I had to remind myself what I shared with my clients when they came into therapy. I said, “It is a sign of strength when you ask for help.” Why doesn’t it feel like I am strong when I ask for help? In some instances, I have felt weak, embarrassed and even shameful that I didn’t know how to do something or figure something out on my own and was forced to ask for help.
I asked myself some questions:
- Is it my pride that I think I should know how to do things or figure things out on my own?
- Am I afraid of feeling vulnerable?
- Am I afraid of being judged or looking stupid?
- Do I think I am bothering someone if I ask for help?
If I believe it’s a weakness, of course, I don’t want to ask for help. Who wants to feel weak? If someone asks me for help, I feel honored to share my experience. If for some reason I cannot help them, I am free to tell them that and direct them to someone who can help them.
It is an old belief that no longer serves me when I am unable to ask for help when I need it. Not only am I depriving myself of what I need and I will suffer needlessly, but I am depriving another of helping me and sharing their experience. Of course, we all want to figure things out on our own because it feels good. But, sometimes we just need to swallow our pride and ask for help.
I had an opportunity to ask for help this week from my daughter, Mary, who is staying with us for several weeks. For years, Mary has been health conscious and has tried to share her wisdom with me, but unfortunately, I wasn’t open until now. It felt humbling and vulnerable asking for help after being so resistant for so many years. Here is what happened:
I had my follow-up appointment with my primary care doctor this week and wasn’t expecting new information about my health since the plan was to wait a few months before taking another blood test to see if my platelets were back to normal and inflammation gone. A new piece to the puzzle of why I have inflammation was revealed and for this, I am grateful.
Since I was feeling so much better after following the anti-inflammatory diet and not eating sugar for the last 2 months, I was very surprised when the doctor shared the test results that were taken at last visit.
Since I wasn’t expecting the tests results to be a bacterial infection in my gut, I felt like I was knocked off my horse and felt very overwhelmed on how to proceed. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and probiotics to follow-up with.
Mary and I were eating breakfast when I had my “melt down” and shared with her how overwhelmed I felt and asked for her help. She was so compassionate and loving and told me exactly what I needed to do to get rid of the bacteria/infection in my gut. She also shared how important it was that when I finished the antibiotic, l have no sugar, including fruit for a week. She not only told me what I needed to do, she said “I will cook for you to make sure you have nothing with sugar in it.” How much better does it get than this? Instead of feeling overwhelmed as I had been feeling, I felt grateful, relieved and so loved.
Mary is my coach and I will eat whatever she tells me to eat and not to eat because my health is important. This change of attitude and my willingness to follow the plan truly is God’s grace and a miracle for me. I am humbled and grateful that she is here to guide and support me. I shared in a past blog that Mary and Herbie were volunteering and staying at a bee farm for 2 weeks. This fell through at the last minute, so they are here with us for these 2 weeks.
I truly see God’s hand and perfect timing in this since Mary is present and willing to help me when I needed her the most. I have changed my thinking and know without a doubt that asking for help is a strength, and not a weakness.
How about you? Are you able to ask for help when you need it? We are not meant to suffer alone, we need one another on this journey of life.
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