Sunday, October 13, 2013

Asking for Help

Since I injured my ankle, my mobility has been limited, so yes, on occasion I need help.

But I'm the type of person that doesn't want to ask for help unless I absolutely need it.

So it's been suggested by several people that perhaps my injury occurred so that I would learn to ask for help.

I've considered that. And yes, I've asked for help when needed. And I've been chastised for not asking for help more often, for making myself work harder than I had to struggling to accomplish certain tasks.

But here's the thing. I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps I've been conditioned to not ask for help.

Because the truth is that probably three-fourths of the time that I do ask for help, the assistance is granted begrudgingly. I've gotten comments about how I need to heal faster so I can do things myself. I've had multiple people visibly express frustration at my requests, complain about how much work they're doing for me. And if they do help, it's made very clear how much helping me is a burden on them, and how off-put they are by my request.

And here's the kicker: much of the time, these are the same people who have chastised me for not asking for help more often.

And I'm trying really hard to only ask for help when I absolutely need it. Can you imagine if I asked for more?

I feel like I'm in a lose-lose situation.

Don't ask for help = chastised for being stubborn & prideful
Ask for help = upset & burden those around me

So while part of me says that yes, maybe I could learn a lesson about depending on others, trusting others to help me, putting aside pride, etc. another part of me feels like I'm learning exactly the opposite. I'm learning that the more I depend on others, the more they see me as a burden.

This morning I had the thought that maybe the lesson to learn isn't mine at all. Maybe this happened so that others could learn a lesson about serving graciously, not judging someone if you haven't been in their position, and humbling yourself.

And maybe I can learn that lesson too, and make sure that when I am asked to help someone else in the future, I am doing so with kindness & mercy, with humility of spirit, with a gracious presence and a servant's heart.

Maybe there's more than one lesson to learn here.

1 comment:

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Yes it does seem to be that some of us are the helpers and some of us are usually in the role of needing the help. And it also seems that people don't often work well outside of their usual 'category'. It stinks sometimes. It really does. Being the person who is usually happy to help, I don't do too well with asking for help. And the times that I ask for help often end in frustration for being either annoyed by people who say they will help and then don't or saddened by the obvious fact that people often don't really want to have to help you- they just want to make sure you are there for them the next time they need help!
All of that said, I still think it's important to keep trying to get out of our usual roles and keep trying to learn to trust people over time. Eventually we will find a few gems we can rely on to one extent or another.

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