By Samantha McKenzie
I know you. I see you over there. You’re the first to volunteer for a good cause. The first to write out what you are going to buy everyone else for Christmas. You are the one that the family calls on for help. You give without wanting anything in return. You make sacrifices for us all.
You are the shining example of altruism and yet, when you are in need, you lack the skills to ask someone for assistance. I may have just described a good majority of today’s women.
We wear our Superwoman cape proudly.
We’ve bought into the concept of a strong woman and have come to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s actually a testament to our strength, however, we see it as being “needy.” Asking for help, to us, is taboo.
But the world we live in is built on giving and receiving. This is how human beings make connections. We help each other out in times of need and this is what makes the world go ’round.
Although we’ve been taught that it’s better to give than receive, it’s equally important that we learn how to accept a gift in return. Even when it comes in the form of a compliment.
We’ve learned to live as independent women. It’s been drilled into our heads – either directly or indirectly – that a woman has to take care of herself. True, it’s empowering to rely on yourself. But it’s also detrimental to use it as a self-defense mechanism: a way to protect ourselves from being let down or disappointed.
Giving and receiving is an intricate part of life’s amazing puzzle. We enter this world in need of someone’s help. We grow up with the aid of many – our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends, teachers and more. No one alive has escaped this fact.
Women, in general, are hardwired to give. It’s what we do…naturally. We extend ourselves to others and go beyond the call of duty. As the giver, we loan ourselves to those in need. As the receiver, we rely on someone else to fill in the missing pieces. But it’s time to recondition ourselves and give ourselves permission to ask others for help.
It’s just the art of being vulnerable and it’s perfectly okay.
So continue giving so that you can help others.
Open your arms to receive so you can understand what it means to be thankful.
Ask for help often enough that you allow others to experience the act of service.