The Hobart

I Needed to Hear That

by Annia Baron
I Needed to Hear That

(A conversation between two people doing their best to live a good life).

“I don’t want to be seen as a nag by my partner,” she admitted. “We haven’t been connecting well of late so I know it will just make things worse. It’s easier if I don’t bring it up. It’s fine. I’ll just figure it out.”

“Will you? How’s it working for you?” I ask. “Because who I see in front of me is a woman utterly wrecked; someone whose cellular matrix is no longer full of light and love but drained of all life force. You’re brittle and you’re making yourself small because you’ve grown up believing that asking for what you need will either be an inconvenience or create some sort of drama that will ultimately lead to rejection. How are you ever going to live your best life if you don’t take accountability for what you want?”

(Silence).

“It may be uncomfortable to hear, but in a strange way, I think your inner wisdom recognises these words like an old friend.”

“I guess I haven’t had anyone say it like that before,” she remarked.

“That’s because most of the time, we’re afraid to speak from the heart. We want to be liked so we create opportunities for favourable impressions and avoid talking about the sticky stuff. Have you ever thought about all this from the perspective of the order of life?” I ask her.

“What do you mean?” she answers.

“There’s a simple order to things. It goes like this:

  1. Love and appreciation of the Source.
  2. Love and appreciation of Self.
  3. Love and appreciation of Others.

The source can be whatever higher force you believe in – nature, God, Buddha, the Universe etc. When you act in a way that goes against the natural order, you’re robbing yourself and those around you of the most spectacular version of life.”

Her eyes widen and she shifts her posture in a way the signals piqued interest.

“You may think it’s noble to put other people’s needs first but minimising your earnest desires for the approval of others isn’t something to aspire to if it stops you from being your real self. When you downplay or suppress your ideas, worries, or wants, you’re perpetuating a core belief that says, ‘I don’t deserve happiness’. You complain about the way things are and wonder why they’re not improving. Look, your partner doesn’t owe you anything. The world doesn’t owe you anything either. If you want things to change for the better, ask yourself, ‘Is my happiness practice honouring the order of life?’

“What do you mean by happiness practice?” she enquires.

“The accumulation of intentions and actions that nurture your psychological, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. For example, let’s consider this: You’ve told me your husband loves going for a run and makes it a priority. It sounds as though when he misses out, the drop in his mood becomes palpable for you and the kids. But you’ve also mentioned that you’re not keeping up with your pilates classes; that you’re too busy and prefer to ensure that he gets out, so you can finish all the things around the house that need doing. You’re avoiding the necessary conversation because you think that by asking for what you need, he’ll be missing out on what he wants. Remember, the order of things says that if you take care of yourself, you’ll be better able to care for others. You’re opting out on being authentic with the person you love. It’s time to change that.”

“But how? Where do I begin?” she asks. “Start with the truth. What about something like this:

“Ari, I realise that some of my behaviours of late haven’t been honouring our relationship. Growing up I learned that asking for what was important to me often led to negative outcomes like disappointment or rejection. What I need to share with you is that I’ve been neglecting my exercise. I haven’t wanted to take time away from your running because I’ve been afraid that you’ll resent me for it, or that if you don’t go as often maybe your mood will deteriorate and that will put more pressure on me. I want to be honest and share my thoughts with you. You’re the person I trust the most. I would like to make pilates a regular part of my weekly routine. By doing so, I feel I’ll be taking greater accountability for my selfcare, and ultimately, better care of our relationship. Can we work out a plan that will celebrate our individual happiness practices?”

Her demeanour is calm as she digests my monologue.

Suddenly, she grows frantic and pleads, “Can you repeat all of that so I can record it on my phone and read it to my husband?”

We both laugh out loud.

“You don’t need me to record it for you. Your inner wisdom already recognises these words like an old friend.”

Annia Baron is a mum, a Clinical Psychologist & Mindset Coach. Want to learn more about mindset tools to create a life you desire and deserve? Get in touch on Instagram @anniabaron or visit www.remindyourself.com.

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April 2024

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