A Healing Table: Embracing Help

(Part three in a series on finding simplicity when living with chronic pain/limits; the full series can be found here)

Of course there is more to support than this "stuff" in the last post. Helping our stuff to be simpler and more supportive, and changing our appoaches to things (learning new ways of doing things etc), and re-prioritizing, and adapting our schedules etc, and all of that....well it does help. And to be less burdensome on others most will try and go that route when we can. But we all need help from each other sometimes, from an actual person, its just part of being human. The other day i came accross this qoute, which expresses it far better than i ever could, from Tomato Soup Cake:

But here's something I never would have suspected: humbly accepting help can be a joyous thing. The reality is that we are all vulnerable, we all have our needy moments.... God has designed us that way. He wants us to be dependent on each other...He wants us to be real.

It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me

than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Psalm 119:71,72

And this is true tenfold when one is living with chronic limits and pain...we should simply accept that rather than judge ourselves. Its also important though i think, to make it easier for folks to give that help, when we can. For example, one of my limits is with chopping things. So what i've learned to do is plan ahead there to what will need to be chopped for the week. I have a hard time especially with things like carrots and potatoes etc, so when my fiance is here he will chop them up for me ahead of time and then they can be stored in storage containers with water, in the fridge.... or even frozen. Then there they are, ready for soups and the like (if making soup use the water as part of the broth, or use it as cooking water in something else as its vitamin rich). Even onion and garlic can be chopped ahead this way...just store them in glass jars so it keeps in the scent (if they are in the fridge that is...if they are frozen i'm guessing its better to put them in plastic containers then wrap that well in foil).

The point is simply this: It's far easier for someone to help out with things like this if we try to simplify and also plan ahead to what we'll need. Then the help can be given all at once in bulk once a week or less for example, and at whatever time is convenient for them...rather than help needed more frequently (and "at that moment") becuase things have been unplanned. And by planning i dont mean anything complicated. In this chopping example for instance, its about just knowing what basics you need to have on hand on a regular basis (the chopped potatoes, carrots, onion, etc etc), that's the planning part; and then also cooking more simply to begin with so you wont need an abundance of things needing to be cut. Well, more on that stuff in the cooking posts whenever that happens.

Another example is help in cleaning....The limits there are some of the most frustrating ones. Becuase cleaning, its this primal thing i think, part of our longing for order and beauty. So to come to a chore your body just can't do, its really frustrating. But these hard to do chores can go on a special list at least, so that you can turn to it to know just what to ask for when help is offered. That can work pretty well.

Not everything can be planned of course, life happens, and sometimes we truly do need help "right then". But planning the things we can, and simplfying what we can, it really does seem to make it far easier on those who care enough to help.

(Image from Gode Cookery)

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