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Ask & Receive

I have a habit of asking for the wrong thing or not feeling like I have the right to ask for what it is I has been an issue. Mostly because of fear, I have been unwilling to really access what I want and then ask for those things.

When Lane and I were together, I was always afraid that he would let me down, not show up for me. So I rarely asked him to. Guess what? On those limited times I did ask for his help, he was very likely to bail. Ask & Receive. I didn’t ask so I didn’t receive, then I asked with no real hope of receiving, and guess what happened? I didn’t really get what I needed.

It is a hard thing to change about yourself...really. I have kept my true feelings and desires a secret from others to a large degree. When I was younger this was mostly so that my very delicate and fragile ego would not have to bear the brunt of being humiliated when I didn’t get what I wanted. As I grew up it became a kind of game.

Knowing what I know now, I would have never been so cavalier with getting needs met! I know now, it is my job to ask, and it is the other person’s job to decide if they want and can give it to me...

At 51, it is very hard to begin to ask for what you need. I am fairly married to the idea of keeping others in the dark and just doing it all myself. But I am also very tired of being the one solely responsible for getting my needs met.

I am not talking about happiness. That is my job, always. If I am unhappy, I am the one that needs to do something about that, not you. If your behavior is making me nuts, then I need to change and sometimes that might mean no longer engaging with you and your annoying behavior.

Somehow, when I was a kid I developed this sense that having any needs was an indication of weakness. Later on, I took on the task of being responsible for making sure that I was taken care of: money, housing, food, enough touch, enough friendship, enough care and concern. I gave these things to myself but I did it in a kind of “I am doing this because I am terrified that if I ask you, you will say no, or let me down, or make fun of me” kind of way. When that is your basis for asking, it is a very hard thing, the ask.

I have had to do a lot of work around this whole asking. Like a lot. I still suck at it really. But I am getting better at it, because I can now identify things that I need from others. And sometimes I can even ask for them.

Life seems to be an endless sifting through all the things that we got so screwed up in the beginning. Like we chase all these things in our youth, to find out in middle age that we spent our youth running around trying to get all these things that we didn’t really need anyway, but had we not chased them so hard and for so long, we would have never been able to find out that it was only an illusion, fueled by a delusion that made us run around all those years.

I am kind of there with the whole getting needs met. I used to be in relationship with people and make decisions for them about what they could give and what they could not. It was almost as if the other person was wholly irrelevant! I watched you then I decided whether or not you could meet a need, which was super convenient, because I never really had to ask for anything because my outside observations almost always led me to a place where I reached the conclusion that I was better off going it alone.

I am wiser today than I have been in the past, not really wisdom, but wiser. Today I know that there are some immutable laws and asking and receiving is one of them. When you do not have enough self esteem to ask for things you want or need, you don’t get them. And when you have too much self esteem or really we should just call that ego, you also are similarly let down because the ego never asks, the ego demands. And who likes to accommodate a demander? No one. But when a person who is inhabiting their body and life, makes a genuine request of another human being who is also doing their best to inhabit their body, then magic happens. Each can give to the other and also receive. The doors are open for exchange. There is a balance between giving and receiving and there is no shame in asking. In fact, being able to ask is really the only way you can really ever get much of anything.

Even while knowing all of this to be true, the ask is still hard. I would much rather just do it myself. It is easier and safer. But spiritual progress isn’t, it is terrifyingly hard. Life will always give you countless ways to go back to sleep and sleepwalk through your days. Or you can use all the things that happen to you as a vehicle to wake up and pay attention to the wondrous life that is occurring all around you. For me, this has taken awhile and I have gotten much better at developing a curiosity about myself and you. And this curiosity makes asking for anything much easier. I do not know if you can or will give me what I have asked for. But I can enjoy the questioning. I can enjoy being curious if my fear is valid (it usually isn’t) or I can be curious to see how you show up. It is really way more interesting than me deciding all by myself and then scripting it out in my mind.

It is a vulnerable thing to ask. Giving is so much easier because it holds a believable delusion that if you are giving that you have something to in fact give. This is not always true, but we act as if it is all the time. Oh but when we ask, then we sit in a place of admitting that we are without something we need and that is a very vulnerable place. And it is right there that the magic happens. I ask, I receive. It is spiritual every time regardless of the ask. Anytime I say to another person, “hey, I need this from you,” I am moving myself closer to the person I want to be. A person who needs and wants and lives her life in real time, in stark relief to the backdrop of self sufficiency. Every time I ask, I give someone else the opportunity to be generous with their love, their spirit, their time and their soul. Ask and you shall receive, not always exactly what you asked for but that is the great wondrous journey of life: what to do with all that you are presented...and asking for all that you are so afraid will never be given.

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