To have the world we want, we must be willing to ask for it.
The reason there is a Part 2 to this post is because I did not post Part 1 when I wrote it. I decided after that I needed to take steps, to challenge myself and the ideas I had just written. I forced myself to be vulnerable.
The day after I wrote that, I decided to make plans with a dear friend I was missing desperately. Things had been strained between us and I not only missed, but needed him. It’s hard for me to face my fears when it comes to personal relationships. When I love someone, my heart grows desperate if I feel my truth could hurt them. Instead I shut it in and stuff it down, which I do not recommend. It can come in handy as a pause, but it’s terrible as an emotional habit.
What happened was profound. We are both in new places in our lives. The reaction I was afraid of did not exist and a warm and open heart is what I got. For the first time in years I felt that he heard me. He didn’t question me and didn’t make me feel bad. In fact it was quite the opposite and I felt that in that moment got my best friend back. I am so grateful.
That same week, I made a difficult phone call based on the reaction of a colleague. I made my concerns known with compassion and openness, and again…I was heard. I set up a call with a treasured friend who I wanted to talk to, but was afraid to share the pain I was feeling with. I didn’t want to burden her and have her think I was being dramatic. I had avoided the call for weeks. When we spoke the relief flooded and she assured me that if I ever needed to just cry, I was welcome to.
We all go through our own personal chaos. The lucky ones were taught that no one can do it alone, they ask for what they need and though it’s still hard as shit, knowing you’re not alone gets you through. Unfortunately for many of us it’s not like that. Some force the chaos on others, some blame the world and others squelch it down into the deepest part of their bones (that would be me by the way) hoping it will somehow disappear. This is even harder for people who have spent their lives needing to be strong. Thinking it weak to ask for help or simply say I need you now because I’m not strong enough alone.
Somewhere in my life I learned that to cry, to be exposed, to allow others to see that I am not perfect or as together as so many think I am; it makes me weak. What writing Part 1 showed me was my reflection. I had to see myself and ask if I am actually asking for what I need or sharing my truth. What am I actually saying? I realized that more often than not, I am the one to change the subject. I don’t want to talk about myself…or should I say, expose myself. I am uncomfortable if I think the other person is uncomfortable. I assume they do not want to hear the negative. In some cases, I’m sure that’s true but not as often as I have allowed myself to believe.
In reality what I am learning is that I do want to be seen, and not for the person people think I am, for the person who I actually am. I am a strong, intelligent woman whose soul requires being a part of a community. I am an artist who loves to collaborate, and leader who wants to learn as much as she teaches. I am a human being, like all others, who is imperfect and afraid and I will fight for the courage to be okay with it all, however long that takes.