I have been struggling with some things lately, and realize we are our own worst enemy in asking for help. There is a reason why we invented maps, and then the GPS, otherwise nobody would know where they were going. We can accomplish great tasks when we ask for help and work together, and we usually struggle mightily when we try to go it alone.
As a kid, we have to learn things on our own (going to the potty, tying our shoes, throwing a ball, etc.), but, if we never seek out help, we grow up never learning how to ask for it. We become adults who think asking for help is a sign of weakness. We tell ourselves we will find a way and figure it out ourselves. Eventually, we struggle with something and then dismiss it. “I can’t do that. I don’t understand it”. It is easier to ignore what we don’t know or can’t do than to push through to it. It is easy to dismiss something than trying to understand it. It doesn’t matter if you are a kid trying to figure out fractions or how to ask a girl on a date, at your first job, or twenty years into your career, struggling with something is going to happen.
In life, there will always be challenges and forks in the road.
The easy road is comforting. Familiar. A beautiful walk in the park. No problem. No sweat. That was easy. I can do it.
The hard choice? Don’t go there. Mom said to not go into the woods. It’s dark, and scary, and we can’t see around that first turn. It is outside of our comfort zone. Why should we struggle? Who is going to help us when we fall down?
We have to learn that it is OK to make the hard choice, and to ask for help when we struggle. There will be others who will help you along the way, who will not laugh at you when you fail. There will be people who will listen, guide you, share their stories of strength and hope, and remind you that you can accomplish your goal or work through your pain.
Life is an amazing journey. It is full of ups and downs, safe and hard choices. Sometimes the choices are easy, and sometimes life will throw me a curve when I least expect it and I am not ready for it. But, my journey is not over, nor will it ever be. I am finally starting to realize, as hard as it is for me to admit, that it is ok to struggle and not know where I am going. The journey is the most important part, as long as I am still learning.
And on the days where I can’t see where I am going, I may ask you for directions.