For Whom Does The Bell Toll?

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(Photo credit: The hills are alive (back for a bit….)

Michelle asks: Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

No, Michelle, it is not easy to ask for help when I need it. Yes, I do like to rely on myself. But how was that working for me? Not great.

I have learned to ask for help, and have been met almost exclusively with success. Life hands us some pretty tricky situations sometimes and I have found I needed (and still need) help getting through them.  My family and friends have reached out in my times of need—and without question have helped me in so many ways—emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Sometimes I have had to ask. And it was hard.

I have also found that sometimes I put something out to the blog world and receive such support – it is wonderful to have this new venue to call on. I try not to do it often, but whenever I do, I have been rewarded a hundred fold.

I once thought I was an “island” but have since come to the realization that no man or woman is an island (sorry Mr. Donne, for the bastardization of that phrase). We cannot survive happily and successfully without each other. I was interested to note that “No Man is an Island” also had wrapped within its clever words, another phrase we use often—take a look see:

        No Man is an Island ~ John Donne

No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe

is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as

well as any manner of thy friends or of thine

own were; any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysical Poets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So do you find it hard to ask for help? And when you did—were you rewarded?


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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I didn’t realize that Hemingway’s title resides in this poem..I love that we are all connected, and love still more that when you have reached out your hand someone has grasped it with steadfastly.

    • I reached out to the right people, and they made me feel like I was worthy of helping–there is nothing better than that!

      • I can’t imagine your worthiness has been – or ever will be – a question LouAnn..ever.

  2. I agree that no one of us is an island…still, I find it difficult to ask for help. Or if I need help, I prefer to do something to return the favor. This isn’t about being gracious…I hope I am able to receive help with gratitude and grace. But I find it difficult to ask…not sure why! ~ Sheila

    • I know how you feel–I was the same way and still usually do not ask for help unless I am kind of desperate

  3. I do find it hard to ask for help, so much so that I very rarely do. Fair or not fair, I tend to allow people to decide if they want to help me. While I am lying on the couch here I will go ahead and admit that as I was growing up my father was one who “allowed” us to serve him and that model bred in me a repulsion for asking for help or favors, etc. How much do I owe for this session?

    • first second and third sessions are free–if we see someone use others to wait on them it does make us much more reticent to ask for help–sometimes though people do not know you need help unless you ask

      • Completely true! I genuinely do not look for or expect help (or need it most of the time). Owever, I am ale to tell when others need help and I assume that others have that skill as well. But a lot of people take the “if you want my help ask me” approach. They are precisely the ones whose help I don’t want. The other group, those who do recognize my need and kindly offer are the ones whose help I for some reason wave off. At any rate, I don’t think about it much or walk around thinking about it much. Thanks for the discussion!

  4. I rarely ask for help, preferring to do things on my own. In fact, I so rarely ask for help that I wait until I am in the weeds to do so and at that point feel completely defeated. Hum. I think I need to work on that! Thanks for making me ponder about it!

    • just before the defeated point–ask for help–though I have asked for help when I feel defeated and it brings me back

  5. I think most of us do find it hard to ask for help. I find it easier to ask for help from someone who I have helped – not that there is an expectation that if you help someone, they must help you back, but it just makes me feel a bit more comfortable if it doesn’t feel one-sided! Offering help can be just as difficult too can’t it, you don’t want to force yourself on the person by insisting that they let you help them, but you want to be sure that they know you are genuinely offering to help!

  6. I used to take pride in the fact that I didn’t need to ask for help….. until I did. And then once I did, I wondered why it took me so long and why it was (and still is) so hard. But like you said, when you ask for help, you’re so often rewarded beyond anything you expected. I think most people are more than willing to help because we like to feel needed so it really goes both ways sometimes.

    • it really does go both ways–I hated to ask for help but it became apparent to me that I needed it

  7. I do not like asking for help because when I do – there is usually an ok BUT…
    Well – I think if you are offering to help or accepting to help – you should help where help is needed – not what you pick & choose. Just my view. When I help – I ask – what the person needs help with & help with what they actually need help with & I would pretty much expect the same.
    Well- as my dad always said…If you want something done & done right – just do it yourself. Yep – pretty much right in my experience.

    • getting help with strings attached is not really help is it?

      • Totally agree

  8. No man is an island. I learnt that from my blog, I learnt that during my final year of school.
    If you try to be an island, you often sink.

    Choc Chip Uru

    • so true–it is hard to ask for help sometimes–but I have found great luck when I have had to–and it has kept me from sinking

  9. I’ll take nay help that’s offered. I’m not lazy, but if someone else is helping then just maybe the stuff I have to lug about seems a bit lighter.

  10. It is extremely difficult for me to ask for help. I don’t like to feel like a burden on someone! However, when I have mustered enough courage to ask, it has indeed been rewarding. 🙂

    • I too do not like to be a burden which is why it is so hard for us to ask for help–:)

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