Stay with Your Own Needs

IMG_4360Staying true to my own needs is really challenging for me and I am writing about it to keep reminding myself at what happens when I don’t follow this simple rule.

This past week-end, the plan was to be sociable. We were due to visit family friends on Saturday. On Sunday, we were invited for lunch by an old friend of mine.

On Saturday, I was ill. It started at 3am in the morning. Unexpectedly, I was vomiting, and I felt wiped out all day long. My temperature was up, and I stayed in bed. The family friends were understanding and sweet enough to look after my son to give us a break for a few hours.

On Sunday, I was a bit better. My temperature was still a bit raised, but at least I could stand up. But my husband got poorly. Lying in bed doubled up in pain, he was not up for socialising.

‘Shall I cancel?’ I asked without really meaning it. We’ve cancelled one or two lunches with this friend in the past. She taught me at university when I first arrived in the UK, and until I married, she practically adopted me. I was invited to every Christmas and any big family event. It was such an honour to be a part of her life.

‘No, no, I can do it,’ my husband obliged.

You see, he thought if we cancelled, he’d let me down. I thought if I cancelled, I’d let her down. If we missed out on seeing her, we probably wouldn’t meet up for another few months, as we’ve got a few trips planned…

At mid-day, we went to see her. It was somewhat disappointing. Neither my husband nor I could eat properly. My son was freaked out by an overly loving puppy which leaked his face repeatedly. We were tired and couldn’t wait to get away so that we could go straight to bed! The evening was chaotic as everyone was struggling probably because we pushed ourselves too much in the day.

I know, hindsight does not help in terms of changing this particular situation. But a conscious reminder of what happens is useful:

When we let ourselves down by not listening to our own needs, we let other people down too. No one wins if we don’t listen to our own truth.

 

12 thoughts on “Stay with Your Own Needs

  1. Thank you Gulara and firstly I hope you and husband are fully recovered. Thank you for this timely reminder of keeping our own needs alive and not ignored. So often that happens … But people are very understanding about canceling because of illness. Though I would have been torn too if I’d had a bit of a history of canceling with that particular person. I’ve been awol for a while, and look forward to catching up on previous posts I’ve missed.

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    • Lovely to hear from you, Susan. I hope you had a lovely time away. I think it wasn’t so much about cancelling per se; it’s this fear of loosing someone’s affection. It runs so deep that often I act unconsciously. The message that if I don’t please others they may stop loving me is too strong and often overrides the common sense… Intellectually, I know it’s not true, but weeding that old story out of my being is taking a long time…

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    • Thank you for commenting, Monika, yes, I kind of know the value of it but sometimes slip back into old patterns. Thank you for leaving your web-address. I enjoyed visiting today!

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  2. Ha, I’ve just come back to this post Gulara – firstly I notice that in a comment of mine back the word ‘week’ appeared instead of ‘well’. But also to mention something. A girlfriend texted me on Tues to invite me for a cup of coffee with another mutual friend. I was thoroughly involved with WIP so I replied that I might. Well, I took a break and joined them for a quick cup a short way away and this in part was because I felt that if I said ‘no’ yet again (more recently have turned down 2 invitations) she’d give up on me. I’m glad I made the effort … besides, I like them both very much.

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    • I think making conscious effort is great, Susan. When we are aware and chose to act it has a different energy to acting out of fear. I am really glad you had a lovely break with your friends. It can be so nourishing to have those connections. Hope your WIP is going well. Many-many thanks for sharing how this post resonated.

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  3. Yesterday, August 19th, I met a young-looking lady who provided service to me at a medical retail store. My sense about her, while she was poking on the computer to define item #s and health insurance coverage, was that she very much needed to say a lot about life generally and about herself most urgently. She initiated divorce from her husband after more than a decade of marriage. She learned from me that I am a writer, publisher, and am well-connected with wonderful people on Blog-world. She was firmly convinced that her divorce was by fate determined, because she came from a country outside USA, where husbands have a reputation for being indelibly wedded to the idea that women have a lesser importance. I spoke to her about people, including Susan Scott, and Jean Raffa, who are specialists in this problem-area and are aware of the need to heal this divide. This morning I provided her with your web-site where she can learn about you, Gulara, and about how you face problems. I also directed her to your “Listen and witness my heart song.” This lady, and I have much to learn from you. Better later than never. I turned 84 years of age August 10th.

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    • First of all, a very happy (belated) birthday to you, Joseph. I’m so touched by your kind words. Thank you so much for reading my writing and passing the details of my blog to this lady. I am enormously grateful. I too come from a country where I’ve experienced a similar attitude towards women. Hopefully, some of what I share here will resonate with her. Many blessings!

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  4. Sometimes you just have to take care of yourself. I’m really bad at cancelling plans with friends or just not making them at all. I’m tired of making excuses and will make time to reconnect with friends and family once the summer is over.

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