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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Surrender,accept,let go and remember self-love

Written by Amie on August 22, 2013 – 1:32 am -

“The way back to my real environment, the place where my soul was meant to exist, doesn’t lie through any set of codes I will ever find outside of myself. I have to look inward. I have to jettison every sorrow, every terror, every misconception, every lie that stands between my conscious mind and what I know in my heart to be true. Instead of clutching around me all of the trappings of a “good” person, a “successful” person, or even a “righteous” person, I have to be exactly what I am, and take the horrible chance that I may be rejected for it. I can’t get home by cloaking myself in the armor of any system; social, political, or religious. I have to strip off all that comforting armor and go on naked”. ~Martha Beck

 

the scary part

Another layer of healing and I feel like I am recovering faster each time. The pain is deep, but I don’t stay in the pain for very long. Crying is so healing and cleansing. First the anger, then the sadness, deep grieving, and then relief. I feel lighter each time. I remember a time when I would stay in the anger phase without allowing the raw feelings underneath to come to the surface. Staying in anger creates resentment and eventually depression. I know this now, and I continue to work on it. Allowing the raw feelings underneath the anger to surface is the scary part at first, but once they show themselves, great relief comes sooner. Anger is always a sign that there are needs not being met, a sign that something is not “right”. I think as a culture we have been taught that anger is bad, but I disagree. Anger is only an unhealthy thing if a person stays in the anger stage without processing the real feelings underneath, or if they act out of anger and harm another person. When used as a sign that something is off, anger is a wonderful tool.

incapable of really *seeing* me and *hearing* me

I was very angry last night. I received another letter from someone who has hurt me deeply but won’t acknowledge their part in the  hurt. This person denies ever hurting me. This person goes so far as to act completely perplexed as to why I am hurt. Hearing this hurts even more. At least it did temporarily. The anger turned to hurt and sadness pretty quickly. And then the grief hit today. The letter I received made it so clear that this person will not take responsibility for the hurt they have caused. The clarity helped me see that I need to let go of the hope that things can be any different. I surrender to what is. The facts keep being shown to me. The fact that this person is incapable of really *seeing* me and *hearing* me. And this person is incapable of taking ownership of the hurt they have caused. So for me, I accept them for who they are, but that doesn’t mean I will subject myself to further hurt. People continue to hurt others when they are incapable of noticing how their words and actions affect others. I understand, but that doesn’t mean I will choose to be with people who do this.

I love myself and I have compassion for myself

So, I continue to let go. It is a process to be sure. It is not easy, but it is getting easier. It is difficult to truly let go of the hope that things will change. But if I hold on to hope, it keeps me suffering. It keeps me in a holding pattern so to speak. Waiting and hoping. Not a healthy way to live. So, I surrender to what is, I let go, I accept, and I send healing and love to those who have hurt me. If I find myself wishing for something to be different, or wishing for someone to finally understand and take responsibility for their actions, I am not letting go. I am holding on. It is a slow process. I have to remind myself often to trust the Universe. Everything happens for a reason, everything unfolds exactly as it should. I continue and I trust. And I send more love to them. I hear what they say and I remind myself that they are in pain. I surrender. I accept. I let go. And most importantly, I love myself and I have compassion for myself. I honor all of my feelings, and I allow myself to feel however I feel without judgment.

a song that helps me process my emotions

I want to share this song with you that I listen to when I feel angry. It is helpful when I know there are deeper feelings underneath the anger wanting to be felt. It really helps me feel my anger and then let it go so that the feelings underneath can come up. The meaning of the song has nothing to do with why I listen to it. I feel the emotion in the song, and I believe this is the reason it is helpful for me when I’m angry and I am having trouble allowing my emotions to emerge. 

It is Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready TO Make Nice”

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