Sometimes the loudest cries for help are silent.
~ Harlan Coben
When I had hip replacement surgery in 2015, I didn’t hesitate to ask for help. I live alone and knew I was going to need some assistance, especially pulling up the necessary compression socks since I wasn’t allowed to bend forward for several weeks. First, I asked a friend to coordinate a support team and she reached out to the names I gave her and set a schedule for them to take turns coming by to pull up my socks. I was in need and so I asked—it wasn’t until much later that I realized what a huge favor that was. People were driving across town to work up a sweat yanking those miserable socks up my tender and swollen leg. It took time and effort, it took friendship, it took a heart of service. No one complained and each asked what else they could do for me. This repeated in 2016 when I had the other hip replaced. And still no complaints, only offers of doing more.
Not one of those friends have had to ask me to do something similar; a few have asked me for less physical favors and I was grateful they asked and happy to support them. It isn’t quid pro quo. Giving is like money in the bank that someone will be there for you when you need it. The person you helped isn’t always the appropriate or available person at that time. It doesn’t matter because we are all connected. We are one. It also simply feels good to be of service to a sister human being. It’s so energizing and satisfying to help someone, isn’t it?
So why do so many of us deny others that experience by refusing to ask them for help?
“I just don’t want to ask for help.”
“I don’t want to bother anyone. I’ll get by.”
“I love to help people but I’d never ask for help.”
Do any of those sound familiar?
Asking is my superpower, and Brené Brown’s wisdom that shocked Oprah (make sure to watch the video below) might turn it into yours, too! Oh, and, remember gratitude has to coincide with asking…otherwise, it is simply needy, demanding or entitled rather than a strength. We’re not talking about taking advantage of people; we’re talking about asking for help when it is needed and appreciating it when we receive it.
Next time you could use a little help with something, what will you do? Please consider giving someone the opportunity that you’re probably given often, so they can feel all the goodness that comes with helping. As my favorite philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said, “Live, let live, and help live.”
President, The Zen Speaker
firstname.lastname@example.org | thezenspeaker.com
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