There’s a song by Jack Johnson that says, “It’s always better when we’re together.” I know Jack was referring to the love of his life, but lately I’ve thought of this in terms of our sisterhood of women.
I’ve noticed lately how much we women sometimes just do things on our own. Why do we think we have to do everything by ourselves? Somewhere in our culture of independence and self-sufficiency, somebody goofed. These are excellent virtues, yes… but they can be taken to the extreme.
The past few weeks a group of women I am a part of has been participating in a fun activity. On Sunday we draw one of the other women’s names from a basket and then we do something to help her that following week. I’ve been so surprised when I’ve asked the women whose names I’ve drawn what I can do to help and the answer is, “Oh, I’m fine.”
Really? Because if you were perfectly fine then you wouldn’t have anything left to do here on planet Earth.
I did something anyway for each of them, completely unbidden. I’m such a rebel.
This experience really gave me pause. I’m sure there was plenty I could have done for each of them. I offered to wash their car, bring a dinner, or weed their flowerbeds. No takers! Why do we have such a hard time asking for help? Is it because we don’t dare admit that we can’t do it ALL? Heaven forbid!
I think we forgot that we are meant to help each other. We are meant to work together. We are meant to learn from each other. No one is supposed to try to make it through their life all on their own. Besides, it’s more efficient, more fulfilling, and more FUN when we’re together.
Another friend and I have made it a regular habit to get together and help each other. We have no problem letting each other see our dirty sinks, our messy desks, and our scary closets! We are fully aware that we are both human beings, learning in the midst of this great adventure called life, and neither one of us has got it ALL together yet. It’s such a liberating feeling! I’ll go to her house and do her dishes while I put my laundry in her washer (I don’t have one!) and we’ll talk and work and come up with great ideas for the world’s problems… or at least our own.
It reminds me of days when women did their wash together at the stream. Or sewed a quilt as a group for a young bride. Or sat out on someone’s lawn during the long evenings of summer while the kids played together.
We were meant to work, play, laugh, cry, and be TOGETHER.
How about we stop saying, “Oh, I’m fine.” Instead, let’s start saying, “Let’s wash our cars. It’ll be better together.”
QUESTION: When has the companionship of a friend made a difference in your workload?
CHALLENGE: Next time you start feeling overwhelmed, reach out for help instead of trying to manage on your own. Then record in your journal (or somewhere safe) how it went. Chances are, working hand in hand with your friends could become a habit.
Submitted on 5-26-2010 at 10:22am
Just last week somebody told me that a lady had called her feeling overwhelmed and asked for help cleaning her house. At first I (unkindly) thought “Why can’t she do it herself, like the rest of us?” and then, as the week has passed, I think, ‘Good for her!’ She needed help and she wasn’t afraid to ask.
Why do we women think we don’t need help from others? I love to read books about the Amish culture and one of the things I love about them is how much the women rely on one another. You are so right-women need to use each other more. It makes the tasks of life so much more bearable.
Anna Jenkins says
Ann, I just read this article while moving it over from our old publisher to this site. I LOVE…LOVE…LOVE it!! Amen sister! Yes we need each other and we are SO much better together!