Today I hit my breaking point.
I've been bumping up against so many unmet needs recently. This process of confronting all my holes and emptiness intensified today. All the places in me where I feel empty. Places within where I don't feel nourished. These many places of malnourishment. The places in me that can't seem to get what they really need. This shows up as dissatisfaction, disappointment and loneliness. It is the part of me that feels separate from others and resists the nourishment it actually yearns for.
I took an unconscious, silent vow a long time ago. This vow has meant that I must stay in the role of giving and support. Support for my family and their needs; to be the caretaker in the tribe. I took this vow as a child in order to get certain needs met, to survive. I learned the duty of giving, yet I now lack the skill of asking for what I need, and the ability to fully receive.
Receiving is vulnerable territory.
I wasn't taught how to be in the role of receiving or how to ask for my needs to be met. As a result, many needs continue to go unmet. The malnourishment continues to emerge and the fear of being vulnerable enough to ask for what I really need, feels overwhelming.
My mother was a powerful giver.
She affirmed her love in extraordinary ways to me- daily. She showed up for me, spoke words of love and affirmation continually and constantly reminded me that I was loved and cherished, that I was a special part of this universe. Since her sudden passing several years ago, this void within me has deepened. It has felt impossible to fill my daily love quotient. So I have just about given up.
But these needs have not gone away. In fact, they are now starting to get louder. The emptiness is starting to be more forceful with me these days.
The painful emotions emerging recently have been helping me identify what it is that I truly need. There are many needs.
But today, I identified the biggest need right now: hearing words of affirmation; knowing that others see me and honor me for who I am, how I am. Part of me is still too terrified to really ask for these needs to be met in my intimate relationships. Part of me is still too afraid of being this vulnerable.
So I took these needs and these emotions with me on my evening walk. I tapped (EFT) on the pain- speaking aloud the story and the feelings, the emptiness, the vulnerability, the lack. I started to move these heavy emotions and the old stories; the wounding of always being in the support role and how uncomfortable it feels to fully receive. I tapped out this old story of my vow, my duty, to care take others and the weight of this responsibility.
On the other side of this story and these emotions, I found an opening.
I decided I needed to created a new practice. A practice to honor my needs and to actually practice how to express these needs. A way to actually practice how to ask for my needs to be met.
I invite you to join me in this practice of asking for your needs to be met.
It's a simple practice, but one that takes courage.
Every day check in with your inner landscape. Start with a four level check in. Notice what's arriving on the four levels of your being. Pay close attention to the emotional body.
If you've been following along with my posts the past few weeks, I've been sharing resources specifically for the emotional body. By now you've heard me say that the emotional body helps us get our needs met. Why?! Because underneath the emotion you are feeling is in fact a need. A need that is either being met- or not being met. Your job is to ask and inquire about the underlying need. What is the need underneath the emotion?
Identify what you need and find your words. For example say: "I need to hear that I matter." or "I need to hear that I'm cherished, loved and supported." Today, I actually needed to hear that "life is going to turn out OK." Stick to the statement "I need" for now.
Be as specific as you can. This is part of the practice. Identifying exactly what your need is. Notice how you want this need to be met- verbally, with an action, with presence, etc.
Vocalize what you need. The next step is to practice sharing your need with at least five close family or friends. People that you trust and feel safe with. Ask them exactly what you need and how you need them to show up for you. I encourage you to practice this daily. Check in with what you need, identify how you need this to be met, then practice expressing this need to others.
Pay close attention to the tone of your words as you speak your needs. Make sure you are asking from a place of loving kindness. You can also practice texting or emailing your needs to others.
Receive. The last piece is to receive the nourishment arriving. Allow yourself to be fed. When someone responds to your request with affirmation, presence or an action, allow yourself to receive it. How does it feel when your need is honored, when it is met? Where do you feel this in your body? Drop into the receptive and do so consciously. This is practice for arriving in receiving. A process of eating and digesting the nourishment of life.
I started this practice tonight. After receiving many offerings of love and gratitude, verbal nourishment, I feel full. My heart feels softer, gentler, more accepting and willing to surrender to life.
I will be continuing this practice of receiving. Let's practice together!
Share your experiences with me below. Remember when you share a comment here, you are connecting directly with me.
In love gratitude for your whole being,
I'll be sharing more resources in the coming days for those of you, like me, who are navigating the grief process- a lifelong journey of deepening your emotional body wisdom. Look for more resources, guidance and support coming in the next few weeks to support you with your healing and transformation through loss. I'll also be sharing a special offering for those of you dedicated to your spiritual awakening through grief. Follow Along