YOU are the Expert: How to Fix Your Own Flat Tire
Yesterday I shattered a jar of peaches in my sink.
First, I broke the jar.
Then, I broke the garbage disposal.
And finally, I broke a habit.
Becoming Your Own Hero
Instead of playing the role of damsel in distress and waiting for my husband to get home and help me, I chose to take matters into my own hands and fix the problem myself.
After getting the garbage disposal back to normal functioning, I was reminded of an experience...
One sunny afternoon I noticed a car parked across the street from my house. Standing next two it were two girls, one of which was on her phone.
I wasn't positive, but had a pretty good sense there was some car trouble, most likely a flat tire. My first thought was, "Hmm...my husband is home. Maybe I could send him over to offer to fix it."
Eventually, I gathered my courage to see if they needed help. I walked over to my front door, opened it up, saw another car pulling up, and promptly closed the door. I chickened out, assuming I was too late.
However, after further observation, I realized the other car was only picking up the younger girl, and the mother was now back in the car waiting.
The window was rolled up, and she was on her phone, which made it even more awkward to check in. But I felt a strong pull to offer to help. So, re-gathering my courage, I stepped outside, walked across the street (she saw me coming and unrolled her window), and asked if she needed help.
"No," she said, "my husband's coming. I'll be ok."
As memories of myself in a similar situation in which I, too, had called my husband flooded my mind, I walked across the street and re-entered my house, thinking I had done my good deed for the day and could go about my business.
I couldn't let it go, though. I kept feeling an urge to do something more. Twenty to thirty minutes later I saw two brand new water bottles I had ended up with as extras from an activity I was involved in and thought 'Maybe this is why I have them.'
I filled one up with ice cold water and yet again ventured out across the street. I offered the woman a drink, and she responded, "No, I'm ok. Just waiting for the expert."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yes," she reassured me, "If I was thirsty I'd take it, but I'm ok."
Then, her knight in shining armor arrived, fixed the tire, and they rode off into the sunset (actually it was more of a mid-day blazing sun).
Now, I don't always analyze my day to day experiences, but this one impacted me significantly, and as I pondered it, these were some of my thoughts...
Lessons From a Lady With a Flat Tire
"I'm ok. Just waiting for the expert."
My mind was shouting, "You ARE the expert!" Not that she had to be the expert in changing a tire--I think it's just fine for our spouses or others to be the experts in some things--but how often do we sell ourselves short? And are there tasks we could do if we believed in ourselves or got the right support and received the help being offered?
How many of us women are sitting in our cars waiting for our knights to show up and rescue us?
Yes, her husband could help her. But maybe I could have too, or my husband. And since we were already right there, her husband would have been spared the drive. (Or mine when he was on his way to fix my tire and I was offered help by someone passing by.)
Help arrived. But It took longer than it needed to.
And it made me wonder: Is there more support we as women can receive (or give) from closer, more convenient places? And are we complicating things or making them take longer by not trusting ourselves or being willing to receive help from the people right around us?
"If I was thirsty I'd take it, but I'm ok."
Did you know that if you're thirsty, you could already be dehydrated to the point of experiencing cognitive impairments? Why is it that we sometimes wait until we're dehydrated--or desperate--before we're willing to receive help?
The woman had reached out for help, but while she was waiting, she was not accepting the help that was right there. Help that could have kept her well hydrated and gotten her on her way long before she got thirsty.
Whether it's a flat tire, glass in the garbage disposal, a perpetually dirty house, or parenting struggles, etc.
Are you willing to...
A. See yourself as the expert? Or at least as a capable individual who can use the resources around her to resolve her own dilemmas.
B. Reach out for support before you get desperate? And be willing to accept the help so many around you are already offering.
Here's to a stronger, more capable, more confident you who recognizes and gratefully receives the help that is all around you! Here's to YOU being the key to your own transformation!