Support Network

We are not alone.  Sometimes it is hard to remember and/or accept this, but we are NOT alone.

It's also important to remember that everyone needs support and help at various times in their life.  This is not a sign of weakness; it is part of life and being a human being.

When a baby is born, it needs help.  You wouldn't expect a child to be born and then just leave it to its own devices.  An infant cannot feed itself or take care of itself.  It doesn't mean that babies are dumb or incapable.  Infants need time to learn and grow.  In order to do that they need a support system.  A baby needs a parent (or parents) or relatives or a capable adult to take care of their needs.  As a baby develops, grows and matures, in most cases he or she will eventually be able to take care of himself/herself.  A child would not and IS NOT able to mature without help.  A baby cannot survive on its own.  A child cannot survive on its own.  A teen cannot survive on its own.  Even a capable adult cannot survive completely on their own.

It was John Donne who said in 1624:  "No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main."  It was true then and it continues to be true now.  We are all part of something bigger.  Sometimes we are the helper; sometimes we need to be helped.  That is the way of the world.

Why am I pointing out the obvious now?  Mostly because I am at a point in my life when I need to be the helper and I also need help.  I guess that means I am middle aged (although actually I think I've passed that point) because I truly in the middle...sandwiched in between being a parent to a teen who is growing more independent every day (a good thing; if something that is hard for me to accept) and "parenting" my parents (which is REALLY difficult!).  All while doing this I need to remember to take care of me as well.  (Remembering the advice of airline staff:  put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others.  You can't help those around you if you yourself are in distress.)

My son is a capable young man.  My parents are capable people.  Both need help; both are reluctant to accept it.  My job is to convince them to get the help they need   Not easy because as I have said, they are all independent (and perhaps too proud?) to ask for it.  

I am hoping that I am strong and wise enough to be able to make them see that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.  No matter where we are in our journey of life; asking for help is what we need to do.  There is no shame to ask for or receive help.  

Right now, I am the helper.  There will come a time in my life when I need to ask for help.  There WILL come a time when I will ask for help because I will need help helping others.  (As in right now I am able to get down and take care of my parents when necessary, but there will be a time when I cannot or when help is needed immediately.)

Yes, even helpers need help.  So do not be afraid or ashamed to ask.  Help when you can.  Ask for help when you need it.  We can all help.  We should all ask for help when we need it.  

Supporting each other; this is what life is all about.


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