Humans are strange. No doubt about it. Overall, we deny our own needs out of pride or fear or shame or guilt, and we fill our lives with useless clutter instead. When I look at my dogs, they don’t do that shit. When they need food, they let me know. When they need love, they let me know. When they want play, they let me know… And their need for play doesn’t end with youth. It continues until they are old and can hardly get off the doggy bed. Their need for love and comfort when they’re scared or sick doesn’t end with youth either. But us humans, we’re stubborn little creatures. We often don’t like to admit when we need something because *gasp* we might get judged for it. Even if that judgment is only coming from within ourselves.
This last week, I stopped denying myself something I’ve been needing for a long time. I had so much judgment of myself around the need that I’d fought it and fought it. I still have some of those icky feelings–thus why I’m not going into detail right now–but I know they will eventually pass. Because when that need was finally met, it was the sweetest, most wonderful feeling. The experience changed me in ways I didn’t think it could and the more I take part, the more I feel so safe and loved.
Today, I learned that someone I love and respect has a similar need. Not exactly the same, but similar enough that it really got me thinking. This is a person that–like me–doesn’t give in to trauma or fear, or deny their needs in other areas of life. We shared about our struggle with embracing these similar needs, our confusion over needing what we need, and yet agreed wholeheartedly that fulfilling this need was the right choice.
But not many of us make this choice. No many can jump into a place of discomfort in order to become whole in the long run. Not many can trust deep enough to truly make a change and live in a way we’d not be able to otherwise.
Learning this person had a similar need and was also embracing it made me feel comfortable in my own experience.
Pride is such a toxic thing. And judgment–while it’s good in some circumstances and we must use discernment–is feeding the toxic side of our pride.
I had another experience last Friday where someone I’d long respected let his pride get in the way of a situation and it resulted in my losing respect for him. Sure, I still respect his work and things he’s done, but I no longer see him as strong or a person of power. He’s done great work for abused children, but to be truly strong and powerful, we must be humble and vulnerable. A thing that I now know he is not.
So I had this one experience of losing respect for a person I’d admired, and then the other experience of gaining so much more for myself and this other person I admire. Because we were open and humble and not letting our pride override the beauty of healing.
The Beauty All Around Me
After a weekend around amazing and talented authors, I was once again reminded of the strength and vulnerability all around me. To be good writers, we must be able to be humble. We must be able to admit when we’re wrong or when we’ve fucked up. We must also be able to see our good, wise choices and actions too. As I saw this in others, it helped me see this overlap I’d not seen before between my writing and my deeper need I mentioned above: both require my vulnerability, my humbleness, and trust in myself that I’m doing what I need to be doing.
My denying myself what I needed was pride. Plain and simple. And for a long time, my lack of growth in my writing was also my pride. I didn’t want to admit that I was a lazy writer. I wasn’t wanting to put the work in that I needed to because it was too hard. Just as embracing my need was too hard.
I’ve now come to understand that the moment the words ‘too hard’ enter into my thought process, that’s the moment I need to implement a change.
I had a wonderful weekend full of smart, humble, beautiful people. It was a good–albeit tiring–weekend.