A story out of my class yesterday morning. I have a woman (we'll call her Jane) in the class whose husband fell and hit his head in September, causing all kinds of problems including a kind of trauma-induced dementia. He's been in rough shape and so has she.
In the three months since she began coming, I don't think I've seen her eyes look anything but red, swollen and filled with tears. She's so fragile you believe a small breeze could snap her in two.
Yesterday, during some Mindfulness exercises she shared that she has a horrible time asking for help but she was pushing her husband in a wheelchair up a ramp and didn't have the strength to do so, so she had no choice she said, she asked the next person she saw for help.
A young woman quickly stepped in, pushed the chair up the ramp and with a big smile on her face, wished Jane and her husband a good day. Jane then stopped for a moment and thought how happy that young lady looked after helping her and that maybe, just maybe asking for help wasn't a bad thing after all.
When Jane paused, she became very Mindful. Mindful of her emotions, her reactions, her interactions etc. I was very proud of her because in a matter of moments, with a simple mind-shift she came to understand that sometimes the getting IS in the giving.
In becoming honest and vulnerable with herself, Jane opened the door for someone else to experience what it was like to do something for another human being and enjoy that moment of win-win-win. Jane got relief, her husband got a bit closer to where he was going and the stranger got the satisfaction that comes with assisting others in need.
Jane confessed that she never asks for help because she feels "less than" or ashamed but that interaction changed everything.
Who are we to rob another soul of the chance to feel good by helping out? Don't you feel good when you help someone out?
Let go, my friends. If you are someone who believes you have to "do it all" because maybe you always have, I have news for you, we are all better off when you make the choice to lift the barriers to love. Helping others and being helped is human in every sense of the word.
To Jane, to Mindful growth at 70+ years old and to all of you who feel overextended and burned out because you do way too much for too many, all the time...
Open your heart. Open your mind. Open your mouth and grow.