I just never know when the next ah-ha moment will happen.
The man from the landscaping company came by to talk to me about some rocks.
We surveyed the backyard together. As we did, I apologized profusely for the condition of the grass along my fence line; as if the condition of the yard was some reflection on my character. I was embarrassed and explained that I had run out of weed eater string and was working on how to replace it. I assumed this would be the end of that conversation.
I do not know how to replace weed eater string. In fact, I did not even know that the string was designed to destroy itself. Yard work is not one of my gifts.
He smiled sweetly and said “I’ll do it for you.” I, of course, said something like “oh no, no I don’t want to bother you with that.” He insisted.
I stood and watched, uncomfortably, as he laced the string into the weed eater. I apologized for using his time to do this for me. I apologized for not knowing how to do it myself. Really, though, I was apologizing for needing help; I was worried that he would judge me because I could not do this myself. I explained, apologetically, that this is the first house I have lived in where I was responsible for the yard. In the past I hired someone to do it and growing up my Daddy always took care of the yard. As I gushed, needlessly, I wondered why I needed him to know why I did not know anything about weed eaters. Why would I?
He repeated sweetly and genuinely that he did not mind. He said that he was happy to do it and that “it makes us feel needed.”
It makes us feel needed – I thought about that comment for a couple of days. He did not care that I did not know anything about weed eaters; he did not expect me to and did not judge me for it. He enjoyed helping.
He liked being needed as much as I did not want to be needy. It’s clear to me now that when I refuse to ask for help when I need it I am depriving someone else of the opportunity to feel the joy of being needed.
Turns out, needing help is not a character flaw either. It is an opportunity to give someone else the gift of being needed.