Pride and Accomplishment
Don’t let your pride get in the way of you getting things done.
I have been working out of the library recently. My son is in a half day camp and it’s easier to work in the library than it is to drive home and back. But I don’t always get my work done. Sometimes I talk to people. One day a homeless vet decided I was safe enough to poor his heart out to. He seems like a really good guy despite his tears.
Why is he homeless? Well, like most of us he fell on hard times. This is a man who served his country and did things that he isn’t proud of. He clearly has trauma and guilt related to his service in Vietnam.
In addition to his military service, he spent most of his adult life as a firefighter and a paramedic. He told me that he used to fly planes and he misses being able to do that. So how does a guy who has dedicated his life to the service of others struggle like this?
Well. He knows where to go to get help, but he doesn’t want to accept the help. He just doesn’t like himself right now and he has taken up drinking because he really doesn’t want to do what he needs to do to try and get back on his feet.
When I asked him why he wasn’t taking advantage of the help for vets in the area – he said – pride. He’s scared. He’s bull headed and proud and he doesn’t want to admit, he needs help, even though he was sitting in front of me crying. He’s the guy who helps others.
When I met him, he had been out of jail for 2 weeks and had started drinking in the past 4 days. Why was he in jail? Petty theft? Why – because he needed to eat and was homeless? Why? Because he refused to ask for help when he lost his job.
Let that sink in. He went to jail because he was too proud to ask for help! Hopefully he will let go of his pride enough to let other people help him.
I have always felt that if I was going through hell, I needed to keep going. My husband and I have been through hard times and we sought out help so that we wouldn’t lose our home and so that we would have food. We aren’t too proud to ask for help. But then we have a kid and our economic situation doesn’t just affect us. It affects our child and we had to do what we needed to do to ensure he was/is taken care of. Asking for help was our way of helping our child.
I understand how hard it is to admit you need help. I suffered with panic attacks for 3 years before I sought out professional help. I didn’t want to admit that what was happening to me was more than I could handle. But it was. I no longer hesitate to ask for help when I need it. Suffering unnecessarily is not noble. It doesn’t make you a better person. If you can avoid suffering, get help and avoid it.
Here is how I now look at the process of asking for help. Helping other people feels good. Being independent so that we can help others feels good. Being in a position of needing help feels bad. So bad that my new friend went to jail to avoid asking for help.
It is easy to seek out help when you are helping someone else. Which is why my husband and I didn’t hesitate to find every resource we could find to ensure our son was ok.
Here is my secret to being ok with needing and accepting help. I help others by allowing them to help me. It is a gift to serve others. If I don’t allow them to serve, I am denying them an opportunity to be of service. So in a way, allowing people to help is my way of helping. Don’t deny people the good that comes of being of help.
As for my new friend– There are people who will help him – he just needs to get his pride out of the way and let them.