There are two things in life that I admittedly really struggle with: 1) My weight and 2) Asking for help. When it comes to needing help with my purpose or where I am needing to focus, I am not good at asking others for help. I know that at times I need someone else; I have already stated that when you are focusing on your purpose it is always bigger than yourself. Yet, I still struggle with the ask, especially when it is personal. I can do the public speaking and engage with an audience to ask them to give to a bigger cause. I struggle when the focus is help personally.
I think in part it is because I was raised to be independent. Independent people are taught asking for help makes them weak, insufficient and dependent. I have grown out of that thought pattern, but I have to unlearn the behavior. I admire people who can quickly go to someone else and say “I need this from you.” I am working on it.
Another problem with me asking for help, is that unless it is something very specific, I have a hard time knowing what I need help with. If someone can say “Jackie, I want to do___ for you.” I am generally open to it. If someone says “If there is anything I can do for you, let me know.” I won’t because I don’t know what to ask them to do. I have the mindset that if it will take me longer to explain what I need, how I need it, and how to do it, then I should just do it myself. If I can just say “Go do this.” then I generally have no problem asking for help with it. If I can’t, then I will not generally ask unless I am feeling extremely overwhelmed. If I am overwhelmed, I can ask for help because I want to be able to focus on the things that are most important.
Another reason I struggle with asking for help is that I am afraid of the rejection factor. As a child, although I was spoiled, I didn’t ever feel that anyone cared what I wanted or needed. The youngest of five children, I was ten years younger than my oldest sibling. My mother went back to work during my early childhood. My dad went to jail when I was in first grade. I don’t remember how old I was when he came back or how our home functioned in his absence. I heard a lot of “no” from my parents and my siblings. So I learned to manipulate to get what I needed. It is hard for me to not move into that mode when I need something. Manipulation is an immediate response when I am concerned that no one will step in to meet that need. I have to consciously choose to not start manipulating, because at times I don’t realize that is what I am doing. I don’t want to manipulate others, so at times I decide I don’t need help.
What I am able to do well is going to the Lord for help. I learned at a very early age that my help comes from the Lord. I have never lost that focus, even in the darkest times in my life. I didn’t lose that focus even when I walked away from Him. I know that He has always been there, is always there, and always will be there. He is able and willing to meet my needs, He desires to bless me, He wants to answer my prayers. He knows my heart, even when I don’t have the words. I love to see Him move someone else to meet my ask for help when I haven’t even been able to acknowledge the need. He’s knows me so well, it is His favorite way to bless me! It reminds me He is not finished working on me.
This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty. Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day. Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.