“A healthier way of thinking and acting is to allow yourself to receive the help and love you need. You weren’t designed to live alone. You have limitations on your strength and abilities.”
– Michael Barbarulo
As some of you know from my previous posts, I have just spent the past month or so in the moving process. What a hassle that was (and still is). Now, granted, I did most of it myself – the packing, the address changes, the phone/tv switches, etc. – but when it came time to actually move…well, my weak little arms can’t carry beds and bookshelves and curio cabinets and whatnot. So, I had to do something that tends to be a little difficult for me. I had to ask for help. Seems simple enough, right? People need help moving all the time. No biggie.
Oh my lordy, does this chick hate to ask for help.
It has been that way ever since I was a little girl. I have always been so incredibly determined to do things myself. One of my favorite stories to hear about my childhood is the one my grandmother tells about my first big acting debut. I was a whole three years old and was getting ready to go onstage for my one big line in the church play. (The line that I had begged to be given, by the way. I insisted that I was big enough to have a speaking part, so they conceded and let me have my way.) So, as part of the last-minute coaching my nervous grandmother was giving me just before the show, I was told to look to the left and Miss So-and-so (the name escapes me) would be standing in the wings to whisper my line to me if I forgot it. My grandma says that, upon hearing this, I stood up straight in all my three-year-old glory, put my little hand on my hip, and, filled with shock that the woman would have the nerve even suggest such a thing, I calmly and proudly announced to her and all who would listen:
“If I forget my line, I’ll tell myself.”
Ha! Oh, how I love that story. What spunk! What confidence!
What a brat.
Well, I’m here to tell ya – not much has changed. Not much at all. Why I insist on being so full of myself, I’ll never know.
So, fast forward about 32 years, and here I was getting ready to move. Again. And as much as I’d have liked to have thrown my little hand on my hip and announced to the world that I didn’t need anyone’s help…sadly, that was not the case. So, in come my boyfriend and dad to save the day.
Awww. Aren’t they just too cute?
I’m beyond grateful for their help, but it really has made me wonder why I have such trouble accepting it. Is it that I really am ‘full of myself’ like I mentioned earlier? Do I feel like there’s no need to bring in help because, in all my big-headedness, I think no one can do it like I can? Is it the whole “if you want the job done right, do it yourself” mentality?
I don’t know. Maybe.
But I don’t think that’s really it. Not at all actually.
Maybe to that little three-year-old, that’s what it was. But to this thirty-something-year-old? To her, it’s a little deeper than that.
It’s the fear of being a burden.
I absolutely hate to think that I’m causing someone trouble. That I’m taking time out of their life for something when they could be using that time for more important things. That, because of me, they were inconvenienced. It’s hard to break that mindset. It’s hard to not just go ahead and do things yourself rather than accepting the help that you need. And because of this, I end up being overwhelmed at times. I take on too many projects – too many tasks – because I won’t just ask someone to pitch in. And that’s silly really. And you know why that’s silly?
In the midst of the move, and of this whole mindset that I had going on, I mentioned to my boyfriend Richard that I was sorry to have to ask him to help. His response? “Sorry? Why are you sorry? I want to do this. I’m a helper.”
I’m a helper.
Hmmm. Have I ever really stopped to think about that? Has it ever once occurred to me that people actually like helping? That it makes them feel good? I feel good when I’m helping someone – why should I be the one to stand in the way of allowing someone else to have that feeling? To help someone is to show them that you care. That you love them.
Uh oh. I think I’m onto something here. Because you know what that means?
To accept help is to accept love.
Well, how about that. Maybe that’s the problem I’ve had all along? Maybe accepting love is a little scary? Yep. I think that’s probably it.
Yep. It sure is.
So, are you like me? I’m willing to bet you are. I think most of us are like that to an extent. Well, you know what? Stop it. Be brave. Next time someone offers to help you – let them. Really. Get that little hand off of that hip, and accept the gift they are wanting to give you. You know? Let go. Give them the opportunity to do what they want to do for you. Let yourself accept help.
Let yourself accept love.
Make just one someone happy,
And you will be happy, too.”