When I think of the idea of getting your needs met, I think of doing whatever it takes to make certain that I am well-taken care of. But in the past, my idea of getting my needs met weren’t always about me. Through countless past romantic relationships, I use to ask myself – can this person meet my needs? In other words: can they be emotionally available, affectionate, supportive and all the other qualities that we may look for in a partner. Yet, I hadn’t even taken a moment to ask myself the real question: Can I meet my own needs before I have expectations of someone else to take care of my own emotional baggage?
I think this happens so much in relationships: by nature, you come with your baggage, your partner comes with their own baggage. Your lives melt into one another’s and all of a sudden your partner’s shit is now your shit and vice versa. Now, that’s some not so healthy shit. And I’ve definitely been through that. The last relationship I was in, I fell hard – so blind you can’t see the mess in front of you kind of hard. That I just want to be with you type of love – for someone that wasn’t showing up for me. And finally, when he disappeared on me for the last and final time – I was devastated and I knew that I had to say goodbye for good.
I took it hard. It felt as if there were umpteen daggers seared through every millimeter of my heart space. Processing through that pain, I was thirsty for the lessons – the good stuff that could allow me grow from the heartache. After I filled notebooks with writing that flowed like a faucet, I was finally understanding that my devastation was more about losing that validation of someone else loving me rather than the lost of someone else that wasn’t good for me. At that time, I wasn’t giving myself the prize of feeling validated by my own love that I get from and give to me, day in and day out.
So it was clear to me that it was time to start some new habits that were rooted in loving myself, that I took and still take very seriously. Because truly, what was most important thing to give to myself – wasn’t being a good girlfriend, the greatest friend or the most accommodating daughter, niece or granddaughter. It was giving myself what I need, so that other people didn’t become the source of my happiness. But instead that my happiness was derived from how I treated myself and how I listened to myself when I needed to get my own needs met. I wanted to get to that place. So I started to do things I hadn’t done before that had nothing to do with relationships but everything to do with how I treated myself.
- Say No: It wasn’t about pleasing anyone anymore, it was about giving myself what I needed. So if someone had asked me to go somewhere and I hadn’t had the energy or simply didn’t want to be there, I didn’t. I stood by my answer, even if it felt hard to do.
- Consult My Intuition More: If I was unsure about anything at all – a feeling, a person, situation, etc. I would immediately consult my inner compass and ask my intuition if it were a good decision or not – the first answer that comes up, is always the true gut feeling.
- Indulge in Self-Care: There’s this incredible Audre Lord quote that says “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare” – I love that line so hard and it rang so true for me. I began my weekly at-home spa days, taking myself out on an artist dates and would just dedicate time to do nice things for me. These small self-care acts helped heal me on levels so deep, that I could write on about it until my wrist cramps up.
- Stop at Nothing to Give Myself What I Need: In my mind, being good to yourself means stopping at nothing to get your needs met. If you need give yourself a minute before you answer someone’s question, give yourself that. If you need to get in a workout before you meet up with anyone, work out. If you need to skip out on drinks with it, because you need some time to connect with your spirit, skip out. If you need to walkaway from a friendship, relationship, family member, because it’s no longer serving you, walkaway. If you need time to learn to love yourself before you learn to love someone else, then please take your time – get your needs met.
These are just some ways that I started, how are you getting your needs met? We’re all journeying through the path of self-love and self-discovery, it’s a beautiful winding road and we can all benefit from one another’s experiences.What has worked for you that you wish that would have known?