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The Problem With Not Asking
Hi, my name is Bertice and I have a hard time asking for help (Hi, Bertice.) Okay, now we can start the meeting.
Asking for help has not been my forte. I am the daughter of a very proud woman. My mother would go hungry before she would ask for food.
I am not hungry; far from it. But during the last four years of my life, probability has stepped in and I have experienced more illness and injuries than I have all the years before.
I am not bothered by this. I have not asked "why me" because I know the answer; I was due.
Prior to now, my life has been practically free of illness. Recently though, I have had to deal with a head injury, and a bunch of other trying things, but I am still very healthy. I have no chronic disease and everything I’ve had to endure is reversible.
Still, I have a hard time being sick, slow or in need of help. Old injuries re-injure so I have to endure the business of a big boot on a foot that has not healed.
My children don’t understand the concept of me needing to sit down, because well, I have not sat down.
This week, when I went to buy groceries, my daughter insisted that I ride the little hover-round cart that the grocery store provides. (She also insisted that I stay in the car, but let’s just deal with the cart thing.)
I didn’t want to use the cart, but a torn tendon hurts so after a painful limp through produce I complied.
The cart was difficult to drive and I kept backing into things, but I quickly noticed something that I would not have on two feet; when asked, most folks are quick to help.
Now, I know I live in the place where hospitality was born, but still, I was amazed by how folks would run to help even before I asked for it.
People engaged me in conversation and reached for items I had only looked at. Children smiled at me, as if to say, “Hey you have a stroller too.”
The folks who work in my grocery store asked what had happened and then told me that they would be praying for me, while strangers shared stories of their time in the boot and the cart.
My daughter took charge in ways I had not allowed and I laughed at my own ignorance.
More than one person offered to help to carry our groceries to the car and I quickly realized that maybe the problem is not getting help, but asking for it.
So I need your help with something. This week, I’d like you to join me in an experiment in making the world more beautiful. I’d like you to ask for help.
Ask someone to assist on something you need help with. Ask for directions, or for guidance. Ask someone to share a story or to sing you a song. (Okay, make sure that last one is from someone you know.) Ask for a hug or a joke or a designated driver before you start drinking.
Ask for advice, peace, wisdom and joy.
Maybe it’s not that we don’t love each other; but that we don’t ask for, expect, or wait for the love we need.
I’m just a student in this thing called life, asking you for a little help in living it.
Be you, be well, be vulnerable.
I love you,
Bertice Berry, PhD.