Updated: Apr 18
Maya Angelou believed that you should ask for what you want and expect it. Sounds smooth and easy, right? I absolutely feel horrible revealing this but for a long time, I secretly resented people who were bold enough to ask for what they wanted. Crazy huh!??
Who wouldn’t ask for what they wanted or needed? That person from time to time was me. And throughout the years it became a learned behavior: this feeling of hesitation when I had a need or want and allowing myself to silently struggle and pretend that everything was A-Ok! Can any of you relate to this?
While struggling with the ups and downs of life, I always felt like I was selfish for asking for what I wanted, especially from other people. I didn’t want to be viewed as not being able to manage or even have people feel like I was using them.
This resentment steadily brewed in me over the years, conveyed in jealousy towards others who didn’t make the same choices. Somehow, I viewed other people’s lives and themselves as better. They should ask, but not me.
How did I get over it? How did I get to this place of feeling bold enough to ask for what I want and expect exactly that? Trust me when I say that it is an on-going practice.
1). I started opening up more. Don’t get me wrong everyone has a sob story and mine is definitely no better or worse than anyone else. Through my sobbing I found self-reliance and strength that allowed me to help others along their way. If I continued to always hold everything in and hold back, I would have never gotten ahead or even thought that I could help others. I know it’s hard, especially when opening-up was the thing that led you to hurt in the first place.
2). I found out that I can’t do it all! There is only one of me and one of you. If I could clone myself, I would have a long time ago. Being on the verge of a nervous breakdown helped to relieve me of the belief that I can do it all by myself. (But that’s another story!)
3). I realized that I didn’t get here on just my own resources and support. There were people along my path who helped and there some were people who had hurt me, be it intentional or unintentional. Not meaning to make God an afterthought, but He has yet to leave me.
4). I had to stop beating myself up over all the mistakes that I made. How long will you punish yourself? As long as I continue to live I’m going to make mistakes. You will too. Find out a way to come to your place of resolution. Do whatever it takes-seeking counseling, pray, read blogs and most importantly, don’t isolate yourself. Remember we are all like molds of clay; who you are today may not be who you become tomorrow.
5). Walk a mile in my shoes. It boils down to the fact that I had to stop comparing myself to others. I found myself wondering why other’s lives seemed to be so much better than mine. On the surface, we all to some degree walk around as if we really have our stuff together. Underneath the surface is the part that you don’t see filled with all the events, joys and pains that make us who we are. Viewing other’s lives are fine, but their shoes are never meant for you. They may have foot fungus or their shoes may be way too small or too big for you to fill!