I spend a majority of my life encouraging women to make time for themselves, prioritize their health, and restructure their lives so that stress and busyness isn’t the norm. In this journey, many amazing women needed to be reminded of this important fact: it’s OK to have needs.
Photo by Toa Heftiba
Expose the Lies so You Can Live the Truth
Here are the lies I see women adhering to
- having needs makes me high maintenance
- speaking up for my needs makes me a burden
- self-care is a luxury
- a good care-giver gives her (literal) everything for her family
- my worth is found is taking care of others
- I don’t have time to take care of my health or make time for myself
- ___insert your familiar lie here___
And although a quick scan through social media makes you realize not all people believe these lies, I’m sure you can either add to or relate to this list.
Friend, I want to encourage you to examine your motives. If you find that the root cause of something that you’re doing is found in one of these lies, then you need to expose it and fight back. Learning that it’s OK to have needs is crucial. You will be empowered as you speak up for them, and as you take better care of yourself, you will realize you have much more to give to others as well!
You’re Not Communicating What You Think You Are…
I encounter a lot of women who refuse to have any needs. When you do that, you’re communicating to others (mainly other women) that if they have needs, then they are a burden or high maintenance. People might also get the vibe that you think you are better than them because you suppress any and all needs.
I’ve also encountered people who refuse to have needs, but when they have one they really want met, they often (unintentionally) use passive aggressive tactics to get their way. Oof. I know no one wants to come across that way. It’s time to learn that having needs is perfectly acceptable and healthy!
The Ripple Effect
By speaking up for your needs and making time for self-care, you’re reminding your daughter that she can do the same if she chooses to be a mother. You’re empowering your friend to speak up for her needs, or speak up when there’s injustice. It’s empowering to use your voice in this way, and the ripple effect cannot be measured.
So although society has told many of us that we are failures or burdens if we have needs, we call that out as a complete lie, and we learn to stand on the truth: You’re a human, of course you have needs. It doesn’t make you weak or selfish to need to take care of yourself, in fact it makes you better at your job, and it makes you a better friend and family member.
One final thought, sisters. Relationships involve give and take. If you’re just giving all of the time, that might not be the kind of relationship either party wants. You could be robbing others of the opportunity to love on you a bit, too. This is really important to others who show their love through acts of service.
I invite you on this journey with me and other women who are empowering themselves through taking better care of their health, exercising, de-stressing, and speaking up if they have a need. It’s freeing. You’re not perfect and you will never be without needs. It’s time to embrace your humanity and empower others around you to do the same.
Cheering you on, sister! I’d love to hear what needs you want to start communicating in the comments!
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Photo by Toa Heftiba