Wednesday, November 17, 2004

ask for what you need

one of the reoccuring phrases that resounded in my ears during the path was 'ask for what you need'. how novel. i come by 'sideways' naturally. it's in my dna. i was raised in an environment of independence and rarely did i hear anyone 'ask for what they need', and so i likewise find this very difficult.

it's definately a two step process, 1. what the heck do i need?? this is usually the thing that trips me up as i move through my day never really acknowledging that fact or admiting i have any needs at all.

2. trusting someone else enough to verbalize the vulnerability that i actually do have a need and requesting that they help me (gasp) to fill or meet that need.

this is foreign to me, so very foreign.

i loved it when my children were finally able to do this, verbalize a need. i sweated with frustration at times when all they could do is look at me with teary eyes and cries. my heart thought 'tell me what you need!'. i wonder if god feels that way with me sometimes... seeing tears in my eyes as i can't even put into words my deepest wants, desires, dreams and needs. ask for what you need.

i know there is a huge spiritual principle at play here too. giving voice to our needs is crucial to their being met. i believe this is one of the reasons prayer is so important - to build community. if i have no verbalized needs i have no community. you have not because you ask not.

jesus constantly forced people to verbalize what they wanted from him. he was never 'magical', never met needs without being asked. i so want to be the kind of woman who can deeply identify my needs and trust both god and my community to meet them. right now i have difficulty even requesting a babysitter, who i'd pay to come and care for my children. it seems indulgent, like i'm opening myself up to judgement somehow. so i isolate and protect, fear and critique, oh and don't forget complain, because i have all of these unmet needs for community that i resent others (my church) for not fulfilling... crap.

poor liam is the only person (and maybe my kids in a small dose) that i trust enough to really verbalize my needs to. because he's such a 'fixer' he ends up feeling the overwhelming responsiblity of meeting those (all those) needs himself. we're working on this. i know that this is not what god intends.

oh father, i ask for the ability today to identify my needs specifically, to verbalize them and to trust, both you and others enough to verbalize them. i am afraid, i have a need for courage, please give me courage to enter into face to face community today. amen.

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