One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”God showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of stew.
It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, “You have seen Hell.”
God took the man to the second door, and opening it He said, “This is Heaven.” The room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful stew that made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The man said, “I don’t understand.” God smiled and said, “Look closer.” As he looked again, he saw they were feeding each other.
God smiled and said, “Look closer.”
I was born with the “I do it myself” gene. Really. As a recovering I Do It Myselfer, asking for help was always a struggle, and usually engaged in under forced situations…being on crutches, vehicle breaking down, suddenly losing a job. It had to be extreme, and even then asking for help was ROUGH. Here is what I know about people that rarely ask for help: we see it as a sign of weakness in ourselves and believe we would be a burden or imposition to others. So to avoid all that, we just don’t ask.
A powerful life is not just in helping others but in also receiving help from others.
The irony is, when others ask us for help, we’re usually really excited to do it. We want to help, to be of service. But we don’t see that others actually want to help us as well. We don’t see our request as the opportunity that it is for them. What I’ve come to experience in asking for help is that instead of it being a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of commitment. When I’m truly committed to something beyond myself, I’ll ask for help and invite others into what we can create together.
Instead of being a sign of weakness, asking for help is actually a sign of commitment.
A life I can live completely within my own means is just not what I’m interested in creating anymore. “Look what I can do” pales in comparison to “Look what we can do.” And it starts with seeing my requests as opportunities instead of burdens. So several years ago, I began asking for help, voluntarily. I asked my community to help end slavery, I hired a coach to help me grow a business, I invited friends and family to help me find a mate, I asked a mentor to play a significant role in my spiritual growth. I have invested and invited people into every area of my life where I want to create something greater than what I’ve been able to do on my own. And it’s made all the difference.
“Look what I can do” pales in comparison to “Look what we can do.”
Where in your life are you not getting the results you deeply desire? Do you have dreams that just never seem to get off the ground? It could be that right there is where you need some extra support. Ask, hire, invite, invest. Let go of the perception that asking for help is weakness and see the possibility that your ask is an opportunity for others to rise up. There are realms of greatness you were born fulfill that can only be reached with the help and support of others…how bad do you want to get there?