Lately I have been hearing about a lot about courage and strength. A friend who is going through a difficult time recently said to me, “I just have to be strong and carry on,” which got me thinking: do we really have to be strong to keep going? I would argue that it does not always require strength to keep going. I am reminded of a woman I worked with a number of years ago who was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. At one point, she was very ill from the chemo drugs, and in a moment of frustration and extreme fatigue, she told her husband she felt like she wouldn’t be able to carry on, to which he replied, ‘You have to; we need you.’ She said she experienced a renewed sense of courage to face this disease head-on and to carry on, even in the absence of strength. She was physically and emotionally depleted, and yet she gathered up her might and continued forward. The last I heard, more than 10 years post-treatment, she has been cancer-free and living a very happy, healthy life.
- Have you ever asked for help when you felt you didn’t have the strength to carry on?
- Have you not asked for help when you didn’t have the strength to carry on?
- What kind of outcome did you experience?
- Did you learn?
- Did you grow?
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don’t have strength.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
Even in the worst of times, we can gather our courage and carry on without strength. I would even argue that one of the most courageous acts we could undertake would be to ask for help when we feel we do not have the strength to face or manage something on our own. We are encouraged to be independent, even fiercely so, and yet, by nature we are interdependent. We need one another at times, and there is much opportunity for growth and learning when we ask for help.
I invite you to consider asking for a helping hand here and there to get comfortable with the idea of receiving. One day, you might truly need someone’s assistance, and you will be primed to accept and receive without resistance. If you are not so sure about this, consider times when you’ve helped a friend or loved one in need. Chances are, you did it willingly and without judgment. Remember the compassion you felt for that person, and offer it to your own self. Be open. Be willing. Ask. Receive.
Give it a try, and remember this question: How can it get any better?
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.