Why is asking for help so hard? Why is receiving help hard? Why does it feel scary? I often think of my three year old. He doesn't ever want help and if you try to help him he will scream in your face, "I do it myself." He says it with such spirit and certainty. But when he ends up needing help because he can't always do it himself he will ask for help with no fear. He has such an honest confident spirit and I am grateful for that. Kids are great teachers. They remind you of what its like to be innocent and how easy it can be to ask for help if you just do it.
I’m in a season of change. I have a new baby and sometimes he cries a lot. He won’t settle and screams in my face for long periods of times. This happened to me the other day when I took the time to get all the kids in the car and drove to Providence for a bible study. I got there and he seemed happy and then as soon as we began he fussed a lot. He wouldn’t let me sit down. So I am pacing the back of the room trying to figure out what book of the bible this guy on the video is talking about. Trying to understand what’s going on. I took him outside and he calmed down I was hoping he might fall asleep he seemed so tired. But no, he continued. One of my friends came out and took him from me, she often does that without me asking her to and it is such a relief. Why can't I just ask her in the first place?
Our routine is go to bible study then Whole Foods. The kids were very excited about Whole Foods and I was excited about it, it's like Candyland for people with diet restrictions. I was telling my friends that all I really really wanted to do was go to Whole Foods. My friend said, “Just go Carrie, I can watch them.” I thought no no no… It’s too much, what if he cries the whole time? Does she really want to watch them or is she just offering to be nice? Would I offer? I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. But she persisted, I said YES and took off, I didn’t want to look back because I knew I would make some excuse not to go.
I got to go ALONE to the grocery store. Part of me was super excited but a lot of me was worried about not upsetting my friends that are helping me out. I wanted to make sure to be back by a certain time so I wouldn’t upset them. Well I was 30 minutes after the time I had hoped I would get back. I was all flustered and worried as I pulled into the parking lot of the church. I apologized to all of them profusely. I felt so bad. I couldn’t stop feeling anxious about it. I hurried my kids out as fast as I could and just sat in the car feeling so terrible. Telling myself why didn’t I just get back quicker like I was hoping to. What if they are upset with me? Did they seem upset with me? They seemed happy but were they truly happy or just being nice?
I called my husband to tell him what happened. He said, “Carrie stop. They wouldn’t have offered to help you if they didn’t want to. So if they are upset that’s on them.” I couldn’t help but shake the worry and fear of what they thought. But I knew my husband was right.
After processing and thinking about it, I have had trouble with this my whole life. Scared of vulnerability. Scared of what people think. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. I don’t feel worthy of love. I think that’s the root of it. I don’t feel worthy of people helping me, I don’t feel worthy of sharing my heartache or my troubles. I feel like I have to be strong to support other people, and my issues are not worth anyone’s time. When I do help someone or help out with a project, I then go to the ends earth to make it perfect, nervous again about what people are going to say about me. Making it perfect so that nothing bad is ever said. But then that drives me into overload crazy lady mode, where I am not nice to my family.
Lets be honest, people talk and not always nicely about others and its time to let the fear of what people think go. Some people aren’t going to like you, or appreciate you or support what you do. When you are trying to make sure everyone likes you, acting like you are good, you don’t need help, something is wrong. When you are worrying about what other people think all the time, pressure builds up inside you and you have more to contend with everyday. If you let that pressure go, be vulnerable and honest with yourself and with others, it’s a whole new world. A weight lifts from your shoulders. You are able to ask for help, and receive help with no fear or shame. It’s easier said than done, I still have a really hard time with it. But it sounds so amazing, because I think I didn't really get to enjoy my one time trip to the grocery store alone
If someone offers you help I want to encourage you to take the help. Say yes because firstly, you probably really need the help. Secondly, you are letting someone else know you too struggle sometimes and they are not alone. People do want to help others. Sometimes we don’t know how to talk to each other or what to offer as help, but we do want to do something, anything to help. So be brave and make a few suggestions of things that you need help with, or think of some things to offer if your trying to help someone out. Remind yourself none of us can do this alone. We can try to do it all, but it doesn’t end well. Show weakness, humble yourself. It’s so scary, but I promise you it’s worth it.