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It Can't Hurt To Ask
Not asking, however, can be pretty painful.
Quick note before we get into it: If you’re out for a walk or a drive, or making dinner, and it’s more convenient to listen to this than read it, just click the arrow above and I’ll read it to you.
If we’re connected on Instagram or Facebook, then you may have noticed that I’ve had a lot to say about inspiring women over the last couple of weeks. Every day, I have posted about a way in which an uplifting woman has influenced or supported me. I've talked about my friends, wise women who are helping others thrive in midlife, courageous creatives, the LiveUp ladies, My magical momma, the brave women who made me, and M’lis Ward, who taught me so much about living a life of excellence.
Today, I’m celebrating one of my greatest sources of insight and inspiration: my 14-year-old daughter. She is at a place in her development where her emotions are running high and coming out on the surface, sometimes in giant waves of tears. As her parents, this can be scary and pretty uncomfortable.
Like lots of loving parents, we want more than anything to take away her suffering, ease her pain, and let her know that we are there when she needs us.
So, we did what felt right to us. We sat beside her, put our arms around her, and said soothing, comforting things, to make sure she knew, without a doubt, that we care. It never dawned on us that maybe we were giving her exactly what she didn’t want or need. And that maybe giving her what she didn’t need actually felt like the opposite of caring.
The morning after a recent teary flood, she sat us down for a talk and calmly and clearly explained to us that even though we recharge through talking and touch, that’s not what works for her. It turns out, that what she needs is a quiet space and time alone.
Of course, we had asked her many times what she needed, but she couldn’t tell us when she was feeling all the feels. She was showing us by getting increasingly upset. But, we didn’t understand. Once she had some of what she needed - quiet time alone - she was able to translate for us.
It’s really hard for people to give us what we want and need if we don’t tell them what we want and need.
Whether with partners, colleagues, friends or family, we all want and need different things. Assuming other people need what we need is a surefire way to miss our well intended marks.
This week, in our house, we are doubling down on listening, with more than our eyes and ears. We are doubling down on asking for what we need. And we are all in on better understanding what we all need to recharge.
I’d love to hear how you recharge.
Thanks so much for coming along with me in this journey! Here’s to listening, here’s to learning, and here’s to bravely asking for what we need this week!
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