I have been a leader since I was a kid. I was the youth representative on a number of boards as a high school student, and was put in charge of a diocesan program at age 18. Throughout my life, I’ve always been seen as strong and independent. Which often worked just fine for me.
But there have been times in my life when my life has gotten to be too much. And what I found out is that being a strong, independent woman did not prepare me to ask for help. And even more disheartening, when I finally screwed up the courage to ask for help, people didn’t believe I really needed it. I got minimal help, even when I asked for it.
And so, over the past decade, I have been working on sharing my needs more, asking for help more, building a support system of people who could hear me when I said, “Help,” people who would encourage me to say,”Help” and people who would help when called.
These friends and groups and colleagues have been a lifeline to me during the chaos and change of this pandemic. Receiving help has actually kept me strong. It has supported me in thinking independently.
So…how about you?
What do other people think about you? Are they able to respond to your asks for help and companionship?
What do you think about yourself? Can you ask for help and companionship?
I say this a lot: We are in this for the long haul.
If you don’t yet have a cadre of friends and companions who can hear your call for help, and who can respond meaningfully — make that a priority for the coming months.
Re-connect with those you care about.
Model vulnerability with one another.
It is good to be strong. It is also good to be helped.