My desk looks toward the eating area of the kitchen with it’s long farm table and bench. I can’t see the working part of the kitchen (ie. dishes in the sink) so this is ideal. Out the window, there is an expanse of lush, green grass and a clump of river birch in the yard. Sunshine has burned through the morning’s fog and the day looks inviting. I’m starting to feel like I belong here.
It hasn’t exactly been an easy summer. We knew moving back from France would come with some challenges. We decided to up the ante and really challenge ourselves by making it a double-move. So, a new house, a new community, new schools - for the second year in a row.
I’d like to think I’m getting good at this transition thing. In some ways, this is true. I’ve learned to lower my expectations, and I am more relaxed in my need for control - if the boys don’t want a tidy room, that’s fine, as long as the floor is clean enough for me to run the vacuum every so often. And I’ve learned to ask for help - help with staging a house to be sold or loading a moving van, help with childcare, meals, rides to school.
I do better asking for help in situations where doing it myself is physically impossible. Carrying an unwieldy piece of furniture or being in two places at once, for example. I’m pretty sure I’d ask for help if I were drowning.
In situations where I sense an expectation of “should be capable” (like managing my family’s needs or keeping house), I am more likely to get stuck. I hear disdainful voices rise up, casting aspersions and asking why I couldn’t handle it myself, suggesting that it must be a sign of weakness.
Recently it occurred to me that the judgmental voice was simply my ego getting in the way. My ego wants to protect me from having to show my vulnerability. But the truth is - showing my vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness; it is an act that makes me stronger.
On top of that, sharing one’s vulnerability creates intimacy and connection; it affirms self-worth; it fosters compassion and it helps us truly see each other.
Those are all things that I deeply care about. So, I am embracing my vulnerability and asking for help.
As for me ego, it is helping to think of it as a little chihuahua with its incessant bark and posturing. “Oh, it’s just you,” I say to my little dog ego. “Here, go chew on this shoe.”
What is your relationship with asking for help? In what context might showing vulnerability enhance a relationship or ease a situation in your life?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.