When I was a little girl, I was shy in public when it came to asking for what I needed. I remember a time I got in to line with my money and several adults stepped in front of me and made their purchase while I stood there waiting to be noticed and addressed.
It brought me to tears as I felt smaller and smaller until I went back to my parents claiming I couldn’t do it by myself and needed their help.
This carried over into my adult life too. Whatever the reason, it had become one of my triggers. When I found myself in those situations I became fierce inside. How dare they! Or when I noticed a small child being overlooked, I’d think, “what’s wrong with these people?”
As a child, my dad would respond angrily to my requests or comments with “Don’t get smart with me, you’re getting too big for your britches there” or “It’s never enough! You always want more, you spoiled brat”. In college I pissed off plenty of guys who didn’t want to hear what I had to say and they would act out with physical aggression. These days, I notice I tend to be energetically sensitive to the moods and feelings of the people around me. As a survival tactic, I’ve trained myself to behave in ways that are less threatening or people pleasing at times.
I’ve come to realize that when I do this, I’m actually denying my own needs and expressions. So where do I go to express myself authentically or Be who I really am? To share my emotions and feelings without fear of judgements or aggression? To allow myself my opinions and to hear the options of others without it feeling like a conflict every time?
Safe spaces are called for. Communities of conscious people willing to take responsibility for their own wounds, feelings and perceptions. Places where fixing and making things better is not always the solution. I’ve grown to understand that most of the time I simply want someone to empathize with me. To understand where I’m coming from and witness my feelings. I don’t necessarily need a solution, just time to move through my experience.
All I really want is to be ok with setbacks and so called failures, because they ARE part of life. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or climactic as much as a wave on the sand to be absorbed back into the human experience.
Be gentle on yourself. Find a space to be heard and held. Most of us never had that as a child. Some of us did and can’t find a way to recreate it as an adult. When we are listened to and understood, there is a natural connection. We don’t have to try so hard and accommodate others all the time. Just be ourselves. And the people who love us and witness our growth and have a desire to continue to grow themselves, will continue to show up for us.