One of Life’s Most Difficult Questions
By: Katy Martin, LPC
I had to do something today that was difficult.
I had to ask for help.
Our basement is getting refinished and, ideally, the new rooms need to be painted before it can be completely done. My husband is in an extremely busy time at work, traveling a lot, and I’m pregnant: we need some help.
No, this isn’t life altering. No, I’m not asking for a kidney or something major.
But we are legitimately in a season where we could use some help. And it wasn’t fun to ask for something I feel like I should be able to handle on my own.
I know I’m not alone in this. How often in life do we find it difficult to ask for help?
I think one of two things is sometimes happening:
1. We are too prideful. We don’t want to admit our need. Asking for help puts at risk of being rejected.
2. We are so used to our circumstances, pain, emotions, or ways of thinking that we don’t realize we even have a need that could be met. We build a tolerance, not realizing that someone could ease our burden, take our burden, or that we don’t have to be alone.
The trouble is that a lot of times no one else knows we need help. We’re all busy going about our own lives, trying to survive, unaware of needs around us. When it comes down to it, we have to admit our need to ourselves and make a step to invite someone in.
Sounds easy, right?
No, it’s not that easy. It’s a risk to invite someone in to help. It’s a risk to admit that we don’t have it all together or that we can’t handle everything. It’s a risk to be that vulnerable. Our own stories of trust and mistrust keep us from opening up to others and/or skew our expectations.
It’s important to know whom you can trust and how to find appropriate avenues of care. If it’s a difficult family member or friend who has hurt you, they might not be your best bet. We have to identify people to be a part of our “team” as we do life. Some times it means locating a counselor, pastor, or professional who can help you either in the situation or in identifying your “team.” This can be a difficult process if you have experienced hurt by others or if the burden/situation/emotions are a major part of your life.
In the end, it’s worth the risk. Sure, it’s safer to stay protected and not hear rejection or feel our pride raging. However, inviting someone in can be a huge blessing just by being a part of your life and also by easing your burden or pain.
Today I awkwardly asked my friend to help us paint our basement. She enthusiastically agreed to help, leaving me feeling blessed by her willingness and feeling hopeful about the work finally ending on our house. Worth the risk? Yes. Good practice for the bigger trials in life? Definitely. We have to start somewhere.