Alyssa Wermers, LCSW

Play Therapy Services * Dacono, CO

You don’t have to do it alone…the value of help

Who do you look up to? Which superhero is your favorite? Who is your role model? These are questions that we get asked from time to time in school, job interviews, and during personal growth journeys. Most of us tend to answer with the big dogs…the hero who saved the day, someone who made history, the leaders. And sometimes we even go so far as to give them all the credit. Today I want to shed some light on the supporters, the no-names and the side-kicks who helped carry the burdens of the heroes.

If you are familiar with the Lord of the Rings, you’re likely to recognize Frodo Baggins as the hero of the story. He was selected to carry the burden of destroying the One Ring, and the fate of all Middle Earth lies with him accomplishing his task. While our tasks may not be as adventurous and dangerous as Frodo’s, we are all familiar with carrying burdens (or tasks that seem burdensome at times). Maybe it’s raising children, or being the main provider for your family. Perhaps is leading a team on an important project at work, or recovering from an illness.

And so often when we are given these tasks (or burdens) we assume we need to accomplish them alone. That’s why we have it right, because we are strong enough to do it? Even Frodo splits from the Fellowship of the Ring and attempts to go on alone. He tells Sam that it’s his burden to bear, and no one else’s. Oh how wrong little Frodo was in that moment. While he may have felt alone, and wanted to protect all others while going on alone, he would have never made it alone. And neither will we with our own burdens and important tasks. Samwise knew better too. He nearly drowned trying to get to Frodo so he could go along on the rest of the journey. Was Sam meant to be the ring bearer? Of course not, but he was every bit as important in the journey as Frodo. Sam was there to make sure Frodo slept and ate. He provided guidance, support, and hope. When Frodo got into sticky situations, Sam was there to protect him, find help, and even save him.

There are times when I feel like Frodo – that I need to do something myself, and that no one else can help me. But let’s not forget the different forms that help can take. Maybe it’s just someone by your side while you walk together, or someone offering small gestures of kindness during your journey. Perhaps help comes in the form of someone checking in on you, or taking care of your basic needs for a short time. Sometimes help can be someone listening, as you process verbally to come up with solutions. Sam was invaluable to Frodo, even though his help didn’t earn him status or awards. And Frodo’s accomplishments don’t mean any less, because Sam was there. It’s ok to seek help, and to use it when it’s given. The task may be yours to accomplish, but remember, you don’t have to do it completely alone.