“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.” (Brene Brown)
I don’t really like accepting help. It’s probably a lot of pride: this is my fourth baby, after all. And it’s a little bit laziness: I have no idea what I need help with and I don’t want to bother to think about it, so I’ll just say I’m fine.
But I’m working on it. Because I think it’s important to let people serve you. I sometimes really want to help someone when they are having a hard time, and they won’t let me. Maybe it’s partly my own clumsiness of offering. But I also think that people are inclined to say, “I’m fine.” Even if they aren’t. And sometimes they are fine–but I still want to help them because I care about them.
Having a new baby is always difficult because it’s a big adjustment. It is easier the fourth time around in some ways, but I also have three other kids to take care of too. For the most part, I doing a lot better than I thought I would. Overall, we are happy and thriving, even though there is the occasional overwhelming moment (like middle-of-the-night diaper changes where things can get messy).
I’m trying to be more open to letting other people help, particularly when they have something specific they offer. Maybe I don’t need someone to bring me dinner. Or I have enough baby stuff to get by so I don’t need anything. But if I say over and over again that I don’t need anything, then I am depriving people of an opportunity to show that they care. I hate when people do that to me–why would I do that to someone else?
It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to even accept help when you don’t absolutely need it. I’ve made friends by serving others and having others serve me, because service is a really good basis for a good friendship. When someone gives to me, I feel like I’m more able to give to others. Instead of being proud, I find that I am much more loving and open.
So when someone offers to help you, do your best to accept their offer in some way. I’m still working on this, but I think it’s an important thing to learn.