Ask for help when you need it

bird clinging to bamboo

Many of us equate success as independence, and we often believe independence means doing everything yourself.  I’m very guilty of the latter.  Asking for help is perhaps my biggest challenge.  Growing up with a chronic illness, I learned at a very young age how to care for myself.  My parents raised a fiercely independent child in that way.   And, my father always wanted to make sure I knew how to take care of my own finances and administrative stuff like health insurance & taxes.  So, I grew up to be just that — independent to a fault.  The problem is, there will come a time when you need help.

Learning how to DO something comes easy to me, learning how NOT to do something or to let someone help is not so easy.    Pride is considered by many religious philosophies a sin (to use a familiar nomenclature), and for good reason.  Pride can keep us from experiencing the loving kindness of another human being if we close ourselves off to accepting that gift.

I ended up with an injury last year, and I was on crutches.  I had no choice but to ask for help from people I know, and to literally rely on the kindness of strangers to help with doors, elevators, and their overall patience.  It was a struggle for me — even as I was trapped by my condition — to reach out.  The fear wasn’t that my friends and family wouldn’t be there, but that they would be resentful or put out by my need.

To my ego’s surprise, not a single person made me feel as if I was a burden.  In fact, in some ways, our relationship grew as we connected on an innately human level.

Asking for help teaches us to let go, to trust, to be humble.  Ric Ocasek once said, “Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.”

Just as you are fulfilled to be there for a friend in need, give someone else the chance to be fulfilled by helping you.


– Your Charmed Yogi

8 thoughts on “Ask for help when you need it

  1. Help is a difficult thing for me to as for as well. The turning point for me was being on crutches for 6 weeks with a two-year-old. It was an extremely humbling experience that taught me more than one important life lesson.

  2. Wow!! Are you writing this post for ME?? This is exactly me…to a tee!! I’ve always had a hard time asking for help let alone accepting help from others. This began when I was also younger, and diagnosed with a chronic illness..learning to manage things on my own, rather than feel like a victim to my illness or feel like I was getting pity from others.

    I had a realllly hard time accepting help from others when I was in a full knee brace and on crutches after a horrible rollerblading accident. I went into a state of depression, and just wanted to be left alone…this was the worst thing. This was 2 years ago.

    Still, to this day, I have a hard time with it. I think I’ve come to realize that this is simply who I am.

    I give when I can and I never expect anything in return, I like to help others when I can but I’ve noticed that people sometimes won’t/don’t want to accept my help…maybe deep down they think I don’t want to help them because I never do this for myself??

    You’ve really opened up a lot of questions inside of myself…and I truly want to thank you for this!

  3. Well said. It can be a huge challenge, but like you said, actually really rewarding when help comes back to you. It can be a beautiful thing, to see others so willing and eager to help- to show love to you in ways you might not have let them before. ❤

  4. Pingback: The importance of helping others | A Charmed Yogi

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