As professional healers, we often put our needs aside for others. We lose our voices and the assertive communication of our needs suffers.
This can become a toxic pattern that undermines the ability to care for others in the first place. When we chronically place our needs aside, we are left with the proverbial empty cup. Yet when we assert ourselves, we move into strength and resilience and honor our authentic selves. What could be better?
Communication is multidimensional. Think about how you tell your partner, or children, how much you love them. When you communicate your needs, are you as clear?
What Do You Need? An Exercise
Start with listing a list of your needs. Basic, like water, rest, food, activity. Grow from that list. Connection. Love. Friendship. Spirituality or faith. When it comes to your needs, write them all down, leave nothing behind.
After that exercise, look at your list, examine it with gentleness and compassion. Consider the time that you take on a daily basis to nurture those needs in your life. If you're anything near normal, many of those needs get pushed aside by obligations, or, if we're honest, habit.
Take a new sheet of paper and write yourself a letter from when you are 85 years old. Dear Younger Self. Focus on the needs that arise in the above list. Consider the idea that you decided to change your habits, what would your 85 year old self say? Consider the thought that you kept living the way you are today--what would she say then?
Finish the exercise with an affirmation: "I am loved, lovable and whole, here, now, and always."
Choose health and wellness. It is at your disposal always.