Why do I find asking for help so difficult?
I returned home from hospital from an emergency appendix that had turned gangrene and that needed to be removed, fast. But just because I was home it didn’t mean I was back to the usual, run around mumma that I was prior to surgery. I needed to rest and recover and that meant I needed help from friends to do the everyday tasks that suddenly looked like insurmountable mountains.
The pain from the op and the exhaustion from the anesthetic hung over me like a gloomy, rainy day and just confirmed, against my will, that I was not leaving my house for a few days.
How the hell was I going to ask anyone for help?
And why was it so darn hard for me to whisper such an easy line: “Hello my friend, please can you help me?”
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE helping people. It’s my thing. The kick that I get from helping others fills my heart like nothing else. I feel like an excited kid on Christmas day when I have experienced the joy of giving myself in service.
But asking for help, that’s something I truly battle with.
Am I too proud to ask for help?
Do I think too highly of myself that I am able to help others but not receive help in return?
Do I not want to be an inconvenience to others by asking for their help?
Life can be hard enough as it is, the last thing I would want to do is burden a friend with my requests.
The reality is that asking for help makes us vulnerable. It confirms that we are not independent and that we need one another. Asking for help makes us open to rejection if our requests go unanswered.
Goodness gracious! What if they say no?
Asking For Help Paves the Way to Beautiful Friendships
Our greatest need as a human being is to be loved and to belong. This connection to others gives meaning to our lives. It gives us a sense of self worth and what we all crave is to be loved up close and to be truly known by a small group of trusted friends (versus being loved from far, by many).
Asking for help opens the door to true, authentic and deeper friendships. When we swallow our pride (one of the 7 deadly sins) and ask for help, we are indirectly saying: “…of all the people in my circle, I am asking YOU for help. You are a trusted and valued friend.” These unspoken words are a validation of a trusted relationship and an opportunity for the recipient to respond and show exactly how much you equally mean to them.
To Be Helped, You Must First Ask For Help
Matthew 7:7 tells us: “”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Each of these requires us to take action first. Each of these requires us to leave our ego at the door, to swallow our pride and to humble ourselves to others first. And when do, we will receive the joy of a reactive response of love.
The Circle of A Joy-Filled Life: How the Helper Becomes the Helped
None of us are perfect. No matter what filters we use on social media to make ourselves look good and our lives enviable, we will never escape the clutches of the reality of life: that the wheel always turns full circle. The strong will eventually become weak and the care-giver becomes the one cared-for. This law of nature is here to ultimately make us live in community, to love one another and to care for each other. It exists to enable us to experience the joy of giving but equally of receiving. It exists make us better people.
Asking For Help Gives People Permission To Love Us
So I had a good cry. I allowed myself 5 minutes only of self-pity that I was even in this post-op situation at all and then I picked up the phone and whispered the words I dreaded: “Hello my friend, please can you help me?”
Ironically the first person I asked for help, genuinely couldn’t help that day due to work commitments but she responded with such love, that it gave me the confidence to ask a few other close friends for help too.
The response was overwhelming.
I had friends doing double school runs so that my kids didn’t have to wait at school while their kids did extra curriculars.
I had meals dropped off with inspirational notes.
I had friends who did grocery shopping.
Others dropped off flowers.
A seriously special friend went out of her way to learn how to make my favourite ice cream AND Biltong (coz I am a Saffer after all so if Biltong doesn’t make you feel better then what on earth will???) I MEAN WHO DOES THAT!?!?!?
I had people popping in for tea and others that lent me their favorite books and magazines to keep me entertained.
Those that couldn’t physically arrive at my house continued to send messages of love and support.
Without a doubt my heart feels fuller and my friendships feel deeper all because I was able to say the words: “please help me?”
It Is Not The Weak That Ask For Help, But The Strong
Asking for help does not come naturally to me and is developmental area that I need to keep working on, but I do know with every fiber in my being that it is not the weak that ask for help, but the strong. It takes courage to leave our ego at the door and to ask people to serve us with their love. People genuinely have so much love to give and are just waiting for the permission and opportunity to give it.
Do you have trouble asking for help? What’s holding you back? Take my word for it, asking for help will be the best thing you ever do. Go on. Be courageous. Be vulnerable and give it a try. If not for your sake, do it for those who love you and are just waiting for the opportunity to show you just how much you mean to them.