If you’re six feet tall and somebody calls you short, you’d probably just think it’s weird, and brush it off.
When people say things directed at us, it has the potential to destroy us, or to not even phase us.
The things that strike a chord, hit a nerve, make us mad, or trigger us in any way are the things we need to pay attention to. They are God’s way of saying, “Hey! Time to take a look at this. You’re ready.”
Because everything in our life is a mirror of what is going on within us. Nobody has the power to make us feel any certain way. The way we feel when someone says something about us has nothing to do with them and everything to do with us. It took me a long time to really trust this concept; I kept wanting to blame others for my reactions. “So and so made me so mad!” or “They’re just rude.” But taking full responsibility for my thoughts and feelings has been a powerful tool in helping me know myself better. It’s some of the most difficult work I’ve done. It takes vulnerability, fortitude, honesty, and a willingness to take a look at some things that ain’t so pretty.
But doing the work and realizing I’m responsible and knowing that everyone in my life is a mirror doesn’t mean that I am immune to being triggered. This inner work is life’s work, and as far as I know, there’s no arrival point. There’s no graduation. You just become more aware and more skilled at dealing with life’s tests.
So here’s a test I have yet to pass:
I am terrified of being perceived as needy.
Here’s something super messed up. In my past relationships, I would apologize for being needy before anyone even said anything about me being needy. I was so insecure about being needy that I would call myself needy before anyone else had a chance to.
Also, check this out. I have also tended to admit to being needy JUST SO I could hear somebody else say, “No, Becca, you aren’t needy.”
I overcompensate by over-emphasizing a “can do” attitude and an air of extreme confidence, nonchalance, and detachment. When all along I’m slowly dying inside because I’m not being authentic.
And let me just tell you, after years and years of practice under my belt, I can assure you that trying to be something you’re not is exhausting.
The reason I hate being called needy is because I’ve been getting it wrong. It’s OK to be needy for love, acceptance, approval and praise. Those things are basic human needs. But I have been looking for love, acceptance, approval and praise from the wrong sources for a very long time; my family, my friends, and mostly, my boyfriends. If we depend on other people for love, acceptance, approval and praise, we will always be disappointed.
The only way - in my experience - to fill the void of neediness that is inherent in every human, is to receive it from within ourselves … and to receive it from the Ultimate Source: God.