The Startup
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The Startup

I Don’t Know What To Do, and I Need Your Help

Image created by Mackenzie Moore

Not knowing isn’t really something we are expected to admit as “experts”. We are supposed to have all of the answers, always know what to say, and construct the perfect combination of words that mesh together to create the sentence that will change somebody’s life. But what if that is not the case? What if the solution is beyond our limits? What if there is nothing we believe we can do?

What do you do when you just don’t know?

I aim to spread a message of positivity and optimism. I promote mental health awareness by minimizing stress and anxiety by focusing on bettering ourselves with a simple yet productive morning routine called Getting COMFY. I have had the fortunate opportunity to hear from many people, receive insightful questions, and most importantly reinvent the way people live their lives by changing their mornings.

I have certainly been challenged, and have had to do much research and hours of thinking to craft answers to various life qualms. Each of my responses is personalized and specific to the person and question I was asked. I refuse to give any cookie cutter responses, copy and paste, or send an automated message. Genuine interaction to me is paramount.

My responses have been well-received, and I have continued the conversation with everyone who contacts me, as I act as a tour guide, leading through question and answer, curiosity and discovery. I have been able to offer strategies that enable people to take action, and have had ideas that fit each individual scenario.

That is, until now.

Delilah’s Daunting Dilemma

A woman, let’s call her Delilah, contacted me about how she could “get comfy” with her life when she and her family have severe health problems, a history of health issues, little money, and little motivation to find happiness. I responded with positivity, cheerfulness, and steps to take right now to alter her mindset and her approach to each day. Delilah was so brave, vulnerable, and honest in the way she poured her life story and emotions onto the page, and all I wanted to do was add a little value to her and her family in some way. Something seemed extremely special about Delilah, but at the same time, I had a feeling that my youthful exuberance alone would not suffice in reconciling her current hardship.

I was correct.

After a day, Delilah responded with a letter that was much more intense. Generalities turned to specificities, more information was revealed about each one of her family member’s and their specific illnesses, and although appreciative, she was underwhelmed by my response to her original inquiry. As I read about the diseases she mentioned, the physical and mental ailments, the miracles she had experienced and the tragedies she had encountered, I knew I was in over my head.

But Delilah was special to me so I dug, and I dug deeper, and I researched, and I read, and I listened, and I wrote. But nothing I wrote seemed to be the “cure”. There was always something that could have been refuted, something that was not particularly relevant, or something that was straight up unhelpful for Delilah and her family. I went to bed or attempted to at least, completely answerless. Delilah’s unknown face circulated my mind as I wrestled with ideas and my blanket in a futile effort to fall asleep.

Admitting Defeat

I tried my absolute best to think of a way in which I could have been of some support or sign of hope, and I did provide a few stories and recommendations in my letter back to Delilah, but ultimately I decided to spare her the façade of me being some saving grace and do the only genuine, honest, and considerate thing I could think of.

Admit defeat.

“I am not an expert with years of learned experience through schooling, I am not a doctor, I am not a therapist, I am not a professional, I am not licensed, and I am not in the position to guide you and your husband and your son through a life filled with such severe obstacles. I truly wish that I could, but in reality, I am just a young guy filled with ideas. I’m a human experiment who has found comfort and happiness in the process of trying new things that lead to self-betterment and sharing them with others. This is what I will do with you. But all the ideas I promote are just methods that combat stress and anxiety and promote positive mental health, rather than overcome physical ailments. I am not sure I am the person to speak to when it comes to such serious physical medical conditions. Either way, below are a few small things I have to say that by no means will remedy your situation, but hopefully can make it just a little bit better each day.”

This was the introduction of my note back to Delilah. The only thing I could do was find comfort in truth and honesty. I had done all that I could but I did not succeed. But this is not the end. This is where you come in.

My Absolute Dream

How can we help Delilah?

The one thing I regret when it comes to researching Delilah’s dilemmas is that I did not immediately look to other people for advice. I believed in her privacy and had this unwarranted sense of pride that I could make her happy on my own. But that was far from true.

But this is why this request to you is so important. This is my ask, this is my call for help, this is my admission that I myself need guidance, that I have done wrong by Delilah and need the support and input from others to lead her and her family through a tunnel that has a glimmer of light at the end of it.

What do you do when you do not know what to tell someone? What do plumbers do when the pipes cannot be fixed? What do electricians do when the wires cannot be untangled? What do doctors say when their patient cannot be diagnosed?

My answer to these questions right now is… I don’t know. But I hope more than anything that this changes. I hope that you all can provide recommendations and appropriate ways to address these situations.

To paraphrase Eric Thomas, “I want to help Delilah and her family as badly as I want to breathe.” I want you to think about a Delilah in your life and tell me, tell others, and tell Delilah herself how you responded to these unpredictable challenges.

My absolute dream would be for you to comment with your suggestions on how to combat these seemingly devastating life obstacles.

My absolute dream would be for you to share this page with plumbers, electricians, doctors, and experts who will provide their input on what to do or what to say to someone when we just do not know. At the end of the day we will not be able to aid the lives of Delilah’s everywhere unless we ask for help, embrace our vulnerability, and do this together.

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Jordan Gross

Jordan Gross

Son, Grandson | Reimagining Personal Development | “What Happens in Tomorrow World?” Publishing Spring 2021, BenBella Books, Matt Holt Books