I’m not worthy of help.
This is a paraphrase of something one of the men in my Facebook group said (to join the group, send me a message or check one of my older posts).
I shouldn’t have been as taken aback by this as I was… but I was.
But it totally makes sense.
And it’s related to the idea that asking for help makes you less of a man, but in a different way.
I can identify with this.
And the roots go deep, though they always come back to what I think is at the bottom of most men’s (and people’s) issues.
Most of think that until we meet some kind of arbitrary standard of effort or behavior, we still need to figure it out for ourselves.
Or maybe we believe that, because we feel like we don’t have anything to offer in exchange for help, that we may as well not bother asking.
But even more pervasive are the messages that some of us have received at some point in our lives from people who we looked up to, or had authority over us.
This could be from parents who communicated, directly or indirectly, that we weren’t as important as their job, or hobby, or other children.
Or maybe it was from a spouse/significant other. Or a teacher. Or a boss.
The list of possibilities is endless.
Every story is a little different, but the results are the same.
Somehow it was communicated that we weren’t good enough.
We were unworthy.
Better still, we’re also hit with messages all day long that we have to have a certain job, or a certain spouse, or a certain car, or a certain level of income…
Or we’re a loser.
So we tie our identity to anything that will sit still long enough for us to accomplish something that the world deems worthy of recognizing (especially those people that hurt us in the past).
I’m no different than anyone else.
I’ve had my fair share of these experiences.
I got a degree in Public Relations… not out of any great passion for it, but because it was the change of major that I could do and still get out of college on time.
See, I wanted to be an ESPN anchor, so I started out in broadcast journalism.
But even way back when I was in college, I could see that being a member of the media meant selling your soul in exchange for the opportunity to be on camera.
And the more prestigious your position, the worse it got.
So I wanted out of that career path well before it started.
I stayed in the communications department and went with PR.
Sounds simple, but it created something of a crisis for me at 19 years old.
I was panicked because I was in college with no clear path and no idea what kind of work I wanted to do.
Through a strange set of circumstances, I found my way into the Air Force working in… Public Relations!
And everything seemed to make sense.
For about 4 years.
To keep this from getting too long, I got caught up in what’s known as a Reduction in Force (RIF).
That’s a euphemism for downsizing.
Me and about 10,000 of my low-level company-grade officer coworkers were sent packing.
And because I had tied my identity to my military service, I had no idea who I was.
Or what I should do next.
I spent a lot of time after that attempting to tie my identity to lots of different things.
Just ask my wife… She can’t explain to anyone what it is that I do at this point.
And in trying to establish my identity in things that are constantly changing, I’ve had even more ups and downs.
And I still do.
However, I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that, as long as I tie my identity to external things, it can always be taken from me.
But there is one source of identity that can never be taken away.
Thankfully it’s the only one that means anything.
And that’s my (and your) identity as a child of God.
I could put a whole bunch of Scripture here, but I’d rather you dust off your Bible and read some for yourself first.
Here are a few passages you can start with:
1 Peter 2:9
1 Thessalonians 1:4
Did you read them?
If not… go back and do it.
Ok, you can gather from those passages and many others, that you are a son of God.
Accepted, chosen, redeemed, loved.
But here’s the thing…
Most of us have been conditioned for our ENTIRE LIVES to believe otherwise.
To believe that we’re worth what society says we’re worth.
Until you really take the time to internalize and accept these truths, you’ll still chase after the wrong things.
The things that make you feel unworthy.
And unworthy of receiving help.
I still struggle with this.
I know I’m accepted by God, but I want to be accepted by the world!
It’s a process.
And you don’t have to go through this process alone.
In violation of all the rules of marketing, I’m going to give you three things you can do:
- Get on my email list for regular encouragement and to make sure you don’t miss a post (http://bringingmenup.com/subscribe/)
- Join the free (small but growing!) Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/183561963213494/)
- If you’re ready to go deeper on how this plays out in your own life and situation and get personalized coaching, click the BOOK A CALL button and let’s talk to see if we’re a fit to work together.
You’re worthy of help.