Taking the leap
It is Jugglefest and Noah offers a workshop big-ball-balancing. I’m curious enough to watch others do it, but too terrified to try it myself. At age 12, I do a head roll and land on my neck. I can’t breathe or move for minutes and think I am gonna die. I don’t, but I never completely overcome the fear for acrobatic stunts.
But now Noah is here. He tells me how to get up on the ball and extends his hand. His presence helps me take a risk and go way beyond my comfort zone. I trust that even though I might hurt myself, I won’t harm myself.
I realize that when we have the support we need, we can do things we never thought ourselves capable of. We can expand our self-limiting beliefs and do things that fear keeps pushing off to the back burner of our aspirations. Those Big Hairy Audacious Goals come within arms reach with enough support.
We might fail at reaching them -even more than once- but we learn from the failure, not die from it.
Having needs doesn’t mean we’re needy
The challenge for many of us is to ask for support in the first place. We belief that having needs, means we’re needy. That asking for help, means we’re weak. Making a request, shows we’re incompetent. And some of us have come to believe that we’re unworthy to ask for anything to begin with, that our needs come second place to everyone else’s.
We struggle to see our needs as beautiful, human, and universal. We don’t realize that getting support for our needs, means we’ll be happier. And that when we are happier, we are so much more giving and less self-centered. We see asking for support as an expense to others, not an investment in our community.
Seeing needs as beautiful, human, and universal
Imagine a gardener who takes care of a bougainvillea. She doesn’t criticize the bougainvillea for needing eight hours of sun, or very specific amounts of watering, or severe trimming right after the last frost. The gardener supports the bougainvillea with delight, because she knows that if she takes care of the bougainvillea’s needs, it will bloom exuberantly.
We are not bougainvillea’s. We are human beings with a rich, sometimes painful, history. Some of us need support to see our needs as beautiful.
How to find support to see our needs as beautiful
- Search for people, communities, and living beings that you feel safe with. It might be your aunt, your mindfulness community, your therapist, God, your dog.
- Bring awareness of the acceptance, support, and respect you’re receiving and let this restorative healing experience sink in. Connect to your physical sensations, feelings, needs and take a deep breath.
- Once you have experienced that your needs matter, ask someone you trust for help, even if it is just for a simple ask.
- Celebrate that you did! Whether or not your request got support, you took a step to live the life you really want, with yourself and others.
Let me know how this landed for you: I would love to hear from you.