I was listening to a country song yesterday (Yes, country. I’m that far gone.) — and I heard a lyric that resonated with me. “If I need a mountain moved, I move it myself.”
That’s me to a Grand Teton.
And it’s not because I’m afraid people will think I’m weak. Nor is it that I think I can do everything all by myself… far from it. I am definitely not the sharpest shovel in the shed, or the most diverse and multi-purposed, either.
It’s just I don’t want to be a bother. It’s how I was raised.
Chalk it up to Puritan work ethic… or cult indoctrination… but I feel like if I can’t get it all done, then I’m inadequate and unworthy of help. So most days, I just feel it all crumbling around me. Nevertheless, I carry on.
But I am in absolute awe of — and even a little bit alarmed for — people who actually do ask for help. They’re far braver than me. And have a much stronger sense of self-worth.
Because they expect people to help carry the load. They expect people to care.
And it’s not like I’m surrounded by people who DON’T care. I’m not. Far from it. As a matter of fact, I have the most amazing friends and family. I am unbelievably blessed. They would be more-than-willing to help me move my Himalayan hurdles, if they only knew about my Himalayan hurdles.
But I tend not to tell them. Because I was also raised to be invisible.
And asking for help puts you right out there in the spotlight.
So I don’t.
But I watch the ones who are out there in the spotlight, bathed in self-confidence, and I long to be more like them.
They’re all so warm and golden, so on-fire with self-love. Like they really believe the world is their oyster and that people will stumble all over themselves to help them string up its pearl and lay it ’round their neck.
And the world is. And the people do.
Meanwhile I carry on, flattened by Everest crumbling over the top me.
Anybody else struggle with that? And is it primarily a female thing? Or a Heather Candela thing?
Or are there men out there who have trouble asking for help, too?
Because my husband doesn’t have trouble. He knows his limits and he knows his worth. And he compromises neither when he asks for help. (I mean, who wouldn’t go above and beyond for such a tall mug of salted caramel macchiato? He’s delicious.)
I admire him so much, and I want to be like him so much — but I’m distinctly lacking in both salt and caramel. (Although I am tall. So I do have that.)
I have tried my best to raise my daughters to be more like those warm and golden souls of this world and NOT like their mother.
I’ve tried to raise them to have a strong sense of self. To be empowered and intelligent. To be willing and willful. To have servants’ hearts — ready to give assistance when needed — but also to have a queen’s spirit and know their value. I want them to never settle for less than they deserve and to know they are always worthy of somebody else’s effort and attention. Always.
I’m trying to do the same with my sons. And maybe it’ll be easier with them. Maybe girls struggle more with the mountains they haul. I don’t know. This is unchartered terrain for me.
What I do know is that I want all my children to be able to move mountains AND string pearls.
It must be the most amazing feeling.
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