|You don't have to go it alone|
Asking for Help
If you are always soliciting the aide of your friends and your life is the result of their work, then sorry today’s post really isn’t for you.
Today, I’m talking to those, “I’ll get it myself” people. You know who you are. You are the ones who get up early and go to bed late trying to do just one more thing all by yourself.
Bill Whithers said it better than I ever could, “Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But if you are wise you’ll know that there is always tomorrow.” Bill’s wisdom does not stop there; he goes to tell us that we all need somebody to lean on.
Yesterday, I was reminded of how beautiful and wonderful those words are.
I am in Southern California. I’m here for work and folks who know me know that I don’t use a job as a way of hanging out with friends. I’ve got beautiful folks all over the world but when I’m in their home town on an assignment, I slip into town and then off to the next. I love all of my peeps, but I also appreciate that people fly me in to speak to them and their needs and their faith in me deserves my full attention.
I’ve been dealing with tinnitus and trying to find relief. I’ve taken all of the steps to get help, but nothing was working. My friend, Adri the beautiful has been on me to visit her father’s doctor, Dr. Shohet and Cheryl the audiologist on their team. Adri has a full life of family, work and community and I wondered how she had the time to think of me. For some old deep-seated reason, I kept on moving, ignoring the help that had been offered.
Sometimes we have no other choice than to take the hand that is offered. So yesterday, I got over my inability to accept the “hand-out” which by the way was never meant to be a bad term and accepted Adri’s offer to drive a hour and a half to pick me up, take me to the doctor, feed me lunch and allow me to teach her beautiful son how to make and play in water balloons.
Being cared for this way is not my style and now I’m wondering what’s wrong with me. Why do I feel guilty when Jeanine drives my kid all over creation when I’m out of town? Why is it that when I come home to fresh flowers and a room that has been sanitized by the world’s best worker, my sister Chris do I feel that I don’t deserve it? And why would I feel like I was imposing when Cheryl and Dr. Shohet agreed to fit me into their already crammed schedule?
I’m sure that I am not alone in this. In fact, most of you reading this are the same way. We are fine with doing for others but when it comes to ourselves; we have a hard time accepting the deserved help.
My mother was a very proud woman; so proud that she would actually go hungry before asking for help. I understood her motives for this. The few times she did reach out for assistance, she was laughed at and put down for having “all them kids.”
Once when we literally had no food, my mother asked a relative for assistance. She sent my sister Tanya and I to get lunch assuming that we would not be turned away. The trip to the relative’s house was quite a ways, but we tried to make it into an adventure. When we got there, the relatives asked why we were there and how we had come so far. There was no offer for food or even water; instead, we were told that we and all of my mother’s children would never amount to anything.
I grabbed my baby sister by the hand and went back home. On the way, I made up stories about all of the different kinds of food we’d eat one day and then I told Tanya to tell our mom that we were treated well.
We went home hungry and that day I vowed that I would always make it on my own. “I will be something one day,” I told myself, “and I won’t need anybody’s help.”
Please know that I understand it when you folks have a hard time asking for help, but today, let go of the vows you made out of pain and open your heart and hand to receive the assistance you need and deserve.
Yesterday, I not only got the help I needed, I got the love lesson I deserved.
We all need somebody to lean on.
Be you, be well, be receptive.
Bertice Berry, PhD.