For those of us accustomed to over-giving, learning to receive is an essential step toward thriving and wholeness. Equally essential is that we learn to take. Without the ability to determine what we need and go after it (independent of other people’s permission or approval), it’s easy to get stuck passively hoping that others will deem us worthy of giving to.
A passive approach to meeting our needs might sound like this:
“I wish my partner would notice how much I benefit from time alone at home and offer to take the kids more often.”
A more proactive approach (learning to take what we need instead of waiting for it to be given) might sound like this (in a conversation with a partner):
“I need more consistent alone time. It feels essential to my wellbeing and ability to show up well for you and the kids. Would you be willing to take them out of the house for a few hours every Saturday morning so that I can be home alone, or would you prefer that I hire a sitter?”
Of course, shifting into a more assertive, proactive, self-honoring way of being in relationships takes time and often creates a mess before things get better or easier. It can also feel nearly impossible due to factors such as childhood conditioning that has us feeling ashamed of our needs in the first place, a tight budget, or being so accustomed to people pleasing that the thought of someone upset with us (or not validating our worthiness) is downright debilitating.
Go easy on yourself (and be patient with your loved ones) as you grow. Be creative and try multiple approaches. Think outside the box, and acknowledge that other people’s needs are valid, too, however different from your own.
A self-honoring life wasn’t modeled for most of us and takes time, patience, and courage to cultivate.
You are worthy of all the support you dream of,