Over the past week or so I’ve had numerous occasions to speak up. It’s amazing how small I feel when I’m afraid to voice something that needs to be said. I so admire people who are able to sense their needs and communicate them without the inner torture that I experience. It seems that first I need to verify internally that it’s a reasonable request, then figure out how to say it in a non-offensive manner, then psyche myself up. It’s quite the exhausting process!
Yet somehow I muddle through. It seems that saying “no” is the hardest, and yet sometimes the most valuable sentence I could ever utter. It’s easy to look back over the years at all the times I didn’t but wished I had. Sure, I can give up my only day off to cover for a sick colleague. Sure, I can do a deep tissue massage but use my thumbs instead of elbows and forearms. Sure, I can do more than my share of household chores or errands or listening. Remembering the powerlessness I felt when I didn’t speak up all those times fuels me to keep moving forward.
So while I continue to struggle with this concept, I am forging ahead. I continue to voice my concerns when I get that “off” sensation in my gut and also to decline extra work that I really don’t want to do. I’m committed to reminding the people around me about my boundaries should they forget and to ask for what I want. Most definitely I am a work in progress. I look forward to a day when I am able to speak up with ease and comfort; until then I will just keep practicing. Every chance I get.