I found that I couldn't get it all done on my own so I reached out to my friends. I sent out an email to ask those who had mentioned they wanted to help. I asked 18 friends and 14 replied that they would be there. Several were out of town but they offered to help later. It was an amazing feeling to have such support.
I have always been a giver because being a giver feels really good and you are not vulnerable. To ask for help felt strange and a bit uncomfortable, but I knew I could not do it without them. They had offered many times so I took the chance.
I am so glad I did. It was the most wonderful feeling. My friends showed up and worked so hard for two days that the house buzzed like a bee hive, lots of laughter and talking. I felt so supported and loved.
We had pizza and tea, it was more like a party than work. I really learned something from this experience. I learned that it makes others feel good to give back. It made me feel really valued by my friends that they loved me enough to paint (a rather awful task). I felt uplifted and loved, that they would be there no matter what.
I now feel stronger and safer than I ever have. I want to give back even more than I did before. I still need to perfect the lesson of receiving, as I sat at the table for tea I kept telling people, "sit down we have a chair for you" and, "did you get any tea or cookies?" All my friends just laughed and said, "you need to trust that we will ask for what we need and you don’t have to take care of everyone."
What a gift. It took my life falling apart to learn this. I hope you have known this or can learn to receive without the pain of loss. It is truly amazing.
"The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it."
- Hubert Humphrey