Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.
Ask For Help
Far too often I find myself talking with people who are overwhelmed because their life has turned temporarily chaotic and they do not stop to ask for help. Frequently, it’s because they think they ‘should’ be able to handle it and asking for help feel like a weakness. Other times it is because they don’t want to ‘bother’ people.
The phrase “It takes a village” is an African proverb speaking to the concept that an entire village is involved in the rearing of its children. I think this phrase is appropriate for life as a whole… sometimes, just getting through major life stressors – takes a village. When a catastrophe happens, it takes a village. When an illness strikes, it takes a village. When a move is imminent, it takes a village.
And yet, we tend to deny ourselves the village support by not asking for help.
If you are in the middle of a major challenge and someone says “let me know if you need anything” – let them know! If they were just being polite they can assume responsibility for setting their own boundaries. I find that generally, people mean it when they offer help and are happy to provide assistance. When life takes a disastrous turn, it’s hard enough to maintain the simple elements of our daily routine and personal composure, let alone managing the major responsibilities of daily living.
Sometimes, life’s challenges are minor and mostly a nuisance. Your furnace goes out on a day when you have an important meeting… You get stuck in a traffic jam and can’t get home in time for the school bus… You have a family emergency in the middle of the night… All of these experiences are unpredictable and mostly out of our control. In those moments, it’s imperative that we reach out to those people in our village to fill in the gap.
In an era where people are much more transient that ever before in history, it’s important to recognize that many of us don’t have family down the street or around the corner. Our ‘village’ takes on a different identity than we may have imagined. It becomes our neighbors, our children’s friends parents, our co-workers, or our church family. Remember too… it takes being a friend to have a friend who steps up when you need a hand although, it may not be the ‘same’ friend. Karma doesn’t travel in a liner line.
Remember, it’s not just about building the village – it’s about USING the village and making sure that when you need to, you…
Ask for help.
Listen to me on Try This at Home – a series of conversations about making life better.
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