How to Accept Help

IMG_2269Today is Thanksgiving. A day of food, family, and in my house, football. In all my years of growing up, never once was a football game being watched by anyone in our family. The day was filled with food preparation, multiple conversations, and of course, lots of laughs.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day where we take a moment to express our thanks for the blessings in our lives. This could be for our friends and family, our children, our health, or a boatload of other things.

As is evident, the word “give” is embedded in the word “Thanksgiving”. Giving thanks, giving love, giving of ourselves.  But truth be told, I’m tired of giving. Yep. You read that right.

By nature, I’m a giver. Nothing raises my spirits more or makes my heart swell than to give to others. This could be a gift I gave, a meal I prepared, or just an open ear. If I can for that one moment, know that I made a difference in someone else’s life, I’m a happy camper.

So if giving makes me so happy, why would I want to stop? (and no – I haven’t dipped into the Thanksgiving wine…yet!)

What I have noticed, for me anyway, is because I’m always giving, I’m not allowing myself to receive. My pride – or ego – (or stupidity) puts the kibosh on any good coming my way. While not the case anymore, I used to over give because I had a need to please others or get their approval or prove that I was SuperGirl. Thankfully, this is not the case anymore.

But just because my motivation for giving has changed, my lack of being a good receiver has not.  Maybe you can relate to a few examples:

Person – “Your hair looks great today!” Me – “Oh my gosh – it soo needs to be colored!”
Person – “Do you want some help with that?” Me – “No. I’m good.”
Person – “You did a great job with that project!” Me – “No. It was my team who did it all.”

See a pattern? I’m continually being thrown compliments and offers of assistance but what do I do with them? Toss them back. Toss them as fast as a spiraling football in the last seconds of the game.

I didn’t really know what my ‘return to sender’ actions were doing until I was given a taste of my own medicine. A few years ago, after one of my daughter’s music concerts, I told the soloist what a fantastic job she did. She immediately shot back with a curt “No I didn’t.”  My mouth gaped open.

Now – one can attribute this response to ‘tweendom’ but it honestly hurt my feelings that she threw my gift of a compliment back in my face. How dare she?


But, how am I any different? With every “no thanks”, I’m essentially doing the same thing as that young lady – throwing those generous offers under the bus. Well, no more, my friend. No more.

I’m making a decision to say “yes” to offers of help and “thank you” to compliments and anything else that comes my way due to people’s generosity. Let’s face it – we could all use a little more positivity these days, so who am I to turn it down?

On this lovely Thanksgiving Day, as you share your meals with loved ones, I want to encourage you to let the brother-in-law toss the salad. Let the cousin pour the wine. Let the aunt mash the potatoes. Just let it all in. Be a wide receiver like me.

Jen’s Gem: As you begin to accept other’s gifts of help, you take a baby step towards accepting the larger gifts that are sure to come your way. I guarantee you there will be more.

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