I had a conversation with a friend several months ago about the way people tend to keep things light with each other. We put on a happy face and reveal only the positive things going on in our lives. We often keep our struggles to ourselves. We talked about the fact that our friendships grow deeper when we dare to let our guards down. We give others the opportunity to be a true friend when we share not only the easy and the good, but also the difficulties. When we give a friend the opportunity to support us through hard times, we are strengthening our relationship and allowing her to be a blessing. I don’t know about you, but when I can be there for someone else in a time of need, it blesses me probably as much as it blesses them. We are blessed to be a blessing.
More recently, another friend posted on Facebook on the topic of asking for help. She pointed out that people are often reluctant to ask for help, believing they should be able to handle things on their own. Same old tendency. We don’t want to burden anyone and we like to appear as though we have it all together. How many of us would be happy to help if we knew we could? When you dare to ask for help, you make a situation more manageable, perhaps you better meet the needs of your family, AND you give someone else the chance to be helpful. Blessed to be a blessing.
I can definitely see this in my mom. No longer kids to care for and no job either, she has started bringing some of her elderly neighbors their mail. (She is 77 herself, but still in pretty good health. For those who are aware that she was having health concerns over the summer, I’m happy to report she is much better. She’s getting back to her walking now too.) She gets her exercise in with the walk, her neighbors appreciate the help, and she feels wonderful for having found this way to be helpful.
Last week I went out on a limb and asked for help. I had one sick child and one healthy child. The healthy child would have to miss out on our co-op classes because I had to keep the sick child home. I went ahead and called another mom and asked if she would be willing to be the designated responsible adult for my child during classes. Lo and behold, she would! What a blessing to my family! And just maybe it brightened her day to be such a blessing to us.
At any rate, I do want to approach friendships authentically. I will help you when I can. I will try to share honestly, yet appropriately, when you ask me how I am. I will occasionally ask for your help. I will listen when you need to talk something out. I will laugh with you and maybe I will cry with you sometimes too. I won’t lie and say it will always be easy for me to let my guard down, but I will try.
Do you allow others into your life, both for the good and the bad? Do you agree that letting others help you can be a blessing to them as well?