I’ve always been acutely aware of people’s hesitation to ask for help especially among mothers. There’s this weird pride that seems to come forward when facing the beautiful truth that sometimes we just can’t do it all. But recently, I’ve really noticed the shame that seems to accompany needing help.
When are women (and specifically mothers) going see the beauty that comes from asking for help?
The shame and embarrassment is unnecessary. The pride in believing you can handle it all is a foggy veil that many see through. The hindrance you think you are on others is false. The fear of rejection is strong but wrong. Everyone loves to help!
For years I found my value in helping people and specifically in “fixing” people. That’s why I dated the “broken” ones and attracted people/friends who were always stuck in negative patterns and habits. It’s also why I don’t feel like I connect with men anymore. I’m not having deep, meaningful conversations with them to help them through anything like I used to with my buddies in high school and college. Nor am I dating them and connecting on that level so as a married woman it’s been an interesting insecurity to work through.
I remember going to BC with my two soul sisters a couple years ago and while lounging by the pool with the only other family there, the wife and I got chatting and she spent the next hour telling me how she was cheating on her husband with a married man and how she wanted to leave but the husband was determined to make it work. It was a pretty intense conversation between two strangers. But my whole life has been like that: people feel comfortable with me. My curious nature probably doesn’t help because I’m the type to ask the questions that are intrusive and probing to get the real root of an issue. I like to help but I’ve definitely learned to establish boundaries.
Knowing the joy and sense of worth I’ve gotten in being a helper has allowed me to set aside my fears and ask for help when I need it now.
I have made it a practice to ask for what I need from those who love me best. Instead of getting overwhelmed and bombarded with day-to-day life, I’ve learned to delegate and seek help from friends and family. When my anxiety or depression surfaces I have almost no reservations about asking for help and more, I’ve even asked my friends to tell me what they love about me on one occasion! That request was originally for book content but I soon realized it was also an amazing pick me up on the days I could barely peel myself off the ground. I encourage you all to reach out to friends and ask them what one thing they love about you is. I entered all mine to a word document with bold, funky font and printed it out to look at on the bad days. I’ve even saved it in my computer as “the bad day pick me up.”
When I began planning my fertility empowerment workshop I posted a Facebook request for donations for the swag bags I wanted to offer. The response was humbling, beautiful and incredible! SO many people stepped forward, most complete strangers, to say, “Yes, I want to help and here’s what I can contribute.” If given the chance to shine, most people will take it.
It’s easy to think you need to do it all yourself. In fact, I believe a common thought is that we need to be “supermoms” or “bossbabes” all the time. There is no shame in asking for help. Whether it’s help at home, at work or within your relationships, asking is a sign of strength that honours personal boundaries and the limits we reach. I am only one person and while I love organized lists and planning, I can get overwhelmed with the balls I’m juggling. A few weeks ago I was struggling with some anxiety about my charity and didn’t ask for the help I needed. I choose to suffer through false thoughts and feelings instead. If I had of just told my board members where my head was at and how I was feeling, I would’ve saved myself a lot of unnecessary anxiety. When I finally talked to them about it they all assured me that everything was okay and they would tackle some of the issues I was feeling overwhelmed by. I felt exponentially better. I literally prolonged my anxiety because my pride and anxiety wouldn’t allow me to ask for help!
Despite the daily portrayal of drudgery, greed and hate within the media people are inherently good. There’s no better way to feel good about yourself and your actions than to help someone else. One of the motivations for continuing this blog during some of my darkest times was the knowledge that I was relating to some other women suffering and that in some small way, I was helping. There’s profound pride in helping others. There’s also a sense of healing that comes from the distraction of helping others when you can’t help yourself. By shifting your focus to helping others, you inadvertently help yourself at the same time. It’s a beautiful exchange of energy.
When I’m having a bad day or need the support of friends, I won’t think twice to send a text or a make a call to ask someone to pray for me or send me love as I navigate something uncomfortable. NO ONE has ever said, “no I won’t support you right now Kelsey.” Friends are amazing for doubling joys and making life brighter but they’re also necessary for halving our sorrows and taking the small bits of darkness for us so we may find the light again. Friendship is about all messiness and all the goodness. It’s better and deeper when it’s real. Think of how artificial a friendship would be if you could never share your worries or be vulnerable? It’s pretty superficial to always be putting your best face on when we all know, we can’t wear that face all the time. A friendship or relationship isn’t true if you think you’re annoying them or a hindrance to him/her when you ask for help. Most friends will be there in a heartbeat in whatever capacity possible.
Helping is an innate part of human nature. Give your friend or loved one the chance to give you that help.
I hope that when our baby arrives in September I’ll feel even more confident to ask for help when it’s needed. With only one family member in SK, I know we will most likely need it. But I love seeing the exchange between people helping. I love seeing the value of helping one another. I love seeing women be real and declare their humanness and vulnerability. I love helping and I love being helped. Don’t let Fear stand in the way of this beauty of humanity and Love. Let Love win.
United we rise,