Accepting Help

  How often have you helped those around you who are in need?  If you are an extremely giving person, the aging process & the need to accept help from others can seem somewhat humiliating.  Whether it's help with household repairs that require a ladder, or help with much more than that once you've gone into an assisted living situation, we can sometimes be resistant to offers from others for assistance.  Why is this so difficult?

There are a myriad of reasons why we struggle with accepting help.  Some of us have a hard time seeing ourselves as growing older.  Aging is so gradual that it often creeps up on us as we carry on with an exciting life.  If this has happened to you, you may not realize that you can't do certain things until a sudden incident makes it very clear to you.  The mental adjustment to the aging process can take the wind out of you!  Other reasons may include pride (it's difficult to admit that we have needs), or not knowing whom to ask for the help that we need.  If we're not entirely at ease with the person from whom we're asking assistance, it can certainly make us more hesitant.  So what are some ways to overcome our resistance & get the help that we need?

  1. Analyze your pride. If you have a very difficult time because you do not want to appear “needy” or like you're taking advantage, spend some time analyzing how you think of others who are in need.  If you struggle with seeing others in a less than stellar light, perhaps now is a time to develop a bit more compassion for those who cannot do for themselves.
  2. Remember that you have given much. You have spent your life enriching the lives of other people. When you spend your life in this way, you may be very comfortable with seeing the needs of others, while forgetting about your own.  Know that we all have needs eventually, & your contribution to the lives of others is now just being returned to you.  You have given to others, not expecting a thing in return & you were most likely blessed in the process.  Allow others to give to you during this time & be blessed through it.
  3. Work on being more open with people. Of course, you need to be sure that person you're talking with are trustworthy individuals, but openness is something that is good to establish.  It can take a long time for anyone else to discover that you have a need if you're not transparent about it.  If you're comfortable with a trustworthy person, tell them what your particular need is. Do not necessarily expect them to meet the need that you have, but ask them to brainstorm with you about how you could meet that need, or ask for advice about what they think you should do. Sometimes the needs can be as simple as needing help with weeding a garden.  Maybe they know of a middle-schooler that would like to do such a thing in exchange for some produce for their family.   There are often creative ways that we can meet needs if we're willing to discuss them.  The solutions are often things that we wouldn't have thought of on our own!

There is no shame in having needs.  Everyone does.  If you are aging, they will become more prevalent.  You may not have as much family living that can help you out as in the past.  Things change greatly over time & that is something that happens to everyone.  If you find yourself in need, please do not hesitate to ask for help.  You might be surprised when you find the need met!