Upon walking into the locker room of my gym I noticed a large woman sitting on a bench rubbing shampoo in her hair with one hand. I politely said hello and went about getting my stuff organized for my workout. The woman said hello and asked me if I would help her. Of course I said yes. I assumed she wanted me to help her get something out of her locker or something simple, little. I couldn’t have been any more wrong about that assumption. After I said I would help her, the woman said, “My caregiver went out to grab my hair straightener and never came back and I need to be bathed. Can you bathe me?”
Keep in mind I have never met this woman ever before in my life so for her to ask me to assist her with something as intimate as a shower was a bit shocking but It was too late now I already said that I would help her. How could I back out, this woman made herself vulnerable and took a chance to ask if I would help her, I can only imagine how difficult that must have been for her.
Although my time was limited and I wanted to get my workout in I chose to see this as a learning moment. A moment that God sent to me to learn and grow from so I put my ego and thoughts of myself aside and helped my new friend.
As I followed her to the showers, she explained that she had a stroke a few years ago and has no living immediate family. Imagine how hard it would be to have limited used of the left side of your body and not have any family to help you.
Although I was grateful to have the opportunity to help someone that, at that moment was in need, after the fact I felt used and taken advantage of which is why it has taken me so long to share this story. Not only did I bathe, moisturize, and dress this woman but I also brought her a chair to sit on to blow dry her hair, I helped her blow dry her hair, and I got her ice water. It felt as though after she received the help that she had requested which was to help her bathe she still wanted more. Maybe she was enjoying the company of someone new. Maybe she was lonely and trying to kill time before her caregiver came back (she eventually came back but after at least an hour had passed). Maybe she is used to being cared for and didn’t have any concept of how much she was asking from a stranger. Regardless of the reasons, I lost sight of this being a God moment and turned it back towards my thoughts and ego.
Once I was finished helping my new friend, I had about an hour to get my workout in which I was grateful for. During my workout the thoughts of wonder and concern started to flood my mind. I started to wonder if this woman and her caregiver were running a scam. Maybe while I was helping her shower her caregiver was going through my things in the locker (not that there was anything in the locker of value). Then I began to feel used and taken advantage of like nothing I did to help my friend was enough because towards the end of the hour it started to feel like she just kept asking for more.
I hate that this is where my mind went because none of it was real. I went from thanking God for giving me an opportunity to give of myself to questioning my generosity and kindness and feeling violated. Why would my mind go to that place?
After having some time to digest and process this event I have come to a few conclusions.
If asked to go out of my way to help someone and give of myself I will always say yes unless there is absolutely no way I can make it happen then I will find a way to be kind and help the best way that I can.
Allowing your mind to go to that negative place of doubt and uncertainty is never a good thing and is rarely productive in a healthy helpful manner. I am thankful that I was able to shift my mindset to the positive and be grateful for the opportunity to be kind.
Nothing feels better than giving of yourself without any expectation of getting something in return.
If you were in a situation like this what would you do?
Please share your thoughts, comments, and feedback