Sometimes we need help from others. Sometimes others will ask if we can help them. Neither instance is a sign of weakness, rather a reminder that some things can only be accomplished through connection with others.
Few things in life are more stressful than moving house. Packing boxes, organising furniture, checking the weather reports – there’s a lot to do. Last week, my girlfriend asked if I was available on the weekend to help some of her friends move house. Moving your own stuff for the purpose of furnishing a place for you to live is one thing. Helping others move their stuff for the purpose of them moving in can be less enticing. It doesn’t mean it is any less worthwhile, or that we should expect something in return any time someone asks us for something.
Thankfully, helping others is an easy thing for me to agree to. It doesn’t take energy for me, except if the task itself is one which requires physical exertion. So, on Saturday morning and for a little of the afternoon, I helped pack boxes into cars, shift furniture, hang curtains on their railings, clean a bit, and unload everything at the place being moved to. The weather was wonderfully sunny while helping the moving of house unfold, so that meant everything ran about as smoothly as it could have. At the end of the effort my arms were tired, I was fairly hungry, and I didn’t really have the mental capacity to make decisions about what to do with the afternoon. But it was done.
I’m sure there were many good things about the day, but one of the best was getting to know people I had met only briefly previously and the meeting new friends. Spending time working hard to achieve a meaningful goal is a great bonding experience. It was tough at times, working out how to solve some of the inevitable problems of moving, like taking furniture down stairs with two u-turns, or moving things while other people were cleaning, but ultimately it was very, very worthwhile.
Helping others might not be the easiest thing to want to do all the time, especially when there is no specific lasting benefit for ourselves, i.e. furniture and belongings our own new place. But, helping others offers opportunities for connection and to learn from one other.
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How do you feel about asking for help with something like moving house?
How do you feel when someone asks you for help with something?
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I find it incredibly easy to help others, but deeply struggle to ask for assistance myself. With anything. And when I do manage to extend a request, I often feel bad for having done so. This even extends to a reticence to say “yes” when others ask if they can help me with something.
I’m working on it. I have been for a while. It’s a slow process but I’m working on it. I don’t know if I’m any closer to figuring out how to make it easier, or at least feel a bit better about it, but I’m trying.
Keep on keeping on being awesome.