Speaking our needs is an important part of defining ourselves. If speaking up for yourself is a challenge, then you probably aren’t well defined. You haven’t fully established who you are independent of those around you. You do not experience a solid sense of self. The words of others most likely affect you deeply. Others seem to have the power to make or break your day. The opinions of others hold the key to your value and worth as a human being. If that’s happening for you, it is a miserable place in which to live. I know, it’s part of my story.
Through therapy, healthy friendships, practice and deepening my understanding of who God is and who I am in relationship to Him, I have experienced the exhilaration of a solid definition of who I am. I can speak my mind, even if it’s not in synch with others’. I am fine tuning my unique gifts and abilities. Saying “no” when I mean no and “yes” when I mean yes have come much more easily to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I have not reached perfection here. I’m certain I will be working on my boundaries all my life, but I have experienced healing and growth. I believe you can, too! It’ll take hard work. You may need therapy and a support group. You will definitely need good, supportive friends to encourage you on your journey.
Sometimes you will have to endure uncomfortable situations perhaps feeling like you’re making a fool of yourself. When I saw Mao Asada, the figure skater from Japan, compete last night, this came to mind. She is an elegant and accomplished skater. Last night was not her night. She did not execute her jumps yet she skated beautifully until the very end. She didn’t quit. She stayed on that ice. Sometimes, while we are making a mess of things, not using our skills or feeling really out of place using them, it’s important to remember never give up. Never quit. Keep moving along, even if you have to pick yourself up off the ice after a horrendous fall.