|It’s one of the most basic realities of being human: we need help. So, why is it so hard to get “help” right?|
Many of us are taught to value self-reliance, and independence – and asking for help requires we inform other people. As in, broadcast our weaknesses, incompetence, inadequacies for others to see? No thanks!
On the other hand, when we asked to help someone else, we know it can feel really good to have that chance to be close to another. We see how asking for help is not weakness, but strength – requiring courage and trust.
As Brene Brown reminds us, “our vulnerability is…the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”
Still, it’s often hard to know if the help we offer is actually helpful. We aren’t sure if it’s too much, or not enough. If we’ve come in with too much of our own culture, our own values, our own assumptions, our own pain….our own needs…
Offering help often brings us right back there – to our own needs, our own insecurities – if we let it.
Because helping always puts us in touch with our limits. Our humanness.
For the next five weeks, we’re going to dive into this basic human reality of “help.” Asking for it. Receiving it. Giving it. And even, dealing with the feelings of helplessness that are also a part of being human.
Because even though it is integral to being human, help is something that takes practice, and self-awareness, and an fundamentally spiritual orientation.
That is, a willingness to live in to our fundamental dependence. To accept that we are not in charge or control of most things in this life. And yet to know that this can be a gift – as we come to embrace and give thanks for the piece that is ours. Our unique place and part in this great interdependent web of all.
Join us this Sunday, March 31st, as we kick off this new series, Help Wanted.
We always choose one song for each of our worship series that we sing or perform in every Sunday in the series. It’s usually something you’ll find yourself singing later in the day, without even realizing it. Because music connects in the deepest parts of our brains, the idea is that we’ll connect more fully with theme, and bring it into our everyday lives.
For this series, we’ve chosen Come With Me from Joe Jencks – who provided special music in the services on February 24th. It’s a great song acknowledging the ways we need each other in this life. Can’t wait to sing it with all of you throughout this series!!
Go Deeper – Resources for further reflection on the theme
People who need help sometimes look a lot like people who don’t need help. – Glennon Doyle
1. Want to help someone who’s struggling? Here’s a great mantra: Comfort In, Dump Out. Check out this article for more details on the “ring theory” of helping.
2. Have you seen the original TED Talk from Brene Brown? Have you seen it lately? There’s a reason that it went viral. It’s a transformational look at vulnerability, shame, and courageous living.
3. Ram Dass’s classic book How Can I Help? remains a great resource on helping in all its forms.
4. One thing we’ve been thinking about as we explore this series is the problems with how we think about “helping” at a social level. Here’s an articleexploring the problems with the way we think about solving poverty, as one example.
5. A great model of helping – giving and receiving – was a part of many of our childhood’s – or our children’s childhoods. If you haven’t caught Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the story of Mr. Rogers, now’s a great time – it’s out on DVD.
We usually think of giving as more important than receiving.
Yet only by receiving light can flowers grow
into their beauty and pollinate the earth.
Only by absorbing rain can the earth grow what feeds us.
Only by inhaling air can our bodies walk us to each other.
Only by accepting each other’s pain and vulnerability
can human strength grow between us.
In these ways, receiving involves absorbing, inhaling, and accepting the life that flows through us, between us, and around us.
– Mark Nepo
Join us for the whole Help Wanted Series
Every Sunday – in person, or online.
8:30, 10:00, or 11:30 am
until April 28th when we begin our two-service schedule at 9 and 11 am.