Let Them Help.

28 02 2011

Speaking of queens and thrones...Photo by Amy Rauch Neilson. (Do I really want to take credit for this one?)

The Queen once said: Let Them Eat Cake.

I am far from a queen (though my husband does throw the word “diva” around quite a bit), but I do have three words of advice for those times when you find yourself navigating one of life’s rough patches:

Let Them Help.

Anyone who knows me is probably shocked by my audacity right about now. Me, giving such advice. Me, the one who won’t let anyone help.

Change “won’t” to “wouldn’t”.

A leopard can indeed change its spots – and so can I.

And I have.

I’m not saying it was easy.

But once I saw the wisdom, I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

The Human Race often gets a bad rap. People lament that no one cares, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, everyone’s in it for themselves.

While there are certainly those out there who fit that description, by in large, I think it’s quite the opposite.

People are basically good. Very good, in fact. They want to help.

So let them.

I know. If I’m going to talk the talk, I’ve got to be willing to walk the walk.

So I am.

I’ve only just begun and already, it’s an amazing journey.

Since my Jan. 12 Stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve been Letting People Help…

• Drive me to chemo.
• Bring meals.
• Pick my son up from school.
• Fold laundry, vacuum, change the sheets, run errands.
• Grocery shop.
• Lend an ear at 4 a.m. when I can’t sleep and I’m scared out of my mind.
• Clean the toilet.

Yes, you read the last item on the list correctly. When a close friend asked me if there was anything else I needed, I paused, let out a big sigh and said, “Would you mind scrubbing the toilet?”

Now that was a hard thing to ask.

But it needed to be done. And I was too nauseous from chemo to manage the task myself.

She grabbed the toilet brush – very enthusiastically, I might add – and disappeared into the bathroom. Her spirits were lifted by her ability to help and my willingness to let her. And so were mine.

Every single one of us has gifts to share. And perhaps more importantly, gifts they want to share.

So, let them.

Be as gracious a receiver as you are a giver. Let the people who love you form the bridge from one side of the gorge to the other.

Let Them Help.

You’ll get your chance to pay it back, pay it forward – or maybe even, if you’re lucky, both.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson

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9 responses

28 02 2011
Linda Stanislawski

Words of wisdom.

28 02 2011
Linda Lou

I love this one… So many times people so much want to help in any little way they can. It is wonderful to do just a little thing…

28 02 2011
Melody

lol…. that was the ONE thing I had the hardest time asking help with…. cleaning that gross bathroom. Like you said, you can’t ask “just anyone” to scrub your toilet. I had a friend volunteer to clean the bathroom…. she worked so hard, and it sparkled so beautifully that when she was done and gone, I stood in the doorway to the bathroom and cried. People are, indeed, kind and loving. And so willing to help. God Bless you, Amy, as you learn to let go, and let others help!

28 02 2011
Helene Rabinowitz

It takes a village, and in the village there are toilets….it works out. Love to you all.

28 02 2011
Mark Robertson

Amy, this was the closing theme at Willow Creek (Chicago Mega Church) last weekend as Senior Pastor Bill Hybels … under the theme of Surviving The Great Recession — reminded his congregation that Willow Creek has assets and resources to help those who really need it. “But ya gotta be humble enough to ASK.”

28 02 2011
Karen J. H.

I love that you have made this choice. Everytime someone helps you by doing the smallest little job, feel the love.
I know a bit of what you are going through. I am a breast cancer survivor, since 1994. I have been reading your blog with tears in my eyes, sending love and prayers from my heart.
My cancer was caught on a mammogram, it had not spread, and I don’t have the genetic link. I pray that soon we will find the breakthrough knowledge that will prevent younger women from getting this disease when they have young children.
Keep up the fight, and especially keep up the positive attitude as much as you can. Ask for help. You’ll be amazed at how willing people will be to help in any way possible. As a survivor, I try hard to pass on to others all the love that was shown to me. Know that you and your family are in my prayers every day.

1 03 2011
Tabitha

I am SO pround of you! I’ve been preaching to you for years about this very thing! It’s SO easy to reach out when in need and let people not only in your home but in your heart. You’re so giving, kind, loving, thoughtful, selfless (YES, YOU!) You’ve given, given and given….Would you expect any less from your loved ones when the one in need is you, the one WE love? Paying it forward is a simple/natural thing for the ones you love and care about. Oxox

1 03 2011
Kathy

It may be better to give. But it’s much harder to receive. Yes. Let Them!

1 03 2011
Karen

You’re so amazing!!

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