Help Is A Two-Way Street

linking with Five Minute Friday at katemotaung.com
Write for five minutes on a given prompt, which today is “help”

girl-1186895_640

As soon as I saw the prompt, a song came to mind:

“When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody’s help in any way.”

Of course it wasn’t really true, but it was how I acted: Miss Independent- that was me!

The feeling that I had to be strong for everyone else, combined with the defensive wall I’d built around myself, meant that I refused to ask for help no matter how much I needed it.

I was always quick to help other people, but if anyone offered to help me, I would brush them away.  I could handle life on my own…

“But now those days are gone, I’m not so self-assured.  Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.”

The start of the change was finding a group of good Christian friends for the first time- a group of people who genuinely cared, who would not accept my continual reassurances that I was fine, but who actually wanted to know how I really was.  I could feel the wall slowly beginning to come down.

The turning point came when a friend offered to help me one day.  I had been battling with illness and exhaustion, and with too many demands on my time.  Her offer to take a task off my hands was exactly what I needed.  It was the perfect offer of help.  But still my instinct was to say no.  I didn’t want to be a burden.

Fortunately I paused long enough to be able to think more clearly.  I had to admit that I was struggling to cope and her help was just what I needed.  It would have been foolish to refuse.

Also, I realised, I had helped her several times in the past and I had never considered her to be a burden.  It had been a pleasure to be able to help.  Why should it be any different when the roles were reversed?  The only reason was pride.

I like how Brene Brown expresses it: “Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”

The truth is help is a two-way street.  We all need help and we all need each other, and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask.

(I couldn’t find a good Beatles version of the song, but here’s one from Glee.)

 

 

 

Advertisements

31 thoughts on “Help Is A Two-Way Street

  1. the words to that song are so true aren’t they carly? especially “But now those days are gone, I’m not so self-assured. Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.”

    i’ve learned this about help as well…the hard way:( loved your post. i’m nearby at 46

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carly, such good words here. I’ve been the one refusing help. I have discovered I especially do this when someone has hurt me. I don’t want to invite them in. But sometimes, it’s the inviting them in that begins the reconciliation of hearts.

    I’ve also worried about “being a burden” to others, and I’ve chosen not to ask for help. Often times, I think others want to help, but they’re not sure if they should offer. When we say yes to an offer, or when we ask, doors and hearts are opened. 🙂

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true that accepting or asking for help is inviting people in and it’s not always easy to do, especially if we have been hurt by them, but I agree, people usually want to help and it does open the door to a deeper relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So much THIS:”Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.” I love me some Brene Brown. Oh and Glee….love it! I’m in the 5 spot this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true! I learned this lesson in college when my roommate bought me kleenex and cough drops when I had a cold… I offered to pay her back and she told me, “No, you can’t learn to give until you can graciously receive.” That song came to my head, too, when I read the prompt! I hear the dc Talk version in my head 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely, lovely read!
    Yes sometimes we need help at other times others need help…it is two way my dear friend.
    Thank you so much, Carly.
    God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love how you thought about your own joys felt when helping someone, Carly. This is a great thing to focus on and it truly shows why we need to let others help us as well. It’s definitely a beautiful two-way street. Thank you for this encouraging reminder. I struggle with asking for help too and this is a great mind shift :).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Candace. It totally changed the way I looked at it to see that we give others joy in letting them help. It’s still not always easy but it does help.

      Like

  7. I LOVE that Brene quote!! (She’s so great, isn’t she?) I’m pretty stubborn and independent, too, but it’s a gift to let others take care of us! I’m glad God put people on your path to take care of you too, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I thought of this song, too!

    Isn’t funny how we always think we’re a burden when we don’t see others that way? I know I feel this way often, especially sick I’m chronically ill. Thanks for reminding me that it’s okay to ask for help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s strange that we see it differently depending on whether we’re giving or receiving help. I still have to remind myself as well that it is okay to ask.

      Like

  9. ‘The start of the change was finding a group of good Christian friends for the first time- a group of people who genuinely cared…’
    so very true that the antidote for independence and self-protection is finding genuine care and concern. Thanks for your post, Carly. Great, as always.
    Kath

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Carly, I love this: “Also, I realised, I had helped her several times in the past and I had never considered her to be a burden. It had been a pleasure to be able to help. Why should it be any different when the roles were reversed? The only reason was pride.” You nailed it with pride. And our pride builds walls and walls obstruct relationships. Thank you for this! I am thankful for your words and the opportunity to stop by from FMF. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Shauna. Yes, pride builds huge walls that are obstructive and destructive. So important to recognise that and tear them down. Blessings to you too!

      Like

  11. Carly I was Miss and Mrs. Independent too. i am learning that’s not good when you are married to a servant spirit. He likes to help and I’ve learned to ask for help.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s