Our culture values self-sufficiency. We are continually receiving messages to not depend on others, to be independent, to stay quiet. Many of us are taught that asking for what we need is burdensome, that we’re asking for too much.
A Sunday Meeting of The Hearts
Many years ago, our therapist suggested that my husband and I come together for 30 minutes, each and every Sunday, and simply ask one another, “How can I support you this week?”
It was awkward at first, but eventually, we were able to tell the other exactly what we needed: I’d love it if you could make dinner twice this week. It would mean a lot if you asked how my big meeting goes on Thursday. I’d really appreciate it if we could have a date night on Wednesday evening, or a back rub on Thursday. It would such a treat to sleep in on Saturday, can you be in charge of the kids?
Directly asking for what we needed from one another in a loving and supportive environment (vs in the heat of an argument) wasn’t easy at first, but these Sunday heart-to-heart conversations became a fantastic place in which to practice.
Before long, it nourished our relationship and our individual hearts in incredible ways. All of these years later, we still have our Sunday meetings where we each share our weekly wish list of wants and needs. Highly recommended.
Wanna know one of the best parts? My friends and family know that they’ll never have to guess or try and anticipate what I might need or want because I’ll simply tell them. There is trust in that kind of dynamic, and boatloads of freedom.
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Considering what it is we might need, and then loving ourselves enough to ask for it so that we don’t continue to suffer alone is profound work. It’s brave and it’s loving.
How you can grow your Ask For What You Need Muscles as a way to grow your Self-Compassion Muscles?
Perhaps it’s asking for specific support from your partner at home or at work. Perhaps it’s asking for a specific appreciation from someone so that you feel seen and known. Perhaps it’s asking your family to celebrate your birthday in specific ways. Perhaps it’s setting up Sunday meetings with your family and allowing each family member to say how they can be supported that week.
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Either way, here’s to your self-kindness journey…..because, well, self-kindness changes everything.
BIG love, Kelly Rae
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