Sometimes one needs to just accept the fact that you cannot go it alone. You need to take your hat in your hand and ask for help. This has been evident to me in the past two years and without help from others I would not be writing tonight. I have learnt to ask for help when I need it, and the more I learn the greater my awareness becomes of how often I find myself in need of help. I have also learnt to assess when I may need help and ask for help very quickly rather than trying to go it alone, because inevitably if I thought of asking for help somewhere in the process I can be certain I will need it.
I am now quite comfortable in asking for help from people. Help comes in many forms. I have had help coping with lonely periods from close friends and family. I have had help in dealing with emotional difficulties from psychologists and I have had a great deal of help from my partner, Tania. My Dad has run the office when I did not have the energy to keep going. Angelique carried me at work for months and kept motivating me and encouraging me to get out and do business when I just wanted to hide behind my desk. My brother was a constant companion, challenging me, joking and being the little brother that he is, keeping things real and seeing the big picture from his vastly different and equally important view point. My Mom, always there to listen and, as we have gotten older together, able to understand deeper and encourage me to try figure out my own way of dealing with things. There are far too many people to mention and this post would be more like a telephone directory if I had to list every person individually. However these people have made a difference in my life and have helped out without expecting anything in return.
My parents, Mom and Dad, my first port of call when I need help. They are always there, always listening, always caring. Both my Mom and my Dad have been able to sit and watch me crumble whilst not trying to run my life. My parents have the amazing ability to see what is happening and offer their support without trying to steam roll their ideas onto me. My folks have love and wisdom that I truly value in parents. Whilst wanting to catch me before I fall they have let me fall and it has hurt them deeply, yet they are right there next to me, lifting me up by the hand, dusting me off and reassuring me and encouraging me to try again. They encourage me not to give up hope and to keep moving. It is an unbelievably hard job being a parent as your first reaction is to protect your kids, yet my folks have the love, maturity and wisdom to let me choose my own path and be right there with me when I trip and reassure me that this is all part of the learning. It has taken time for my folks to grow into their role and their growth as parents has kept up perfectly with my growth as a human, from infant to adult. And when one looks at the situation from this aspect you cannot but wonder who the teacher is in the relationship? I guess in our family we have all always played both roles as teacher and student simultaneously. My hope is that I too will one day grow up to be a parent that my children love and respect as much as I love and respect my parents.
Tania has been my tower of strength. I often wonder why Tania has hung around, yet here she is right next to me. The frustration and hurt that we have been through is enough to test any relationship, yet somehow we manage to grow closer. The hard times have made us open up to each other and communicate exactly how we feel. We have had to formulate systems and plans to keep moving forward. We have established a family unit that works well whilst flowing with a perfectly natural rhythm. We both still work full time yet we always make time for all three children. Whether that means attending school events or taking time off for holidays we manage to keep the pot boiling. Tania’s help has enabled me to be fully present to myself and to embrace my legacy of being the best Dad I can be. Tania has giving of her time to coach me formally, and the fruits are starting to manifest. It was difficult to focus on personal growth when everything felt like it was being torn apart, but being the phenomenal coach Tania is she somehow got me through it.
The children have all helped. Dark days are made light when the house is filled with the sound of children laughing. The joys of sand boarding, beach walks, bicycle rides and camping trips. Bass fishing and braaing, swimming and swing ball. Children have a unique way of viewing the world which makes it a fun place to live. Simple pleasures and endless love abound in this house. The children have helped in making me secure in my role as the man of the house and the father. We have boundaries and respect for each other. They look to me for protection, love and nurturing. I in turn look to them for understanding, childlike wonder and abundant love. Dayle, Ethan and Gabriella are shaping me into the Father I want to grow up to be. Thank you.
Help comes from many places, but we need to ask for it. We need to be humble enough to realize that we cannot successfully make it alone. So I challenge you to ask yourself: “Where do I need help?” and then go out and find it.