For as long as I can remember, I’ve done everything by myself, for myself.
I was one or I am one of those people who would rather go a day without eating than to ask a friend or family to borrow a few dollars. I’m not sure what my true motives were, but I always said to myself, ” I don’t want to burden other people, because they may have their own issues going on.” While a true statement, the fact is that, I thought I didn’t need help from others. I thought I had to be silent about my problems because people may rejoice over them.
Growing up I learned to keep my problems to myself. I learned not to share my troubles and to keep my short comings to myself. I was told outright and I learned mostly from peoples reaction to other peoples failures. I noticed that people really tried hard to hide their flaws and God forbid, if that flaw was exposed, that person was ridiculed.
A few anecdotes
- A lady gave birth to a child with down syndrome, for a while she wouldn’t take the kid out. When she finally did, people trashed talked HER for giving birth to a child like that.
- Another was, when a lady’s husband cheated on her but of course she tried to hide it, when it was out in public she was ridiculed.
- Just going back to my primary school in Ghana, final results were posted in public and woe unto the person who came in last place. He or she would be called out in front of the whole school and the students will be ordered to “boo” the person.
When I was younger, I thought nothing of these issues, all it reminded me off was to protect myself and not share my failures or downfalls.
Recently, I’v been learning about sharing. One thing my current pastor says a lot and preach a lot about is community. He always says,
You can’t do life on your own
This is the truth. Life isn’t meant to be done alone. We all need support systems, my friends have been pumping this into my head all weekend. You need to tell people you are struggling with finding employment, they may not be able to hand you a job but they’ll know to make connections when opportunities come up. You need to tell people how you’re feeling, they may not be able to fix the problem but they can tell you that you are not alone or simply be a listening ear.
Another one of my issues with seeking help was, I thought help had to look a certain way and come from certain people. But another truth is that,
support may not look like how we imagine
So, we have to be open to how support shows up in our life and embrace it when it does show up.
Tell me about your support system? How do you show up for people in your life?