Over the past year I have formed a renewed relationship with my cousin Jo. She and I were best buddies growing up, but once we hit adulthood we parted ways for most of the last thirty years. In a phone conversation about a year ago she heard the frustration in my voice and offered to help.
What an amazing ability, to hear a cry for help, even when it isn’t directly articulated in words, and then to respond to it. I’m not particularly good at asking for help, but when she extended a hand, I took it this time.
I think many of us are afraid to take help. Look at the possible consequences. It means you can’t do something by yourself, it means you might owe someone something, it means being tied to a relationship and investing energy into it. Hmmm. Maybe it means looking in the mirror and being a little humble at the same time.
I don’t know about you, but humility is not one of my strong points. So accepting help, even with all those “strings” attached has been the smartest move I made over the last year. And here’s why, the flip side of those consequences.
First, we revitalized and deepened our connection. How especially satisfying since the base we stared with oh so many years ago is rock solid.
Second, I had a learning partner and someone to lean on in a challenging year. She let me lean on her. And it has been so comforting. There is nothing better than knowing you’re not in something alone.
Third, we made business strides together and saw payback from our joint efforts. In fact, it was her support through the year that kept me steady on the blog posting, and continuing to move my business forward in challenging family times.
And now it’s time for a change. She is ready to move on to the next phase of her life, and funny thing, I’m ready to take on more. More, because the brace she provided has encouraged me, and prepared me for the next step.
She put her hand out and held me up this year. Do I owe her? You bet, and I’m glad for it. She now knows with more certitude that when she needs support, I’ll be there for her. That’s an IOU that I can live with and be grateful for.
Go ahead. Ask for some help today. Even if it’s hard, remember that no great deed happens with a singular sweep or singular effort.