Last year, after mending a broken foot, I wrote about some of the overarching lessons learned through that experience, for which I created a charm bracelet as a physical reminder (October 2017 blog entry). There was a fourth lesson, probably the most difficult one for me. I've since added a charm for it.
The lesson was for accepting help. Even with a broken foot, I stubbornly refused to accept any help, at least at first. "No, I can do it! I've got it!" Until I realized just how exhausting trying to do everything myself--especially whilst injured and healing--truly was. And people seemed to genuinely WANT to help. They were everywhere: friends, neighbors, colleagues, and a surprising number of strangers. Many shared their own stories of having gone through something similar in the past. Each was an opportunity for real connection.
The fourth charm is an open heart with a wing in the interior. It symbolizes this connection between people--the helpers (Good Samaritans!) and the person being helped.
This was a tough lesson for me. It's seriously difficult to acknowledge that you need help, especially when you are accustomed to being the helper. I believe this is true for so many of us. We so value independence and believe we should be able to do everything on our own, to our own detriment. We refuse help when offered, believing that it makes us look weak. But what if the opposite is actually true? What if being able to acknowledge and accept that we may need some additional support instead makes us courageous, as well as affords an opportunity to connect with a fellow human being? And that it helps the helper just as much, to be of service to someone? Think about it--were the situation reversed, wouldn't most of us be willing to offer that very assistance?