Have you ever “suffered in silence” with:
A project that was going to miss a deadline?
Planning an ambitious social event that became overwhelming?
A family responsibility that was derailing your sanity?
A situation you didn’t know how to handle?
If you are an adult and have never felt you’ve “reached your limit”, then congratulations. In today’s world, most of us, at some point, find ourselves over-committed, underwater, or just “not knowing what to do next”.
AND most of us either labor on, suffering in silence or we throw up our hands and throw in the towel. We may feel, angry, resentful, tired, guilty and embarrassed. What an awful set of choices!
Some years ago, I learned that three powerful words can make all the difference.
I was dealing with some personal muck in my life, and I went to a four-day retreat at a center that’s famous for its skillful therapists and powerful processes. We’d have some group lectures but most of our time was going to be in small groups of six. After a couple of days, our group therapist said we were going to play a game. Relieved at having a break after hours of emotionally intense work, it was great to be outside and what better than a game? I’d played a lot of sports as a girl, and I was used to doing well at competition. We giggled like school children as we put on blindfolds.
You are going into a rope maze, as people find their way out, we’ll shout out their names so the rest of you will know how your group is doing.
As I went through the maze, I found myself coming back over and over to what felt like the same knot in the maze. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t seem to make progress. I heard someone’s name being called out. What was I doing wrong? How could I figure this out? I’ll be next, I told myself. But then a second name was called, and I became more frustrated. Then a third. I felt stupid, ashamed, and all over this silly game. Imagine if it had been something important! Finally, my defenses worn through, I sat on the ground and began softly crying. Soon I felt the hand of the therapist touching my shoulder.
I need help.
Immediately the blindfold came off and my name was shouted out.
I NEED HELP.
These are magic words we fail to use because we are afraid others will think less of us. Afraid people will see us as lazy, stupid, selfish, irresponsible and the list goes on. We believe asking for help is a sign of weakness.
We are not asking others to take away our responsibility, to save us, fix us. That’s our fear. In fact, making ourselves vulnerable makes us stronger.
When you feel overwhelmed, remember to use your three powerful words. Often it’s the only way out of the maze…
Have you asked for help recently? What happened? Are you in a situation right now where you can use some help? Tell us about it! We can’t wait to hear…
Until next Tuesday.