Too Proud to be Served?
We had a flood. It was a little flood really, at least I thought it was. It was just the water dispenser on the front door of our fairly new refrigerator. It evidently got stuck, shorted out and continued to run as we were at our three-hour church block.
End result, we had to leave for a graduation in Utah the next day, and the clean-up professionals went to work in our absence. I expected a week of inconvenience and then a just-over-the-deductible bill. Then my son sent me a text photo of my kitchen. . . gutted from wall to wall, cupboards, insulation, major appliances, everything. This was in May. It is now October, new carpet is being laid on Monday and I still haven’t unpacked the pantry.
I’ve had difficulties before, car accidents; divorce; surgeries and babies; and each time I accepted the bare minimum of assistance when thrust upon me and never ever ask for it. I’m perfectly capable! Yet am I?
Who do I think I am?
How can I serve?
What can I do?
Do my little acts
Even matter to you?
Is it humility or pride
When I say, “No thanks, I’m fine.”
With a smile
Hiding all the hurt behind.
Am I just as poor
At receiving your gifts
And refusing you the delight
Of serving? ~ MSK
I’m discovering that looking into a mirror can be both revealing and unsettling. The blogosphere nudges at that; I find a clear window to other minds, personally unique thoughts and experiences. Watching the candor of others offers courage for me to discover a way to face up squarely with some of my own worst tendencies. I’ve even been gifted with a platform with which to express, share and discuss them with others.
I often long to ‘make a difference’ and yet there is no way I’d allow someone else to make a difference in my world. I even push away my husband, my mother, and friends when they offer. “I’m fine. I can do this.“
Anne Morrow Lindberg said, “My Life Cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.”
Am I being prideful in not allowing others to respond to me?
Yet I don’t change. I know intellectually that I need to be served. I know that I can’t possibly do all that I have on my plate by myself, and yet I’m afraid to ask. I’m afraid of being told no. I’m afraid of letting someone be my benefactor. I’m afraid of feeling obligated. I’m afraid of not being thought of as capable and strong. I’m afraid of not being enough.
Maybe afraid isn’t the right word. Perhaps I just don’t want to be disappointed. They say that if you want something done right, do it yourself, if you just want it done, ask someone else. That is prideful. Thinking that I’m the only one who can ‘do it right’ or at least my idea of right.
What if I go to all the mental effort and humiliation (humble-I-zation) and ask for something, and am told ‘Nah, you can’t do that’. I’m left bereft, deflated and back where I began. I know, it’s happened, and I detest that feeling even more than falling off a roller-coaster hill. Too big of a price to pay.
I remember when I was single and in an accident and simply could NOT take care of my family. They brought in meals for a couple of weeks (maybe more, I was down for six weeks, I don’t remember, I was on drugs!) I was embarrassed every time, and never got used to it. Yet my family ate more than cereal and ramen. The women most certainly felt good about their efforts. . . as they ought to, but I hated it. I love them, dearly, but I hated being a project.
When I was well again, I seriously thought about finding out every woman who served me, so I could return the favor (and thus relieve my obligation), but realized it would be an impossible task. I still feel obligated, and so when someone is ill, I sign up, even if I am incredibly busy and can’t imagine how I’ll come through.
Usually when I write posts, I give suggestions. I am the teacher. I offer tools and ideas and ways to move forward. It is who I am as a life and relationship coach, yet this time, I have no answers. I only have a still-prideful acknowledgement that I realize I need to repent, but have no ability (or commitment?) to do so. . . yet.
Perhaps knowing is a first step.
- Am I alone? Do you have answers for me?
- How does pride snake into your life?