I came to realize much too late in my journey that I could not expect others in my life, regardless of how much they loved me, to intuitively know my needs. Just because I experienced an emotional rush from meeting people’s needs without them specifically asking for something, did not equate to everyone else feeling the same way. Of course I knew at some intellectual level that this was the case. But still I blindly walked through life being disappointed by those around me who couldn’t (wouldn’t ?? ) meet my needs. I spent far too much time angsting over why I was not worthy of consideration of my needs. To me, sensing what others wanted, whether it be a shoulder to cry on, or their favorite dessert, was like breathing. It was always present in my thoughts.
Everyone should just know and want to give what is needed by others – right? Obviously not!
After the wake-up call of that Christmas morning ( Fill Your Own Stocking ), I spent a great deal of time dwelling on my past behaviors and assumptions. I grew increasingly more uncomfortable as my pattern became more clear.
Obviously I had spent much of my life looking to others to define who I was, and what I needed based upon my ability to please them. I had been highly successful in figuring out how to be what others needed me to be. Therefore, I didn’t even know who I was or what I needed to feel whole and satisfied. In other words, I had lost touch with my own needs by replacing them with the affirmation that came from meeting the needs of those around me.
I reached a point where I was determined to discover why this had been my way of living up to now.
Who was I?
Who wasn’t I?
Why did I not know how to identify and ask for my needs?
Why did I have such difficulty with saying no?
What I didn’t realize at the time was that it wasn’t the risk of self-discovery, but the courage to act upon what I learned that would be the greatest challenge. But without the risk, and the commitment to act, I would not have experienced the greatest reward-living authentically.
Once I could answer these questions, how did I want to move forward on my journey? What did I need to understand so as to avoid the pitfalls that brought me to this place of emptiness?
It was in the depths of all these emotionally charged questions that I came to discover a strategy/foemula to help unravel the puzzle of authentic self.
Although you are now no doubt rolling your eyes, sensing the irritating itch of a team-building exercise coming, just take a breath and give me a chance to explain. The gift of what I want to share with you has the potential to help you take control of your journey. Coming from someone who enabled others to direct my path for four decades, that’s saying a lot!
I sincerely hope you will consider learning about my tool for self-discovery. I call it S.O.D.A. Throughout my next few blogs, I invite you to engage in a process where we will sip a little S.O.D.A. along the way as I continue the story of a woman giving birth to herself.