“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
— Sigmund Freud
What Are The Two Words?
It’s really so simple. Express what you want. Express your real needs. My son expresses himself with reckless abandon. I hear, “I want” from him all day.
So adults, what is the problem with opening up, being honest, and making space for the potential that someone may actually meet your needs? Life happened, right? It got complicated.
It is our birthright to express ourselves and yet most of us won’t. We express discontent, blame, frustrations, and gossip freely, but our actual needs don’t get expressed – they don’t even get into our consciousness before we butcher them.
Top Reasons We Won’t Express Our Needs:
- We don’t know what we want. After years of denying our needs, we lose contact with our voice. “I need a new job.” “I need to exercise.” “I need more intimacy.” These thoughts get buried behind the list of reasons we can’t or shouldn’t make changes. Or worse, that we don’t deserve better. “I mean who am I to want something more.” And these buried needs rear their ugly head in other ways. Because what we want fights for survival. Our needs won’t get buried by the simple tactics of the mind. Our needs are stronger than our minds. They always find a way to express themselves.
- Vulnerability. When we do know what we want, we fear vulnerability. It is weak to show emotions. Expressing your needs, your desires, leaves you open and exposed to being harmed. If I keep my needs to myself, I will not risk the vulnerability of being exposed. No one will hurt me because I have not shown myself. Silencing my needs is a small price to pay for the security I desire. Are you sure? What has the cost been? What have you lost? You made a deal with fear and the cost is your ability to say what you want.
- Approvals. And then there are the dreaded approvals. I would say what I want except for that everyone on the planet won’t agree with me. If I knew that I was right, that others(all others) agreed, I would be happy to share. So I will ask others what they think about my needs before really committing to them. My life is a democracy. Each decision is open to the world to commit on and somehow I will find a way to get consensus. And if I don’t, I will wait to get my needs met. But what if there is always someone who doesn’t agree?
What do you want?
I want to live on a farm.
I want to become a great chef.
I want a hug.
I want more intimacy.
I want to become a yoga teacher.
I want to travel the world.
I want you to listen to my true feelings.
I want to be free.
When we express our soul’s voice, the freedom, given as a birthright is granted eternally.
And the good news is that the solution to accessing, unlocking, and releasing that voice takes so little to achieve.
Ready to say what you want without feeling exposed, overwhelmed, or worried about others?
- Take out a pen. Write down what you really want. How many times do you say “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t?” Capture all those excuses. These are your junk food thoughts. Like you have to remove fast foods and GMOs from your life, these sentences have to go. You have the right to express what you want. All these arguments against yourself will never satisfy that internal stirring for something else. Face your mind, it is not as powerful as it appears to be.
- Do you know what you want, but you fear exposure, being seen, being known? Have you ever thought about what you are saying? What are you risking? Living? Speaking? Having a life you want? How is that a risk? Someone will take advantage of your truth. Someone will not honor your truth. Well, that is the simplest problem to solve – find new friends. Anyone who takes your truth and uses it to hurt you has to go! And you may want to worry less about others – see #3.
- If there is one thing I talk about with my clients, it is approvals. We want to fit in. We want to be liked. We want others to agree with our choices. Who wouldn’t? But think about it, the guy who beats to his own drum, wears clothes that make him feel alive, is attractive. The woman who kicks ass at work or stays home with her kids, but does it with total conviction, is sexy. We are attracted to those who own their life. The person who is always “trying” is the least interesting person in the room.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde.
So say it today.
Say, “I want.”
Drop the false modesty, the focus on others, the obsession with risk and try it out.
When you speak your truth, personal freedom, a sense of internal calm, a confidence you always wanted, but couldn’t find, will magically appear. Those people you want to approve of your choices will suddenly take an interest, but you won’t really care. And the risk you believed you were taking will show you the truth – those who criticize live in darkness. When you step into your light, you will feel compassion for their gilded cage.
We were designed to live in our truth. Take back what was always yours.