Extracting Your Ego to Allow Others to Help You
Excerpt from ARMORED, a Memoir with Inspirational and Practical Life Strategies.
ARMORED was conceived to help other business professionals like me when they are
unexpectedly stretched with caring for an ill loved one. As a business professional with
no medical background, I had to redefine the role of caregiver to one that better suited
me because my 50-year-old husband, Daran, has survived three life-threatening
illnesses, including stage four cancer (in 2009) and a physically paralyzing and speech
debilitating stroke in November 2019.
There were times early in the cancer battle when life brought me to my knees. In full
transparency, it is often a lonely place to be, even when I was surrounded by many
others. We all shoulder our challenges differently. Unless you have walked in someone else’s
shoes, there is no full empathy for the pain that they are enduring. We can only be there
for them as best we can and assist as they allow us. What works for me may not work
for you and vice versa.
The Importance Of Allies
While an extended group’s support is amazing, it is important to surround yourself with
close group allies for truly personal matters. I cannot overemphasize the importance of
having an ally or two (but no more) to serve as a sounding board for decisions. This ally
will help you to see around corners and make up for areas in which you aren’t
experienced, educated, or equipped. I don’t advise having any more than two, though.
In preparation for their involvement, create a safe space, and give your ally permission
to ask you the difficult questions. It’s also vital that your ally know that, while you value
their role, you will be the one to make the final decision(s) based upon what’s best for
you. Feeling as though you must tiptoe around someone so as not to hurt their feelings
will only cloud and delay your decisions.
During Daran’s cancer battle, I learned how to allow others to help us. That proved to be
more difficult than it sounds because Daran and I are fiercely independent, pull
yourselves up by your bootstraps kind of folks.
In the years leading up to Daran’s cancer diagnosis, our vast and varied network of
friends became our family in Houston. Several people offered to help us with a variety of
things, but I continued to say, “We appreciate your offer, but we’ve got this. Please pray
Then I received a message that spoke directly to my heart. It was from an older, long-
time friend who had survived her own cancer battle a few years earlier. She told me
honestly and kindly that I needed to allow others to help us. She explained how, when
our friends and family offer to assist us, that they are offering to help us as much for us
as they are for themselves. In essence, it blesses others to bless us. This beautiful, heartfelt way of expressing care broke my attitude about it wide open. I recognized that there are various levels of support. For simplicity purposes, I’ll call them close group and extended group support systems.
Make Your Requests Specific
As I first learned in Daran’s cancer battle and then practiced following his stroke
challenges, the key to asking for help from a larger, extended group, is to make it
specific and even individualize our ask for and to certain people. By knowing the
appropriate timing of our requests and aligning the best tasks to our resources, I
garnered participation in the areas that necessitated it the most and had the greatest
impact on our present situation. I always prioritized and asked for Big Bold Prayers in my
call to our distribution group.
It is humbling to be the recipient of such an outpouring of generosity. I’ve always known
that we are loved and that Daran is beloved by family and friends. However, I am
overwhelmed by the many people that he has touched. His spirit and his life are a
testimony that continues to inspire others (present company included).
One final comment regarding this topic. It was important for me to document each
contribution during Daran’s battles, but especially post-stroke. Our friends and family did
not expect thank you notes from us; that is not why they contributed. However, I wanted
to honor each of them with an individual note. As I did, I would say a prayer of gratitude
to God for them and ask for God’s Hedge of Protection over them. They held us up when
we couldn’t do so ourselves. There is no way that they will ever know how much they
mean to us. My heart overflows when I think of them.
• Can you ask for help? If not, why?
• Who are your one or two (max) closes allies for the battles? What are their defined roles
(and boundaries) for assisting you?
• How can you rally your larger network to utilize the strengths, talents, and availability of
your family and friends who wish to volunteer/contribute?
About the Author:
Dawn F. Landry is an award-winning and respected business professional. She has spent over half of her 28-year career in Houston's corporate real estate industry, excelling in business development and marketing leadership positions within the region's largest economic development organization, as well as international commercial construction companies. In February 2017, Dawn founded Authentizity, LLC, as an independent B2B growth strategist and a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrengths® Coach to provide consulting, training, and coaching services that optimize technical teams' engagement and productivity.
ARMORED is published by Authentizity, LLC. ISBN numbers are Hard Copy: ISBN 978-1-
7353540-0-2, Paperback: ISBN 978-1-7353540-3-3, and ebook: ISBN 978-1-7353540-4-0.
It is available on Amazon through Kindle Direct Printing at
http://www.amazon.com/author/dawnflandry, as well as through the various distribution
channels of IngramSpark, and at www.dawnflandry.com.