Independence: The Beauty of Finding Your Own Way

Asking for help is one of the hardest things for me to do. Regardless of my struggle, I believe that I can do it. It’s a natural reaction for me, and I don’t even pause to consider if I actually need help or not. Throughout my life, I have always been able to find a modification for everything.

Once, as a baby, I insisted on feeding myself with only one finger on my left hand because my right arm was in a sling. It took me longer to eat, but I managed it. My mom was both aggravated and proud. But she is the one who always told me, “You can do anything, Candida. Find your own way!”

And I loved discovering my inner strength and accomplishing the complicated. Having someone do the difficult tasks for me would have hindered me. Always waiting for others to help me would become a limitation, disadvantage, handicap, and ultimately cause me to become a burden to others.

All of the things, I never want to become.

Independent and strong is the type of person that beckons to me. When we constantly rely on others, we put our dreams and life in their hands. Accepting help on occasion, however, is not a bad thing.

At the grocery store a few days ago, something fell off my cart in the parking lot and became lodged under the tire. The cart inclined and I struggled to hold it with one hand and pick up the item. A kind woman stopped and picked it up for me. I was thankful for her help, but I’m sure if she would have asked me first that I would have refused her help. Not intentionally, just automatically. Eventually, I would have figured out how to do it myself because that’s the way I’m programmed.

When someone offers kindness we should accept and acknowledge it for what it is. Nevertheless, we should still do the things we can do, and always give more than we take. Otherwise we come to expect kindness without appreciating it. And unintentionally take advantage of people.

Just like with God. He wants us to ask Him for help, but He also expects us to do the things we can do for ourselves. We can’t just quit our job and expect God to provide our needs. Or stop seeking Him and expect Him to bless our lives abundantly. Accountability for our own lives is important, and so many people these days expect others to care for them.

I’m truly thankful for my stubbornness, strength and independence. It enables me to grow and prosper into the person God created me to be. Relying on others, doesn’t force me out of my comfort zone or challenge me in any way. We need to learn how to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, and embrace the curve balls of life. The more I struggle to do things for myself, the more I am able to accomplish; which, in turn, boosts my confidence and helps me with future trials.

Just so we are clear, my family helps me tremendously. We all take turns with the chores and responsibilities, but I never use my challenges as a way to get out of certain tasks. Even when I had a really hard time walking a few months ago, I wouldn’t allow my family to cater my needs or for my husband to carry me. That would have been the easier option for me, but I knew, in my heart, if they made it easy for me to stay in bed that I may never walk again.

While there is no shame in asking for help when needed, I also believe that every once in a while we should help ourselves. So I’m going to continue embracing my independence.

What do you all think?
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