Let me know how I can help

I love helping.

Balpolam Idi
4 min readJan 21, 2023

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Photo by Craig Philbrick on Unsplash

I may have gotten that bit from my mother who will always go out of her way to find a solution for you. No matter how inconveniencing, she’ll do it.

But one thing I, unfortunately, did not get, is the courage to always ask for help from people who are willing to help me. Mind you, I am good at dividing and assigning tasks, breaking them into smaller deliverable chunks. Yet, it is so uncomfortable for me to put certain people in my network to use. That’s the word. I feel like I am using people. I don’t like it.

The thing is, people are willing to help if you are in some way or another adding meaning or value to their life, or at the very least if the act of helping you adds value to their life. So why are we, why am I so afraid of taking people up on their offer? I have been burned. That’s it. Past trauma. That’s all. Someone somewhere some time ago promised to help and they did, except they had uncommunicated expectations. Of course, I fell short of those expectations because I didn’t know about them and my social cues can be very kindergarten — I prefer it when things are spelt out. One disappointment led to another and I have spent many years beating myself up over the episode. This is why I am hesitant to respond to the let me know how I can help offers.

I understand that life is happening to us all and I’m floored by the fact that another human has such interest in me and my success. But I find it hard to believe that I won’t disappoint them or fall short of their expectation. So what do I do? I run like a coward.

Then again I am becoming more and more conscious of my compulsive desire to help and offer assistance to all the people in my life and then I wonder how I’d feel if they didn’t let me help. I imagine how many people’s lives I’ve made easier by being willing to help and then what if they never accepted my offer? What if they behaved as I do?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

So, I am choosing to accept help. Especially because I know I need it and I can be a bit of a mumu, so help is necessary. I will wrestle with my mind and body, but I will win. And every day, I will make the choice to respond to how can I help with coherent sentences, clear-cut pain points and what I expect as the outcome. I will choose to let ambiguity lie like a dead bone and invite clarity into my conversations. It will not be easy but I will give it a go. I don’t know about you, but it gets so exhausting holding on to several ends alone. You also deserve to have your burden lifted.

A few things you and I need to remember this year. You may choose to say it.

I am worthy of love. The good and healthy kind. The kind I intend to give out.

I will learn to receive help — good and timely help. And I shall also eagerly offer to help.

I may not deserve the kind of support and blind loyalty I am getting, but I will do my best to live up to it.

I will love up on the people in my life and make them very aware of how important they are to me.

I will not spend time on things that don’t matter. I will not dwell on past mistakes. I will give myself room to grow, to heal, to try again.

I will be most patient with myself. I have never been this age, at this time or in this place. This is a brand-new experience and until I get a hang of it, I shall be okay with taking baby steps.

I will show up. Put in the work to be better at everything I do. Work or play. I will give my 100.

I will try new things and be ready to fail. But even more ready to try again.

Alexa, play Try Everything by Shakira from zootpia.

Love, Ballie 💖

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Balpolam Idi

Live, Love, Give. But most importantly, Dream. Learner. Teacher. Wanderer.