Shalamov and Piola via Canva Pro

Photo courtesy of Shalamov and Piola via Canva Pro

All By Myself

I was quite challenging when I was little. The same independent streak that I still hold dear now led my words and my actions regularly but with an added toddler-fit flare. I likely brought a good bit of frustration and laughter to those around me as I insisted to anyone who would listen that I could do it all by myself. It did not matter what the task was, I insisted upon it. I still do.

You have seen this show. That adorable little kiddo who demands they can handle a task that we, as been-there-done-that adults, obviously see is too much for them to do alone. Yet these determined babes snatch their hands back and puff up their chests and assert their independence as they struggle and fumble to do it on their own no matter the result. Hmm. That sounds familiar. Not just from my childhood, but maybe from yesterday or last week. That moment in which I pushed forward into a problem, not only ignoring the opportunity for help, but often outright refusing it. God stands by watching, ready to help, frustrated and laughing at the same time as I insist once again, I can do it all alone.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times for our kids and for ourselves where we must learn how to do it wrong in order to learn to do it right. There are moments of struggle that we will go through that will bring us to our knees with or without help. I am not talking necessarily about those moments. I am talking about the times we have help right there waiting and we look past it on purpose just to stand on our own independence. I am talking about the hard-headed child within us that wants to do things unassisted just to prove we can even when we know we should accept help. I am talking about the lie we tell ourselves that we are failures if we have to ask for help. The untruth that reaching beyond ourselves for strength we do not have alone means we are weak.

That is a lie.

In fact, it is just the opposite. Being humble enough to ask for help and admit when you cannot do it alone requires great courage. Setting down your pride to reach for the hand that is extended out to you, ready to lift you higher, takes great strength. There is nothing weak about that.

So, today I am going to watch for these stubborn moments and take notice of the opportunities to take hold of the shelter He offers me. When trials come, I am going to look up instead of in the mirror. I can do lots of things all by myself. But some of them I do not have to—and neither do you.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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