I just celebrated my 37th birthday. To me this seems crazy. It seems like it was just yesterday that I graduated from school and set off on the great adventure of learning to stand on my own two feet. And yet, if there's anything I learned from the last year of my life, it's this: life isn't about getting to a place where I stand on my own. It's about coming to a place where I humbly and courageously ask for help.
I learned this lesson because I had to ask for help a lot. At first I hated it, but slowly I started to see how important it is to recognize my limitations. Sure, there are a few areas in my life where I don't need help; but there are many more areas where I am clueless. And the older I get, the more I'm getting comfortable saying: I need help.
Maybe this is all part of growing up: realizing my areas of expertise are pretty limited, my needs are pretty big, and there are a lot of people out there ready to help me.
For years, I thought asking for help was a sign of weakness. But now I see it as a sign of strength. After all, it takes courage to admit that I don't have it all figured out (and I never will).
So I'm beginning to embrace this simple realization. I will always need help. I may have graduated years ago, but I will never stand on my own two feet. I'll always need a physical therapist, a financial advisor, a general contractor, an honest friend, a thoughtful counselor, and the list keeps going.
Here's the point: if we aren't okay with our neediness, we will miss out big time. We will miss out on the ways others can enrich our lives and all they can teach us. Most importantly, we will miss out on the opportunity to have relationships with some amazing and gifted people. And why would we want to miss out on all of that?
So in this next year of my life, my hope is to grow in thankfulness for my limitations because they create opportunities for others to help me. So cheers to life, cheers to limitations, and cheers to the courage it takes to say four simple words: I Need Your Help.
P.S. I got help with this post from my awesome English major husband.