Why it’s okay to need other people

I need one of those t-shirts that says “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Except mine would say, “I couldn’t live my life without the help of about 35 people.”

Or you know that saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,”? Well it takes a village to keep me on track.

Anybody else with me?

We try to live as though we can do it all on our own. We pride ourselves in our independence and strength and ability to carry all the groceries in from the car in just one trip. Our arms may have those purple circulation lines going, and our thumbs might feel as though they’re going to fall off, but we’ve got it. Because letting anyone help would highlight our weakness and the fact that we actually can’t do it on our own. And if we can’t carry in our groceries on our own, then what hope is there for every other area in our lives? I mean, if we can’t carry in groceries on our own, how are we going to change a tire? Stay healthy without anyone’s help? Maintain relationships without any guidance? If we can’t carry our own groceries in, no matter that there are 10 bags, four of which have milk, spaghetti squash, potatoes, and a small bag of dog food, there is no hope for our independence.

I do carry all my groceries in one trip. I get that stubbornness from my dad, and I’m fine with it. Saves me a trip up and down the stairs.

However. I have to let go of Miss Independent. I recently realized how many people it takes to corral me in the right direction, to keep me in line, to keep my mind, body, and soul in healthy living conditions.

But an even more poignant realization: that’s okay.

photo(9)Because when you manage to flatten two of your tires at one time, and you’re holding back a major breakdown in front of all your friends and their husbands, you need to know that they’re a) not judging you, and b) happy to help. Not happy to have to do a tick-check later, because you broke down right next to the woods in the thick, moist heat of a Southern summer evening. But they’re happy to help because your husband isn’t there and they know we’re all in this crazy, stupid, heartbreaking, disastrously beautiful thing called life, together.

And then when you feel like a complete Life Failure, you need the friend who tells you take a deep breath and reminds you of the 7,000 ways you’re not a failure. Despite the list you just gave that sounds mighty convincing to your broken-down heart.

Then we need the great people of Pillsbury to make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies so we can eat 12 at a time when we’re upset. πŸ™‚ Yes, that happened.

We need each other. We need each other to stay motivated. To stay encouraged. To stay out of the holes we climb into when things don’t go our way. To bring us down from over-inflated egos when too many things go our way. We need friends who are like family and family who are like friends. To take care of us when we’re sick, bring us cookies when we want to be little piggies, clean our dishes after a group dinner, listen when we’re happy, listen when we’re sad, pray blessings over us, send us happy thoughts. And we need to do the same for them. Because then maybe we don’t have to have our circulation cut off when the burden is just too heavy to carry all on our own.

Take care of each other. Be kind. Give grace. Extend compassion. Take care of each other.

That is all.

 

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