Speak from your heart, chin up, crown on." That's the reminder I had to give myself. I was beyond nervous. Coming up with all sorts of less than ideal scenarios, I asked myself "What's the worst that can happen? And when are you going to leave this behind?"
I was scared to ask my boyfriend at the time for what I needed from him!And although I'm specifically speaking abut a romantic relationship, the same framework can likely be applied to any relationship: family, friends, or business partners... When it came time for me to ask for what I needed from a man I was in relationship with, I hesitated. This had been happening for years! Some part of me was tempted to cower down, my voice shook, my head dipped, I stuttered, my mind went blank. Suddenly I would feel like a lost eight year old. Not a queen.Anyone who knows me knows that isn't like me at all... I'm a super confident woman! So what was happening?When I was young, my father was sometimes stern, unbending, unmoved, standing tall, looking down on me. Now, in my GROWN relationships, I would be transported to those moments, afraid of emotional rejection. Allow me to explain: My father was a great man, and EVERYBODY LOVED HIM, yet stubborn in some of his personal ways. Until I became an adult, I didn't realize how much my mostly great relationship with my father was impacting how I engage men I'm in romantic relationship with. One of my best friends pointed out to me that she thought this hesitation I felt, to ask for what I needed was also "baggage" from past relationships . My hesitation would be reinforced, meaning that that it's obviously too risky to ask for what I need!Sounds crazy, right?I know my feelings, opinions, and thoughts are important-they always have been . But in that moment of asking for what I needed from my man I had to learn to leave behind the fear of being rejected or denied, and allow him the opportunity to step up. I was watching an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, and she was talked to a woman about speaking from the heart. She described how when we as women try to speak to our men from our heads and intellect, we end up losing. Granted, we are wise and intelligent, but our fiercest strength is in our heart. It's what distinguishes us, connects us, and demonstrates an aspect of God himself. I'm sure some woman can't relate to this hesitation at all! Like one of my best friends! On the flip side, sometimes we as women make demands, use subtle (or overt) manipulation, threats, or forceful power to try to get our needs met. In moments when she wants her needs met, instead of clearly communicating her needs, she can get HARSH!!We need balance! In the words of India Arie, "Let's come back to the middle." I think back to an old mentor who once told me "Make all of your decisions from a place of strength." That statement has been something I constantly remind myself of. I grew tired of my voice quivering and my thoughts jumbling- I am deciding to leave that behind and speak with strength. Now let me be clear: strong isn't loud or aggressive, nor is it timid and silent. As cheesy as it may sound, it helped to see myself with a crown on my head, speaking as a queen to a king. That visual eliminated this image of a tiny cowering girl asking permission from a big, strong man."If you speak to the king, the king will answer. But if you speak to the fool, so will he." *A man who wants to be with us and help bring us happiness, will often try to meet our needs. And if he isn't, that may be USEFUL INFORMATION for us to make a different decision!
But what do we do now?
1) Be in touch with what your heart is saying and wanting.
2) See yourself as a woman worthy of having her needs met.
3) Be courageous and speak up!
4) Ask for what you need...They cannot read our minds!
Speak clearly, chin up, voice strong, from the heart dear sister. Don't let that crown fall.