Just Accept the Help
Picture this: I’ve been home all day with two children--both of who are under the age of two; my back killing me from lifting and carrying children all day; and, my husband was working late, so I had to do dinner time and bedtime solo. Suffice it to say, I was exhausted. It was no surprise when I fell asleep while I was putting my toddler to bed. When I woke up, I was groggy, grumpy and had an awful kink in my neck. All I wanted to do was have a nice hot bath and then crawl in my bed, but the pile of dishes and hurricane of toys loomed downstairs. I dragged myself down the stairs and ran into my husband who had just come home at the bottom step.
“Hi, honey. Why don’t you run yourself a bath and go to bed early, I’m sure you had a hard day, I’ll clean up down here”, were his first words to me before I could even say hello.
“Great, idea! You really love me!” Is what I should have said, but alas, I did not.
“I’m fine”, I grumbled.
“It’s not your mess, I’ll just do it”, and then I pushed passed him, sauntering to the dish pit.
I could see he was hurt and defeated, he was trying to love me and honour me and I SHUT HIM DOWN. Needless to say, that began an evening of quarreling that ended with me saying, “I should have just had a bath.”
“Yes, yes you should have”, he agreed.
How often have you heard yourself say these words, or have heard other people say this when you can clearly see they could benefit from a little help. Why do we do this to ourselves? When we need the most help, we isolate ourselves from the people we love the most. See, time and time again I have turned down many people’s offer to help; but, what I didn’t realize until recently was: my attempt to protect and safeguard my ego, was destroying the relationships around me.
By rejecting others offer to help, we reject their offer to love us and we reject them.
We all know how good it feels to help others, it’s incredibly rewarding to know that we have made someone’s day easier or brighter. When we reject that gift by saying I’m fine or I can do it on my own, we unwittingly steal that opportunity from them and steal the gift of their offer from ourselves too.
Why do we do this? Why do I do this?
I think it’s because I feel like I’m unworthy. I don’t deserve the help, I deserve to live in the situation I created for myself. I feel like I’m doing the other person a favour, saving them the trouble of making an effort on the behalf of someone who doesn’t deserve it.
I’m learning that I do deserve help and I am certain that you do too. And, everyone else around you deserves for you to accept the offer. When we reject help, it’s a LOSE-LOSE-LOSE situation. Nobody wins. You're still stuck in a situation you really could use help in. The giver feels bad that they can’t help you, and usually, everyone ends up crabby. When you accept help it’s a WIN-WIN-WIN situation. Your win: you receive the help you need. The giver wins: they get to use their gifts and talents to delight in someone they love. Those that you are serving win: getting assistance in what you’re doing means that you will have less on your plate and likely be less stressed, more productive, and overall a happier person.
I think it also actually shows a lot of strength to accept an offer for assistance--your own strength and the strength of the relationship you have with the person. It says to the other person, I trust you, I trust you enough to let you into this area of weakness, I trust you to see me vulnerable. It also says you have something good to offer, and I value you in my life. Vulnerability allows for intimacy to grow. It is through intimacy and trusting relationships that we create the framework for an environment for others to grow. It’s imperative for us to learn to accept help, and actually welcome it if we hope to help anyone else.
So this is what I’m working on right now. Welcoming the offers of help in my life. This blog post is actually a fruit of this effort. After a long day, with the kids fast asleep, I got up to start the dishes, and my husband stopped me, and said “I got this”, my first answer I’ll admit went something like this, “It’s ok, it’s not your mess”.
“No, I’ll do it. On one condition,” I was intrigued...“that you go upstairs and write. I really want you to be able to start your blog!”
This time, I gave a better answer.
“Great idea honey! You really love me!”