Thoughts on the village it takes…

I love Instagram, I love seeing how other people create things and the sense of community that builds as you get to know other people. I have some favorites; people with a gift for creating beauty, people who are honest about life, people who have amazing hair or style. It’s all inspiration for the way I want to live my life, create beauty and accept the way I look. Today I came across a post by one of my favorites. She falls into all of those categories I listed above. She creates some amazing things, has beautiful hair ( It difficult to tame curly hair, but some people have done just that. She’s for sure one of them), and she is honest. Life isn’t always sunshine and happiness. It’s often hard, messy and sad. She doesn’t hide that. She embraces it and shares her story, she lets you in. It’s a magical thing, it makes seeing the happy in her life lift your spirits even more. It makes you love her. The photo I encountered today wasn’t one of the artsy, beautiful, perfect ones. It was just a photo of some ladies around an overflowing table. They were happy and you could see they were enjoying their ‘job’. But it’s what she says under this photo that really hit me.

“I’ve lost track of the last time I showered. I have makeup from two days ago crusted under my eyes & I ate caramel chocolate squares for breakfast. I’m greasy, smelly & downright scattered. I showed up to coffee this morning & my gals immediately began packaging my product just in the nick of time for #thelittlecraftshow ! I’m a hot mess & these people still love me. BLESS” http://instagram.com/p/wMjhAfRnu5/

I have always had a hard time with asking for help, but my problem doesn’t end there. I have hard time even letting people help when I haven’t asked for it. Yesterday was a doozy! And that is a mild word for how it felt, in the moment. I wanted to run away. I wanted to scream, cry and whine. I was too far past my bs limit. I felt like I needed a lifeline. But, being me I couldn’t reach out for one. Seeing this post reminded me that sometimes help is not just about the actual thing that needs doing. It’s about healing your soul. It’s about recognizing that you aren’t alone. That people care about you.

That old saying about a village, it’s true! We aren’t meant to all be in our homes, alone doing the suck work. I don’t mean raising the kids, I mean the mental work, the problem solving, the heart work. We are meant to share the burden, but in these times we are made to feel like we have to do it all. Like we have to not only do it all, but look good doing. It’s exhausting, it’s defeating and it will kill your spirit.

In her words I could see that she hadn’t had to ask for this help, she didn’t have to admit defeat and call in the cavalry. These ladies helping her, they are feeding their souls. They are there because they want to be, because they need her in this ‘job’ as much as she was needing them. To build up our stores for times when we are alone at home in the trenches, we must help each other. We must see the needs of others and fill them. When you do this, you’ll not only be building up a friend, you’ll be building yourself up. It’s even more than that. When you are there and doing what needs done, your ensuring that the same will be there for you. You are creating your village. I am so lucky to have an amazing village. The ladies around me are nothing short of perfect. I don’t mean in the sense that they always have it all together, look photo shoot ready or never make a misstep. I mean in their flaws, in their acceptance of my flaws, in their willingness to hold hands and march into battle with each other. We are working towards filling up the gaps. We complete each other. It’s a magical thing to see, but an even more wondrous thing to be a part of.

Now that I have I explained myself a little I feel that I can admit that seeing Natalie’s photo and reading her words, it made me cry. It made me feel so thankful that it hurt. It made me realize that when I am feeling like I can’t reach out, it maybe means that someone else needs what I can offer in that moment. So next time I feel overwhelmed, I’m going to reach out. It helped me to see that reaching out can be something as simple as inviting a friend for a coffee date, or bringing some cookies to the neighbor.

If you’re like me, and asking for help isn’t easy….try offering some instead. It will help you in ways you aren’t even sure you need. But trust me, you do.

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