A little nugget of information to help us start this new year on the path to health and wellness involves increasing our ability to reach out for support.
This past year has not only left us suffering from too much sugar, alcohol, isolation, frustration, fear, and inactivity, but an increase in violence, divorce, and suicide—all symptoms of trouble in our bodies, homes, communities, and country.
Never underestimate the power of one because each of us can make a difference. We can get up, dust ourselves off, and include the word help in our vocabulary.
Growing up, I learned asking for help was a weakness. My parents, who survived the Great Depression, learned to work hard and depend mainly on themselves, but they had many talents and enjoyed helping others. My mother would have a kitchen full of women who canned fruits and vegetables together, and my dad had veteran buddies who came to his shop to rebuilt motors and constructed furniture. Still, mainly, my parents told us, “Don’t air your dirty laundry with others.” I learned to help others but to keep troubles to myself.
I cannot guess how many Hallmark movies I’ve watched during the last two months, and I’ve decided my parents raised the main characters. One or both people in the romantic couple often conceal information. They might tell a friend the real story, but the partner is left in-the-dark or guessing. Poor communication might work in the movies, but not so well in real life.
I know for sure that we need people, and if we want actual help, we must not lie or withhold details. If a client didn’t tell the truth in counseling, my words couldn’t help. I’m not saying we should spout the awfulness of our lives to anyone or everyone, but we need to have someone. We need to free our chest of the weights life tosses our direction.
The most significant value to seeking help from a mental health counselor, diet program, or 12-step program is a safe environment where we can say what we need to say, be sincerely heard, and receive relevant information. To knock on the door of any of those support options, we have to admit we are not dealing with life as we want, and we need help. We can say, “I am hurting,” “I feel out-of-control,” “I need your
help,” or something as simple as, “I don’t want to feel like this anymore.”
My best thought on this first Wednesday of 2021 is to erase old messages and allow others to help you, hear you, and offer what might move you in a healthier direction with a lighter spirit.
Yes, HELP is a lovely four-letter word.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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