Do you think that the people and situations in your life get enough of you? That’s a heavy question, but one that you need to ask yourself.
In fact … we all do.
If you’re completely honest with yourself (yes, I mean REALLY honest), I’ll bet the answer is no.
If your answer is yes, I’d say you need to take ONE big gulp and ask a loved one to see if they agree and prepare yourself for some hard hitting truths!
You see, we tend to “take care of” people before we give them our time.
For example: as a mom you’ll often be so busy doing the laundry, making dinner, doing dishes, getting groceries, taxiing children to/from after school activities and so on that you end up not having the time to PLAY or RELAX.
Sure, your kids will be well fed, well taken care of and loved. Here’s the reality, you’re so busy trying to be Supermom that there’s no time for play or much one on one attention.
Where does your partner fit in there? Do you have time for them or are you just as sparsely available?
Fast-forward ten years, when you look back, what will you see?
- Will you have lots of wonderful memories of swinging with your child at the park or taking walks with your aging parent?
- Will you remember deep conversations with your partner?
- Will you look back and see all the little (and big) things that make life so sweet?
- Will you see how hard you worked?
- How many hours you spent doing chores?
- Will you see tons of stress, due to the fact that you’re spread thinner than phyllo dough?
Your friends, kids, partners, and family don’t want the phyllo dough version of you. Give them the Baklava! Truly taking care of them means giving more of you, which (time to be honest again) you can’t do if there’s nothing left to give.
We live in a world that is VASTLY different than it’s ever been.
It’s changing daily. Hourly. By the minute, really.
It’s a world that among other things, seems hellbent on automating everything and promotes the feeling that asking for or accepting help is for the weak.
Remember the “Glorification of Busy?”
So what the heck do we do? How in the world do we get to a place where we’re consistently giving the Baklava version of ourselves? Like the song says “I get by with a little help from my friends”…
AHHHH… help, huh? We’re so used to helping everyone else that we don’t often take it ourselves when it’s offered.
Time to be honest again .. When was the last time you let someone help you?
- When was the last time you asked a friend to come help you clean your house because you were just too overwhelmed?
- When was the last time you accepted an offer to run an errand for you or babysit?
- When have you felt strong enough to ask an old employer for a letter of recommendation?
When you ask for and accept help, you’re not weak. In fact, living in the world we live in, I’d say it takes a fair amount of strength to admit this one thing:
You can’t do it all.
Here’s the flip side of asking for or accepting help: when someone offers to help you, it’s usually because they genuinely want to. They want to lighten your load, make things a little easier for you. It shows that they care for you and your well-being.
“Hey, Jenny, you sounded so stressed out on the phone before. I know you have a lot to do; you’d said you needed to pick up a few things. I’ll be in town, why don’t you text me your grocery list and let me go to the store for you?”
- Do you say yes?
- Do you feel a sigh of relief that that’s one less thing to worry about and grateful to have such a good friend?
- Do you now have time to make memories or do something for yourself?
So many of us would say no. So many of us would consider it but .. yes, the but comes in, we’d ultimately turn down the offer due to the guilt that rises up in our mind of actually burdening someone else and our little voice starts nagging about the “weakness” we’d be admitting to.
Well, the plate is just as full as it was before and now you’re left wishing that you’d accepted the offer. So you end up just as stressed out, just as thinly spread, just as busy… PLUS now you’re kicking yourself because you could have had one less thing to think about, had you been able to say yes.
Tell me why you’d rather feel that way then let someone help you?
“If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.” ― Will Smith
On the flip side of this whole thing is the person that wanted to be there for you. I don’t know about you, but if I had a friend in need of help, I’d want to help! If she said, “no, thanks,” I’d be bummed out. People love to help, look at yourself… isn’t that what you do?
You take care of everyone and everything, don’t you?
We want to make life easier on others, most of us really do WANT to help, and it feels good. Helping others helps build our own self-esteem, self-confidence and promotes a feeling of satisfaction. So, when you turn away someone’s kindness, you’re not only shooting yourself in the foot, but you’re denying the other person the chance to feel good about helping someone they care for.
I challenge you to accept the next time someone tries to help you, whether it’s your partner, friend or neighbor to say ‘Yes.’ I think you’ll find that things are really a lot nicer “with a little help from your friends”.
You can feel good knowing that they really want to be there, they can feel good knowing that they’re part of allowing you to breathe a little easier.
Easier said than done, I know. But, it really is a WIN-WIN!
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens