It takes bravery to be honest, to tell the truth to ourselves and to others. The video by Shauna Niequist at our meeting yesterday was probably the most honest part of my week. I sat with tears brimming, nodding frequently, because yes. Just yes.
So often I tell myself lies: I can do it all, I don't need help, I'm alone in this. And I'm not doing myself any favors by fibbing my way through the day.
Not only that, I'm not allowing my husband or my friends the opportunity to a.) really know me, or b.) show me how much they love me.
You may have already guessed this, but I have a problem asking for help. Help me. I am frequently dishonest when it comes to my limits, my desires, and my needs. The trick is that if you tell yourself the lie often enough, you come to believe it, and you won't be tempted to let someone else into the carefully orchestrated tornado that is your life.
Did you ever see the movie One Fine Day, with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney? So funny. Anyway, there's a scene I think about sometimes when my day gets really crazy and I get a glimpse of how control-freaky I'm being: There's an argument between the two characters about her juggling all the balls, and how she doesn't trust anyone with her balls, and why should she let any of them go?
It's funny, if you haven't seen it, it's pretty great.
But anyway, the chick is totally coming unhinged because she's being forced to let someone else help her. She can't do it all, but she also can't trust another human with her weakness.
I often feel like that woman with all my balls in the air, my life precariously "perfect," pushing away the helpers, dishonest about how tired I am, and how lonely I am... And what happens when I get bumped or pushed and it all goes awry?
Well, it's not pretty.
Funny story, as I contemplated this blog post and went about my way of juggling and pleasing others and meeting every one's needs as best I could, a night went by, and I woke up to a swell of nausea and vertigo. I lay in bed, looking up at my ceiling fan, and decided I could do this. I may have the flu, or it could be a migraine, but I would try to push past it. (Isn't that what moms do?) There were lunches to be made, and bags to be packed, and kids to be woken, and...
Nope. I got up, and then crawled right back onto the bed, helplessly patting my husband to take over for me.
It's scary to ask for help. I don't do it unless I'm forced to. This morning I was forced, and it's still scary.
The "what it's" threaten to overwhelm us: What if he says no? What if he thinks I'm weak? What if I am weak? What if things don't get done? What if things get done wrong? What if, what if, what if...
What if, instead, we honestly admit we can't, and trust someone we love? What of we embrace help, embrace human imperfection, embrace our own weakness? What if we trust another person to show up for us and we aren't disappointed? And so what if we are??
Well this morning, I trusted my husband to show up, and he did. There was no guilt, there was no shame. He doesn't do things my way, he does them his way, and that's OK. The girls get a special daddy-made lunch, and I get a little break, even if I do feel like I'm dying.
I only wish this business of being honest wasn't so risky, or so hard, or so impossible.
I wish I could ask for help before I collapse from a case of the do-it-all's.
So let's check it, ladies. We're women -- human, imperfect, prone to weakness human beings. We may be really awesome, and brave, and strong too. But let's take our bravery to the next level and be truthful about when we need a helping hand, or a break, or when we just need a friend to come over for a "play-date," which is really secret code for "I really need a friend right now, please come talk to me about grown-up things, and bring your big words, please."
Because you know that's the truth.