This last month of the year we are getting to the fourth step on the journey to loving ourselves. If you haven’t already, make sure you read about the first three steps (your inner critic, your true self and your boundaries) in previous months, as well.
Our fourth step is asking for what we need. Asking for what we need from ourselves, which is often times the most difficult task because it entails knowing what we need, but also being open and loving towards ourselves in allowing ourselves to be needy. During these times of great change and still adjusting to what we are forced to call the new normal, do we allow ourselves to just need? When we live to serve others, to be productive and the only time we get to rest is when we are burnt out and over-worked, we soon lose touch with our Self and our needs. This is when it is paramount to come back to ourselves and ask: What do I need in this moment? How can I be here for myself? How can I help myself?
There are two elements in this process. The first part is knowing what we need and asking for it. The second part, and the sine qua non of our well-being, is giving ourselves what we need. Giving ourselves what we need has more functions than one. It, of course, provides us with what our body or soul are longing for, but also shows us that it is okay to ask, it is okay to be needy – and that when we ask, we are to receive. Underneath, there is an eternal lesson – that when we ask for love, we will receive it. This is the core of self-love.
The consequences of learning how to ask for what we need are double. Not only do we learn, with time, that we do have within us everything we need, but we also practice being aware of our needs and expressing them to others. Articulating our needs helps us tremendously in all relationships we have. Understanding that we need help with the household chores and asking for it from our partner makes it easier for them to understand our expectations and saves us resentment that often comes from thinking our partners are supposed to know what we need without us telling them. Expressing our need for support and physical touch from friends or family members turns a difficult situation, where the other person does not necessarily know what they can say or do, into a loving and gentle space of a new type of “give & take”, namely “ask & receive”. These interactions form strong bonds because humans are wired to help each other. This has evolutionarily been one of the biggest reasons for our development as a species. This is why our brain creates dopamine especially when we help others, which means others will feel good when they help us.
Having said that, in order to be able to ask others, let us first learn how we can ask from ourselves, and fulfill our needs ourselves. With this year ending and a new one beginning, you will want to check in with yourself. What have you been deeply needing in the last few months? You might have created excuses in order to avoid giving it to yourself. Let the excuses fall on the ground and be forgotten. This time, provide for yourself.
- Take a week off for no reason.
- Have a nap a bit too late in the day.
- Go for a walk in the woods alone and write poems.
- Hug yourself. Feel the love and protection you are receiving from yourself.
- Practice these words: “What I need now is…” or “If you could …, that would be of great help to me.”
Your soul is asking. Be there to respond.
Author: Eva Feldman, as a highly empathetic person and a psychologist, she connects her understanding of the human psyche with spirituality, focusing on consciousness and awareness. Her goal is to share knowledge and passion about human beings in a simple and understandable way, and in that way to contribute to raising awareness in this day and age. Masters degree in Psychology, education in Art Expressive Therapy, as well as personal interests of social justice, mindfulness and Being, make for an interesting addition to her practices of dance, yoga and teaching. She found a purpose in living life fully and encouraging others to do so.
Follow Eva on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toomucheva/