Don’t take away someone else’s blessing.
These were the words given to me last year by a very wise woman. She was watching me struggle with accepting help from the many gracious people that wanted to help our family after my husband’s devastating injury. Hour after hour people I would be approached by people that offered food, car rides, and business cards with phone numbers with instructions to call if we needed anything.
I don’t ask for help, and I don’t think I need help. After all, I am a capable adult with high motivation – so why would I need help?
Often times when we are living in a fearful, high intensity and stressful situation, we cannot see the big picture of the world around us. Instead we are highly focused on one thing, and the rest of our attention is drawn inward as our minds try to process everything that is occurring around us. Trauma induced stress is some of the most intense undertaking that our brains can process, and while in the middle of that process, we become less in tune to what we need as an individual, and highly focused on the immediate situation and fear that is before us.
As time passes, and we begin to recover from the immediate shock, we often feel as if we are back to our normal selves, that life can be dealt with easily, without the need for help from others.
But that is not often the case. Often times we are so numb that we do not realize that help would be a blessing.
I know that helping other people makes me happy – I have been a speech pathologist for 18 years, and helping patients and families is what I spent my career doing. If I was able to help one person in my day it made me feel worthwhile, full of joy, and that I was doing what I was meant to do with my life.
Helping others. What a blessing.
So why is it that when others offer to help us we say no?
When we say no to an offer of help, we are robbing someone else of that feeling of joy that comes when we help another person that crosses our path. We take away THEIR blessing.
Today, I chose to walk to my children’s summer school program to drop off an item that one of my boys forgot to bring in today. I put on a backpack, plugged in my earphones, and left to start the 1.5 mile hike to the school. My goal on this walk was to try to figure out where I need to go with my life, and to look for open doors for my future. We live near fields of corn, and with the breeze blowing around me, I walked to school and dropped off my package.
I walked out of the doors and started down towards the road. I turned right onto the main road and the hill I needed to climb to get back to the main road towards my house. A car drove past me, slowed and then reversed back towards me. As the driver slowed down, I noticed that her window was down.
“Climb in! It’s too hot to walk today.”
I began to refuse, and then stopped.
“Okay.” I recognized her as one of the Mom’s from the school program.
She asked where I lived and I pointed her in the direction of our house. She began to tell me a story of how several years ago she had run out of gas as she was trying to get to daycare to pick up her children. She started to walk and no one seemed to want to stop and pick her up. Finally, a postal worker stopped, picked her up, brought her home and bought her some gas for her car. She was so grateful for that help.
“Did you run out of gas today?” she asked me.
“No, I just needed to walk for a while. Sometimes walking helps me think.”
We turned onto my road and I turned towards her and thanked her.
She backed up her car and drove away, off of my street, probably someone that I will never see again. As I walked into the house I realized how nice it was to not have to walk back the other 1.5 miles this morning. We shared a blessing today.
Instead of saying no, and taking her blessing away, I said yes.
Accepting help is not a sign of weakness – it is a sign of grace that you allow someone else to have their blessing for the day.
Be that person that gives a blessing to someone else, and allow THEM to help YOU.