Most of us start life full of energy and enthusiasm. We’re young, able-bodied and eager. Then comes a shift that many of us go through, from invincible to fearful.

What moved you along this path? It could be something as seemingly insignificant as bullies at school or as huge as a brain aneurysm.

For author Jessica Fechtor, it was a brain aneurism. I’ve just read her book, Stir – a story about food and cooking and crisis.

Reading about someone else’s internal trauma and recognizing many of my own thoughts and feelings in Jessica’s caught me by surprise and felt strangely comforting. She voiced some of the less obvious emotional challenges I faced in my own experience with illness.

The author was young when she ran into trouble. In her late twenties, the transition from eager and energized to fearful and incapable was shocking, to say the least. I like how she traces not only the tragedy of it, but also the value of lessons learned through hard seasons of life. Personal growth. In particular, she traces the journey from being strong and serving others, to admitting weakness and accepting help.

It’s a lesson we all need, I think.

We are not meant to always give, to never receive. We are not meant to project an image of calm competence when we feel broken. We all have needs. We all have broken moments. We all need one another. We need that beautiful (sometimes undesirable) dance of shifting roles – in and out of giving to, and accepting from, others – being the strong one, then being the weak one.

Is today a weak day or a strong day for you? Reach out, either for help or to help.

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