Written by: Jennifer Major
What if I told you that fierce independence isn’t what it’s all about? As the daughter of feminist parents, this is something that I’ve struggled to reconcile myself. Being fiercely independent is a badge of honor I’ve worn for years and a value I’ve taught my daughters.
Here’s the thing: I knew that asking for help wasn’t a bad thing. Sure, if you need help moving a sofa or on a project at work, ask for help. But I didn’t really understand what it meant to ask for support, much less why it was important. Until that day in September 2021 when I fell getting out of the shower, breaking my left arm and shattering part of my left leg.
Two surgeries, countless appointments, a 2-month stint living with my parents, and innumerable hours of physical therapy, all set me up for some lessons around independence in a hurry. I could feed myself, kinda. But that was about it. Everything else required help.
The physical recovery and processing of what I’d been through were exhausting on their own. But on top of that, I was learning to ask for help. Because I needed help with absolutely everything, which was frustrating to me and caused me to feel like such a burden. I know from my work as a professional organizer that these feelings are normal when you are processing something new and uncomfortable. But knowing that didn’t make them easier to process.
Along the way, I’ve learned some lessons about what it means to ask for support.
1) How you ask is just as important as asking
2) Lots of freaking grace
3) Interdependence is really what it’s all about
4) Know who your people are
5) Practice asking for support
So I’ve set down my fierce independent badge of honor, knowing that I can still pick it up when I need it because it doesn’t have to be gone forever. I can, however, choose a new badge of interdependence where I can find my power and authority by continuing to learn from these five lessons.
Lesson No. 1 - How you ask is just as important as asking
Lesson No. 2 - Lots of freaking grace
Lesson No. 3 - Interdependence is really what it’s all about
Lesson No. 4 - Know who your people are
Lesson No. 5 - Practice asking for support
And I hand you the baton to carry on with this new badge, too. Though I do hope you get there without broken bones and a life flipped upside down. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, though I am finding that silver lining in the journey.
Excerpt from Setting Down My Independence Badge Of Honor: 5 Lessons to Lean Into Support written by Jennifer Major from inside RELATE, our spring 2022 Special Edition of SOULACY.
Excerpt from Setting Down My Independence Badge Of Honor: 5 Lessons to Lean Into Support written by Jennifer Major inside Issue 13 · RELATE Special Edition · April 2022
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