Learning to Ask for What We Need

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This past week, I had the chance ask for some things I needed in some conversations that were pretty significant for me to initiate. Walking into those conversations took a great deal of courage, and then asking for the things I needed once I got there took even more bravery.

I don’t know about you, but knowing what I need in a certain scenario — much less asking for it once I know — is no easy thing.

There’s the voice that says I exist to supply what other people need, and that’s it — that I don’t get to have needs, too. There’s the voice that says I need to be strong and self-sufficient because that’s what (I think) makes me valuable to other people. There’s the voice that tuts, “Danger! Danger!” because rejection looms ahead if I put myself out there.

It’s all kinds of twisty-ness and lies.

In my formation journey right now, I’m untwisting myself from those lies, and I’m realizing what this ultimately means is that I’m continuing to learn what it means to be human.

I’m learning, for example, how to exist on the same playing field as the person sitting across from me. I’m practicing letting go of the misguided belief that I have to be God — the one who supplies all the other person’s needs — and am picking up the new belief that all I really need to do is keep getting to know God, myself, and others and then share those learnings with others, just as I invite them to share their learnings with me.

And I’m practicing showing up in some big, new ways.

Those couple conversations were scary for me this week. But do you know what? Some amazing things happened because I stepped into them, too.

I experienced being loved in one of those conversations in a way I never would have if I’d stayed home and kept my truth and my needs to myself. In another, I gained information I couldn’t have gained anywhere else, and that data is going to have a huge impact on the way I continue to move forward in a situation.

Also, I’m pretty sure I heard my self-respect click up a few notches after each conversation. By acting in a concrete way on the idea that I was worth the risk of vulnerability, I helped myself believe it just a little bit more.

I’m taking deep breaths and feeling proud of myself for doing it — each one. It helps me feel braver for next time. 

Right now, I’m learning how to speak my truth and ask for what I need. What are you learning in your formation journey right now? 

Much love,