In the past month, Lorienne and I have been taking time to notice what we feel and how we behave when we are not meeting our own needs. It has been an interesting exploration for me. Bringing my attention to this has brought my awareness to how often I am not meeting my needs and how subtle this can be.
One of the awareness practices we have shared with you in this Exploration is to bring insight into what was in the way, and by that I mean, what stories, feelings, past experiences and beliefs are still in our memory, heart and body which prevent us from giving ourselves what we need. It seems there are stages in this process of giving myself what I need.
Firstly, a willingness to listen to myself, to pay attention to what I am feeling and why; to be able to identify what it is I need.
Secondly, it is actually giving myself what I need, taking the necessary action and lastly, and this feels important, is to notice how I feel once I have given myself what I need.
“If I can map this feeling and knowing, then I find it easier to do the first two. I have a reference point of what it feels like when I am taking care of myself”.
The wonderful and often challenging thing which happens when we commit to looking at an unsupportive behaviour is we may have to adventure through a deep and dark tunnel to undo the pattern we have seen.
This was the case for me, in the commitment to the practice of paying attention and noticing when I was not giving myself what I needed, I had to walk an unexpected path. And I needed help to navigate it.
Sometimes I need another’s eyes to help me see what I am not seeing and another’s voice to ask questions which allow for me to take another step through that tunnel.
I am blessed to have had this support from my beautiful friend Caren @caren1902. She held a soft and loving space for me and asked me questions which helped me through the tunnel and out the other side.
“I am adamant we are not meant to traverse these terrains on our own”.
What was revealed was I needed to ask and answer the question of how much I value myself? Do I, can I, acknowledge my own value? I found I did not have a felt sense of what that even meant.
With lots of tears, courage and support I continued the undoing of what feels like an ancient pattern of not recognising my value, my enough-ness.
On the other side of this particular tunnel was a phrase which changed everything for me.
“I give myself permission to take care of myself.”
It was through fully feeling this and what it meant for me, that I saw the profound and deep link between having a felt sense of value and of enough-ness and taking care of myself.
Of meeting my own needs. And if I do not have or cannot access that felt sense of innate value it makes it very difficult for me to acknowledge my needs are even important.
I now have a reference of what the felt sense of value is for me and in as many moments as possible I am cultivating this in myself.
Meeting our own needs is an essential part of taking care of what is innately precious, taking care of ourselves, we are valuable.
Close your eyes and say out loud: