Are you always there to help people, but find yourself avoiding help when you need it? Have you ever wondered why?
Years ago, a friend told me, “Marlene, you are great about helping others, but you can be in quicksand up to your chin, and still smile at people as they walk by and wish them a nice day.” I had to laugh, because I knew it was true. I didn’t know why or what to do about it, but I couldn’t deny it.
As the years went by, my focus remained on all I needed to do…except taking care of myself. This caught up with me in the form of a ruptured disc and degenerative disc disease. It was no longer a laughing matter.
I was flat on my back in bed for weeks. I could not do anything…except, finally…face myself. I started to see how prideful I had been in believing I had to take care of everything, and to think less of myself if I needed help.
In The Anatomy of Trust, Dr. Brene Brown stated, “When we assign value to needing help; when I think less of myself for needing help; whether you’re conscious of it or not, when you offer help to someone, you think less of them too.”
So, I contacted the people I had hurt, apologized to them, and did my best to make things right. However, I continued to avoid making things right with myself.
I was terrified to face the emotions I had buried throughout my life. Yeshua gently brought me to the place where I could begin. You can read more about this in my allegory.
I began to take better care of my back and wanted to learn more about taking care of my whole body. I knew I needed help in this area, but found myself avoiding it. Yet, I didn’t understand why.
Why couldn’t I face my physical condition and get the help I needed? It hurt to face what I’d done to myself. The thought of it terrified me. I am overweight, out of shape, and I smoke.
Even now, as I write this, shame claws at my heart and mind. That’s why I didn’t want to face this…because I didn’t want to feel the shame in my heart. To get help meant I had to face the problem…and the shame. I’m not talking about the shame from others judging me. I’m talking about the shame from me judging me.
Do others judge us? Yes, sometimes. And aren’t we quick to point that out! We do that to get the focus off the horrendous way we’ve judged ourselves. I’ve found the pain from others’ judgment is miniscule in comparison to the pain from my own judgment.
For example, I have stewed over the possibility of Christians judging me for smoking. The thought of their judgment and rejection of me has consumed a lot of time and energy. Finally, I realized I was the one that judged and rejected me. By putting it on them, I avoided my true feelings about myself. It is time to work on my relationship with me.
The way I see it, I have two options. I can continue avoiding help and thereby avoid feeling shame. However, this option keeps me from making any progress, leaves shame in my soul, and keeps me punishing myself. Or, I can choose to treat myself the way I would treat a cherished friend. I can choose to feel my feelings and accept Yeshua’s help, love, and sacrifice in taking my shame. This option frees me from shame and leads to real change.
Yes, I choose freedom. I don’t know what I’ll find on this new journey, but I know Who will carry me the entire way and what’s at the end.
Help and Support
Yeshua has already provided help and support for me through my daughter, Mandy, and my dear friends, Jill and Kasey.
Mandy is in the process of launching Hope Is Grace, a women’s ministry to help victims of abuse and trafficking. Her desire is for every woman to know she has value. As a sales consultant for Perfectly Posh skin care products, she donates products to a local rape crisis center and “…to women who desperately need to see their value.” There aren’t words to say how much I appreciate Mandy or how proud I am of her!
Jill is a nurse and author of Follow His Footprints who focuses on wellness of soul, mind, and body. She shares lessons she’s learned from following His footprints. I receive and love her encouraging blog posts.
Kasey is a personal trainer and author of Love Beyond Looks and kaseybshuler.com, a blog site to help people strengthen their bodies and spirits. I have signed up for Kasey’s free 30-day whole-body challenge and will start on Monday, July 31st.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually excited to get started. How about joining me? What do we have to lose except pain and pounds!
Most importantly, we stand to gain truth, freedom, healthier bodies, and happier souls! Will you join me?