We fear needing others so we resist asking for help.
But the ability to be vulnerable enough to acknowledge that we can't do it alone, that we truly are in this together and receive from friends as graciously as we give creates a rich exchange and connection that living with
walls up keeps at bay.
The night before John died, I had a jam-packed day going from one appointment and meeting to the next. John was in Kentucky so the usual million little things he did to make my life easier and keep our home functioning was all on me. Realizing I was going to be home much later than anticipated, I called the woman who cleaned for us and asked for her help in caring for the cats. I actually said to her I don't know how John does it all. I don't know what I would do without him. I couldn't do it! He spoils me and I know it. Hell! I haven't been in a grocery store and months and dread the thought that I have to stop in Walmart to get ink cartridges on my way home. And I thanked her for her help.
I would have to learn to ask! ask! ask! and receive as I know I cannot do it alone and thankfully, I don't have to. None of us has to go it alone. Over the last 2 years, I am clear that I get by with a little help from my friends AND they get by with a little help from me. This connection, this dance is sacred and I feel nothing but gratitude for all who grace my life through friendship.
This morning, I am preparing to leave for a trip that wouldn't be possible without the Cat Nanny and house sitter, the neighbor boy who will haul my trash to the curb, the emergency contacts that are on my list in case anything happens with the house or to the cats in my absence.
I used to believe that being a strong woman meant not needing anyone and not asking for help; but I have come to see there is a fierce strength in asking for and accepting the help of others. It was a false sense of empowerment that fostered the belief that I could help everyone but having personal needs was a sign of weakness. I am an independent woman who can stand on her own two feet AND I have needs. Both is true.
I invite you to give thanks to all the friends who help to enrich your life day in and day out. Look them in the eye and say thank you! for all they give to you (listening to you, celebrating your victories, laughing at stuff only friends get, standing with you through it all and so on) or text or email or hand write a note. Let the walls come down and allow yourself to have needs. Let others nourish you as you nourish them. And if you simply cannot allow this exchange, sit with that and tell yourself the truth as to why - learn, discover and grow. Take a pause and see that you haven't been doing it all alone anyway and have a good laugh at this absurd notion.
FRIENDS: for a reason, a season, or a lifetime...THANK YOU ALL!