I experienced a rare kindness at the grocery store this week. I had the baby strapped to me as usual and as I hoisted things from the cart to the conveyor belt, the woman behind me asked if she could help me. She said she remembered how it was to do things like that weighed down by a baby. I was almost done anyway, and politely thanked her, but for the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m forced to conclude that I am not terribly open to receiving kindness. A big part of this is that I loathe imposing on others, so I hate asking for help unless it’s absolutely necessary. And I’ve been told I project the impression that I simply don’t need help, so honestly, I don’t think it’s offered much. But even when it is, accepting it is very difficult for me, almost repellent. Part of that is the feeling that I’m imposing, and part of it is exposing weakness, that I can’t do everything myself. I also feel obligated to do things by myself as long as I’m able, even if it’s more difficult alone. At the same time, I appreciate opportunities to be kind to others, which I’m denying to other people with my resistance to accepting.
I don’t have a profound conclusion here; it’s just something I’m musing on.