Asking for What We Need
It's hard to know what you need sometimes. Sometimes we just decide that we don’t need anything because it seems like not needing anything is easier than figuring out what we need… or even worse, asking for it.
But it’s not.
It’s harder. It’s isolating and lonely. It weakens us. It keeps us quiet, small and insignificant.
Last week, my very dear soul sister (and Life Lab lover), Amanda’s endured an accident at Burning Man. He has a severe spinal cord injury and as you would expect is resulting in an extended stay away from their home, their children and their jobs. They are working to put so very many pieces together to just journey on, day for day.
Despite the mountain of complex thoughts and feelings I imagine Amanda is navigating, I've been so impressed by and in admiration of her ability to very clearly ask for what she needs. She asked for loving texts and healing prayers. She also asked for no questions about her husband’s progress. And then she asked for groceries. And it got me thinking... The clear and the strong know and ask for exactly what they need. Unapologetically.
I've been going through a few tough challenges in my own world lately. And truthfully I've been failing miserably at clearly communicating what I need to my soul tribe. It’s a learned skill and I didn’t learn it very well. I largely learned to navigate challenges independently, to be my own life creator. And whereas that path has served as an asset in many ways, it has also limited me. Now I'm 41 and now not only am I tired of “doing it on my own”, I’m deciding that I'm too self- loving to. That's right... it takes a woman who is incredibly self-loving to able to communicate her needs. Unapologetically. And as I was sitting there marinating on this notion, wouldn't you know it the universe delivered this amazing Rumi quote to me...
So I got quiet and sat with myself to mine through the mess in my head and in my heart and ask two simple questions…
“What do I need?” ---> What would help me MOST in this moment?
“From whom do I need it?” ---> Who is the BEST person to meet my need?
And it became crystal clear. I need my souliest soul sister to be a Lamp... I need her to shine light on my fears, and I need my co-creator to be a Ladder.... I need him to instill some more creative, flexible and tactical thinking. (insert so much gratitude here for the two of you in bearing with my prideful mess the past few weeks!!)
Here’s the thing… On my own is not the badge of a warrior. It's the badge of a fraidy cat. It's the badge of someone small who's afraid to be seen, who's afraid that need is associated with weakness. But it's not. It's associated with strength. And it's a gift for both sides when we ask for and when we receive help. Unapologetically. Asking for support is the birthplace of connection. And being able to receive it is the birthplace of vulnerability.
My motto in relationships is teach others how to treat you. From what we say to what we don't say, from what we do to what we don't do, we are always communicating messages of how we want to be treated. But it's our divine opportunity and responsibility to be very clear in those messages. Amanda was clear with her her needs and not only did that mean she got what she wanted, and didn’t get what she didn't want… she also gave me a gift by directing me towards what would truly be of help. She taught me how to treat her. Unapologetically. And to me, that makes her a self-loving, self-knowing, brilliantly badass, warrior woman.
p.s. Click here to support Amanda’s family! Kindness is powerful. BE A FORCE OF GOOD.
p.p.s. If you are a parent… teach your kid to pause and identify what they need. Teach them to use the power of their voice to ask for it. Teach them to create tribe that will honor those needs. Teach them that THIS is strength. THIS is courageous connection and honorable self-love.