I was sitting on my parents’ deck earlier this week trying to meditate. It was not going well. I could not concentrate for the life of me. I was too focused on all these things I wanted to say to people but was refusing to. I started wondering what the heck was going on. I realized that I have a tendency to always ask for what I need and want when it comes to my husband, but not so much when it comes to other people. I am constantly afraid that my asks will come off as “needy” or “too much.” (Oy—there’s that “too much” thing again…my inner voice just did a major eye roll…)
My question to myself became, how will I ever know if I never ask?
No matter what the need or question is—if I choose not to say it, even the tiniest thing will come back to haunt me and eat my psyche alive. So, I have three choices:
1) I can ask for what I need and see what the response is
2) I can let it go
3) I can let my psyche eat itself alive
Chances are that when I say whatever is on my mind the world will not implode in the way my mind thinks it will. If I choose not to say what’s on my mind, which is also a totally valid option, I have to deeply and from my core let it go—just like Elsa in Frozen—because if I am not going to say what I want to say or ask what I want to ask the thought serves no purpose and does not deserve any more of my brain space or time.
The only other option is to allow myself to play my very own mind games and make myself insane…this seems like the least desirable option, however, seems to be the option I currently employ the most readily.
Asking for what you want or need is a form of self-love, self-care, and self-respect. It is not selfish. If the person you are asking is unwilling to give you what you need or want then that is another conversation entirely about evaluating that relationship or whatever the ask is, but chances are nothing earth-shattering will happen. We shouldn’t be saving our wants and needs for only when we’re comfortable, we should be able to express ourselves comfortably in more situations rather than less. This is not easy, at all. But that is something important to work towards.
I always was (and still am a little if I’m being honest) terrified of putting people out, or of asking for too much….trust me, I’ve been told I am high maintenance enough times. It was so bad that when I was a kid and I would go to a sleepover I never wanted to use the bathroom at night, lest I wake the sleepover host or any sleepover guests. I was literally ignoring my bodily functions just so I could make people feel more comfortable or, what in my mind, was more comfortable. It wasn’t until I was twenty-two and was sleeping over at Domi’s apartment for the first time that I actually got up to pee in the night when I needed to. I woke up and panicked, preparing myself for another night of being uncomfortable and unable to sleep for my aching bladder. I knew if I wanted to go to the bathroom I’d have to climb over his sleeping body and that scared the living daylights out of me. My fear of putting people out had become so intense it was practically physically impossible and somewhat paralyzing for me to do what most people think of as a pretty mundane, routine thing. I stared at the ceiling. The usual thoughts started circulating in my mind, “Chelsea you are being ridiculous. Get up and go to the damn bathroom. But what if he wakes up? Then it will be weird and I will feel bad. Just go! What the hell is wrong with you?” I was, as you can see, making myself totally crazy. Finally, thankfully, the sane side of me caught on, and this facet of my brain decided to explore what having a modicum of sense might look like. It said to me, “Chelsea. You are safe. It is okay. And let’s face it, if you want to spend the rest of your life with this guy, you better learn how to pee in the middle of the night or you are up for being uncomfortable for eternity and that is a really long time to need to pee.” I got up, I went pee, went back to bed and the world seemed to remain on its axis. In that strange moment, somehow, I became comfortable expressing to Domi what it is that I need and want and we were able to start having open and engaging conversations about both of our wants and needs and still the earth seems to be turning just as it was before.
Here’s the catch though. To this day, I was only comfortable doing this kind of communicating with Domi—not anyone else. I noticed this as I sat in my meditation on the deck going back and forth in my head over things I felt I needed from people and for some reason was refusing to ask for.
It’s time for me to shed this fear and face it head-on. I can expand the “peeing in the night” concept beyond just my husband. No, I do not expect my entire mindset to change overnight, but I owe it to myself to ask for what I need when I need it. This is my new version of radical self-love and self-respect.
Okay, so maybe you don’t have a weird fear of going pee in the middle of the night, but I am sure there have been times when you knew so clearly what you wanted and refused to speak up for yourself out of a fear of rejection or inconveniencing someone or deep down having someone else discover that maybe you aren’t as lovable as you thought you were. This is normal and this is our minds feeding us untruths. We deserve to ask for what we need. We are lovable regardless. Even if someone says no to whatever your request is, the shocking truth is that the world will continue to spin on its axis. So, let’s live in the land of radical, or maybe what should be pretty typical self-care, love, and respect. And just when you feel low and like you can’t do it, just imagine me having to pee in the middle of the night and how ridiculous that is, get a good chuckle, and then speak your mind.
Happy day, friends. I am sending major love your way and please for the love of all that is good go pee when you need to. XOXO, CAMDW