never experienced before and never want to again). I was terrified. I wasn’t going to go to work that day as I was scared to even drive my car, so I called my mom. She had just gotten back from a trip and it was supposed to be her first day back to work after an extended leave.
I told her, “I need you to come and spend the day with me.” Was this hard for me? Yes. Could I remember the last time I said those words? No. But, I knew that day that I needed help. Now, these are some extreme circumstances, but maybe if I would have learned to ask for help earlier on, I wouldn’t have found myself in that place.
My mom came through for me. Not only did she stay with me that day, but the next day too, and went to the doctor with me. This didn’t just help me out that day, but it also slowly showed me that I could count on people to show up for me, even if it wasn’t the most convenient for them. It gave me the ability to start trusting people.
Asking for help is all about swallowing our pride, maybe showing a bit of humility, but ultimately we need to, because we need each other. The Bible encourages us to humble ourselves to gain wisdom.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2
This time of year can begin to feel like we’re all spinning a bit out of control. I encourage everyone to try and make things a little easier on themselves. Think about your to-do list and really ask yourself if every single item needs to be done? If yes, consider asking someone for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed (like most of us are). If you’re not – please comment below and share with our readers what you do to keep life in balance!
Blessings to you and your families,