How do you feel about asking for help?
I recently realized I have used pride the keep people at a distance for a very long time. Because of this I have felt a lack of support despite being surrounded by amazing people. My explanation isn’t unusual, though not often spoken. I felt my flaws created too much vulnerability, revealed too much imperfection, too much brokenness to invest in building real relationship. Brokenness means someone somewhere has let us down and we aren’t going to allow that again. If I let people close and they saw my cracks some epic scene of ET doctors might swoop in and begin working on me. But the thing is pride, that lack of vulnerability hurts us, and it hurts others. If we refuse to let others see our personal needs, weaknesses, our faults and hurts; we project a mask (See The Compass MAP ‘Taking Off Our Masks’) or an unauthentic self- a lie. What is the cost of this deception?
With no weeknesses or faults or hurts visable, no one offers help. We isolate ourselves and become an island. No one can see that we need help. Perhaps even worse is the example this sets for others, including our children. The example is that we can ‘do everything ourselves’, ‘don’t need help, don’t want help’. So when those we care about are watching us, they compare themselves to us, accepting the lie as truth, and they wonder why they feel they are struggling when we are doing ‘just fine’. We aren’t fine and that hit me hard. My dishonesty, my lie, is hurting others. I thought I was being strong… So we are isolated, lonely, stressed, insecure & disconnected. But wait, there is more! Continuing this way indefinitely leads us to feelings of despair and failure. We know there is something wrong, something missing but if we have lived this way most of our lives, I don’t think we know what it is we are missing.
But guess what? I am going to tell you what is missing! At least a really big chunk of it. People! We need others. We all need support & we all need help! We were created for relationship, real transparent relationship. We are living in a culture where we accept a lack of support as normal, and this is a relatively new event. Historically, well into the 20th century extended family lived together. Multiple generations lived in the same home. Support was a way of life. Everyone was needed on the farm and business and land remained in the family. With this support available the adults were involved in the community with church, charity and social organizations and events. These created a support network, everyone knew everyone. If someone needed help, everyone knew! Maybe there wasn’t much room for pride, and maybe that was OK. We were born in relationship with family, relationship with extended family, relationship with community. We knew no different. Now it is the opposite.
Today if we are not intentionally seeking role models and relationships we will find ourselves disconnected from encouraging parenting support, marriage support & career support. These are vital relationships in our lives suffering from our disconnection. When the balance or speed suddenly becomes unmanageable in life and we need help, will there be anyone there? Will anyone offer help if they don’t see us fall? This sad picture can be prevented if we have friends and mentors who create a strong support network & provide us with honest feedback. We know the cost. What are the benefits to creating a strong personal support system? In reading chapter 3 of The Mother’s Guide To Self Renewal Renee states that the benefits of having a support network are effectiveness, follow through on commitments/achieving goals, resilence through challenges, overall health & wellness, less stress, more adjusted children…. who ask for help when needed!
What do you need to do to create a strong support network?
Develop existing friendships, get some one on one time with friends. Reach out to someone who has offered help in the past (they may have known things were not all peachy!). Seek mentoring through church or Compass Coaching. Join a support group like Mothers Of Preschoolers or Sierra Moms (local to Sacramento) or National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (EDMOMS if you’re in Sacramento). This month starting on March 25th we’re launching our Reviving Mommy ‘Self Renewal Workshop’. Click the link for info and registration details on this monthly mini-retreat for moms! Take action, commit to one or more of these steps toward your support network today![contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]