It is healthy to have wants and needs

Written by Amie on December 19, 2013 – 12:24 am -

being “picky” means I am alive and human and I have preferences!

I have written before about how we sometimes feel our needs are being dismissed. Since I am feeling this on a new level, I want to write about it in a deeper way. It hit me the other day that when a person is labeled “picky”, it is usually viewed as a negative trait. At least this is the way it has always felt to me. If someone called me picky, I felt a negative wave of energy or shame. (the same feeling as someone telling me I am too sensitive) As I began getting to know myself better, a clarity began to take shape. I began to feel annoyed rather than shame. Then I began to simply observe their words, knowing their words had more to do with their own feelings or wounds within themselves, than they did about me. I realized I am allowed to be “picky, AND being picky is a good thing! In fact, being picky means I am alive and human and I have preferences! This is normal!! It is healthy to express needs and preferences!!! When I was repressing my needs and preferences, I was not living!  I had no idea at the time!  All I knew was that if I didn’t express my needs, those around me seemed to be happier, so this made me feel safer. Meanwhile, I was sinking deeper and deeper into a black hole.  Being picky doesn’t mean I am a snob nor does it mean I am being unreasonable. Hearing the word “picky” the other day really opened up a new understanding inside me.

stop asking for “too much”

I quickly understood that the “definition” of  “picky” I was familiar with, was a very unhealthy definition. In my mind,  “picky” meant I was being a pain in the rear end, asking someone for far too much. To me, it meant that I thought I was more important than someone else, and that I was purposely trying to make someone else’s life more difficult. It meant that I actually thought I deserved to voice my opinion or preference about something! I quickly understood  that when a person living in a dysfunctional setting voices their needs, they are met with the message that tells them they are asking for too much or their needs are unreasonable . This message is meant to shut the person down so they will stop asking for “too much”.

I took back my power

This deep realization added a new perspective for me. A clear picture came to mind showing me how I learned to simply not have any needs! I associated having needs with being picky, asking for too much. When I started therapy years ago I didn’t even know I had needs! I knew I needed to eat, have clean clothes, a roof over my head etc, but other than that, I had no needs (that I was aware of). I truly did not allow myself to have needs other than the very basic needs. I shut off that part of me. The other day it really became clear as to how this pattern was set early in my life. As children we have the instinct to survive, and I wanted to survive! In order to survive in a dysfunctional setting, we must do whatever we can to cope and to survive. I learned that in order to survive, I had to become very low maintenance. The less I asked for and the less I needed, the easier things would be for me. This pattern stayed with me into adulthood. As an adult,  I began questioning everything about my life, and I began seeing how patterns such as this one, were no longer necessary. I took full responsibility for my life experiences, and I took back my power.  The minute I took responsibility for my life experiences, I was no longer a victim (this is probably another post about what exactly this means).

shaming my “pickiness”

Once I took responsibility, I began processing the patterns from childhood that were still affecting me as an adult, such as this pattern of repressing my needs, or shaming my “pickiness”. Once I began a deep introspection, I was able to see how I rarely asked anyone for help, I rarely showed that I was struggling, I rarely (probably never, actually) let on that I was miserable, I never showed  vulnerability. I went about my life telling myself I was “fine”. I am still amazed how deeply ingrained my belief was that I should not want or need anything. The way this manifested in my life was that I did a lot for other people, rarely allowing them to do anything for me. Also, when someone would ask me what I would like to do or what I prefer, my answer would almost always be, “I don’t care, whatever you want to do or whatever you prefer.” Inside myself I could *feel* the repercussions of my patented answers. I could feel anger and resentment starting to grow stronger, but it took awhile for me to really acknowledge and understand what was going on. It also took me awhile to *honor* my needs. I had to really begin to love myself so that I was able to *give* to myself. When I was living in self-hate, I turned the anger and resentment in on myself and blamed myself for being so “picky”. Now I clearly understand that being “picky” absolutely DOES NOT mean I am asking for too much and DOES NOT mean I am being unreasonable!

Getting to know the *real* me!

It has been quite a journey rediscovering my wants, my needs, and my preferences. I am learning new things about myself almost daily; music I had forgotten I loved, colors that make me feel happy that I learned to ignore, new foods I never tried because it was “easier” not to, activities I always wanted to try, new thoughts and beliefs about so many new things! It is like meeting a stranger some days! Getting to know the *real* me! I love when something really resonates in me and I cheer myself on to honor the need that arises. I listen to my needs, and I act on them! It feels so much better than just sitting back and letting life pass by. It feels so wonderful making room for all of my preferences! Go ahead…honor your needs, honor what is true for you. Take back your power and listen to that voice within that is guiding you! Trust, trust and trust again. It is hard sometimes, but it is so rewarding!

 

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Posted in Awareness, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Nurture yourself, Self hate, Self-love | No Comments »

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