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Why We Don't Accept Help

One Tuesday, a few months ago, I noticed a stack of small blue booklets had been placed on the table right inside the entrance to our gym. About the size of an index card, the white letters on the front read, "Steps Toward Inner Peace," by someone named the Peace Pilgrim. Beneath the book was a sticker that said, "Ever anxious? Take one!"

I scoffed. No, I guffawed. "What a dumb book," I think to myself and head to my car. The next day I see it again and for some reason I can't let it go. I think about how cheesy of a title it is. Over the next few months, every time the little blue book drew my attention it would summon a reaction. I just couldn't seem to let the book exist without inwardly making fun of it.

This continued until last week when I looked at the book on a day I happened to be particularly anxious. Right before I rolled my eyes a question popped into my head. "Why does this book bother you so much?" I followed that thought.

"What if someone is anxious and this could help them? Just because you think it's cheesy doesn't mean it can't be useful for someone else. What's really keeping you from reading it? Are you afraid it might actually help? Or are you just worried someone might see you reaching out for help?"

It's interesting that when life puts things in our way to help ease a burden, how often our we choose not to accept it. Most often for me I've found my ego to be at fault. I'd rather bear the weight of an issue alone than to be seen as less than for having had that issue at all.

We all have our struggles and sometimes a solution isn't readily available. However, I believe in the goodness of the world and that help will be offered along the way. Will you guffaw in the face of the gift? Or set your ego aside and accept it.

Ever anxious? Ever lonely? Ever angry? Ever isolating? Ever cruel? Pick up the little blue book. It just might help.


Question yourself the next time you refuse someone's help and see where the thought leads you.


What prevents you from accepting the help of others?


“'She wasn't afraid of people in need because she wasn't afraid of needing others,' my mom explained. 'She didn't mind extending kindness to others, because she herself relied on the kindness of others.' My mom and I didn't need to unpack the emotion behind that story. We both understood what MeeMaw had that we didn't: The capacity to receive.” - Brené Brown, Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.

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