I know it’s been more than a minute since I last posted here. I really had better intentions… but it isn’t like I’ve been doing NOTHING. The truth is, I’ve been nearly busier than ever… but just on stuff that’s not necessarily bloggable. I did get to go to Nashville for EMS World Expo and one day I will get around to finishing the seven or so drafts I started there.
Lately I’ve noticed how absolutely crushing being an adult can be. No, really, the responsibility you take on during your adulthood can be crushing to your mind, your body, and your soul. True, some may seem to have it easier than others while some seem to have it harder, but in my mind crushing is still crushing. So what to do about it?
I read this article a long time ago… which of course I can’t find. Nevermind that whoever said the internet never loses anything is obviously wrong, I did find similar articles on the same topic. So… since I can’t find the original article… here’s my own version:
The Three Hardest Things For Anyone To Say
There are three things that are the hardest for anyone… and when I say anyone I mean ANYONE including myself… to say. They are…
It’s hard to admit that you are the one who was wrong, whether its about a fact or due to an action. It’s a confession, an act to acknowledge your share of the blame, and at the same time an attempt to earn forgiveness. Receiving forgiveness is not a small thing… Poet Alexander Pope said, “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” It’s also an act of mercy, to alleviate the suffering from the guilty, and saying “I’m sorry” helps pave that way.
I Love You
You would think that this should be an easy thing to say… but it really isn’t. It’s hard to say because you are admitting to someone, in this case the one you have this feeling for, that you have a vulnerability and they happen to be it. You are leaving yourself wide open for either a huge win for the heart or a tragic breaking of it. C.S. Lewis wrote, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” Love can be such a complex topic because it can be felt on so many levels and in so many ways but they all share this key aspect… the aspect of being vulnerable.
Similar to the aforementioned “I Love You“, this is hard to say because not only are you admitting a weakness or vulnerability but asking someone else to come and render aid in doing something that in the moment when you are unable to do for yourself. Additionally it can make us feel inadequate, needy, or incapable and that can destroy an already rocked self-esteem. The worst part is that often people don’t necessarily think they are worthy of receiving the help they so desperately need.
I’ll be honest… I have a huge problem asking for help. It is rare that I use the words “help” and “me” in the same sentence. But… I still do ask for it. I know I have to because unfortunately, I can’t do it ALL on my own. My most often way to ask, “help me….” is actually by saying, “I need….” The truth is that in that moment(s), I do NEED whatever it is and the person I’m asking is usually someone who can help me with that… so that’s how I actually ask for help. So if I’ve ever said to you, “I need…” and you came through, well, thank you for helping me.
Ric Ocasek said, “Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.” This quote is SO true. Remember how I talked about that whole being vulnerable bit with “I Love You“? Well the same can be said of when you see someone struggling, you offer them help, and they refuse. Keep in mind, they haven’t actually asked for it… but you still offered because you can. That? Is just as bad as a heartbreak.
Amazing Things Happen When They Are Said
The truth is that amazing things can happen when they are said. When you say “I’m sorry” there is the opportunity for forgiveness, which as mentioned before, happens to be divine. When you say “I love you” there is the opportunity for an absurd amount of happiness which is, in my opinion, more often than not worth the risk of rejection. When you say “help me” (or in my case “I need”) suddenly the burden you bear doesn’t seem so heavy, and it may very well turn into something manageable and eventually not a burden at all.
Three things that are so hard to say… all inter-twined… all with risk… but they ALL have the possibility of greater reward.
So yeah… stop being afraid to say them.
Stop being afraid to say you are sorry, there are worse things then being wrong or to blame.
Stop being afraid to tell those you love that you do, there are worse things then never knowing if they love you too.
Stop being afraid to ask for help (or at least tell those who care about you what you need when they ask) because often without it the situation will only get worse and there comes a point where their help won’t undo the damage from the burden carried alone for too long of the crushing responsibility of adultism.
Working in EMS, we spend our careers going to those who are brave enough to ask for help. Granted, sometimes its someone else calling for them, but the majority are asking because they truly need it from their perspective. We as both an industry and as a profession need to realize that it’s okay for us to ask too. Not just when we’re sick or injured, but for other things as well. If we don’t take that time… and we don’t ask for help or tell others what we need… then how can we be there when those who are brave enough to ask do?