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Let me know if you need anything.

What can I do to help?

You should take time for yourself, get away for a day.

If I only had a nickel for every time I heard that when I was taking care of my mom during her later years. It’s not that I didn’t want help or didn’t agree with everything they said, but I just couldn’t visualize how l would make these suggestions come to fruition. And what an imposition! To ask someone to take time out of their day to help me? And what exactly could they do that I am not already doing? Well, little did I know then that my refusal of help robbed my friends and family of one of the best opportunities in life; the satisfaction of purpose and appreciation one feels when they give of themselves.

When you accept help from others, you are allowing that person an opportunity to give. Giving feels good and is a direct path toward our own happiness. And when you let someone help, you also let them in and allow them to become more connected to you. As a result, your relationships will only strengthen as you personally gain the ability and willingness to receive as well as to give. So, the next time someone offers you a little help, please reconsider your usual knee-jerk response of ‘no thank you.’  Instead, say:

I’d love it if you could make a casserole one night this week.

You could call just to visit for a few minutes on Saturday mornings?

I’d sure appreciate a few hours away, are you free to relieve me one day next week?

Remember: if the situation were reversed, you’d do whatever you could to help the people you love navigate the bumpy times of their lives.