So, in this episode, we are continuing by exploring how to truly celebrate and honor your wants. If like so many humans socialized as women, you’ve been taught to believe having wants and needs makes you a burden or a bother, and that it’s better to pretend you don’t have any, this is your work, and I’m showing you why it matters so deeply.
Tune in this week as I share six reasons why letting your wants guide you is so important, how denying them is eroding your self-trust, and a simple exercise to get you in touch with, own, and go after your desires.
This is Feminist Wellness, and I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine Expert, and Life Coach, Victoria Albina. I’ll show you how to get unstuck, drop the anxiety, perfectionism, and codependency so you can live from your beautiful heart. Welcome my love, let’s get started.
Hello hello my love. I hope this finds you doing so well. So last week, we defined the difference between wants and needs as needs being those things that sustain life, plus things like social connection that are vital for a regulated nervous system.
Wants are the it-would-be-super-rad-to-have-it things. Not the things that sustain life. We also talked about how common it is to tell the story that we need something when it’s actually a want because from our codependent thought habits, we believe we need to justify our wants for them to be valid or worthy of asking for or working towards or even dreaming of.
And finally, we talked about how the thing we need, like to feel safe or connected, can get all muddled in our perfectionist story of the how. How we want to get that need met.
For example, I need to feel safe, so I want my partners to read my mind and meet my needs exactly how I want them to by saying the exact right thing in the exact right way without my even telling them. Sound familiar, my darlings? Such a classically codependent way of attempting to get our needs met, right?
So from that foundation, and if you’re new to the show and didn’t listen to last week, I’d recommend it. It’s a good primer for what we’re doing today and next week.
I want to pause this week to truly and deeply celebrate our wants and our needs and first, I want to share six reasons why it matters that you, that we, from our codependent, perfectionist, and people-pleasing habits pause and get in touch with our wants.
One, so often, so many of us pretend we don’t have any wants and needs. We sweep them under the rug in our attempts to appear independent, often from the story that it’s safer not to have wants and needs because then no one can negate them or tell us we’re wrong or bad for having them, no one can label us as needy.
And this is often a story we learned from our family blueprint. So often, from having parents, particularly mothers I’ve found, that learn from the patriarchy that their role is to be the caretaker, the giver, and not the receiver. So we learn that it’s not okay to want or need, and we should feel guilty or selfish if we do, and extra guilty or selfish if we actually get what we want.
A member of the Anchored family recently shared that she struggles to buy herself new clothes because she thinks it’s frivolous, even when her socks have holes and the elastics go out on her pants, but she will always buy new clothes for her kids without pausing because in her mind, that’s what mothers do. Put themselves last chronically and deny their wants if they don’t meet the standards of needs.
Two, we don’t trust our desires. The patriarchy has told so many of us that our wants are not okay, that our desires are problematic if they don’t meet certain standards for acceptability for women, that it’s not okay for us to want to be seen and heard and met in certain ways and that we should want to look and act in ways that are pleasing to the male gaze.
Read: thin, but not too thin, assertive, but not bitchy, et cetera. And there’s a whole problematic, moralistic story that teaches humans socialized as women that it’s okay to want to have sex, but not too much. And just certain kinds of sex of course, anything else and we might have a problem here.
And if you step out of those social mores, those stories of what is right for you to want if you want to explore your sexuality, polyamory, open relationships, play with power or pleasure in new ways, then you’re likely to get ostracized, criticized, judged, and shunned for stepping outside of what’s acceptable for a good girl, a good little woman.
Three, beyond wants and needs as physical things, we stifle our wants for support, for care, for mutuality and reciprocity because we’ve been told the story that wanting those things, well, that’s a problem. It makes us appear needy, which is language built to keep people, especially humans socialized as women down, to keep us small.
By keeping us out of touch and out of connection with ourselves, with our authenticity, with our desire. And also keeping us from being met and cared for in those real and true ways that we want and need from our partners, our friends, others in our lives.
So if it’s needy to expect or ask your partner who you live with and parent with to do their fair share of the labor, if that’s judged and stigmatized, if you’re told you’re a bitch or a nag for wanting reciprocity, then you stop asking for it, which makes sense, right?
And that keeps women, the humans who typically do significantly more housework and emotional labor exhausted, frustrated, or resentful and annoyed, feeling put upon because we often are. And are told it’s a problem if we want things to be different.
This narrative keeps us spinning instead of demanding change. Instead of expecting that humans socialized as men and masculine humans show up to be an equal partner.
And while these norms are changing for sure, and I can think of so many good men who do their fair share, for example I can think of my sister Genie’s husband Derek, who does most of the cooking and a ton of the childcare. My buddy Marcos, who is a stay-at-home dad, while his wife Carolina works outside the home. It’s still not the norm.
And the thing to remember here is that these patriarchal rules around gender norms, wants and desires, what’s okay for us to want hurts all of us. Humans of all of the genders by teaching us that it’s okay for some people to have wants and needs that are worthy wants and needs and some people are nags and martyrs for voicing what matters to them, whose only option is to stay quiet and seethe in resentment, and that sucks for all of us.
Four, your wants and needs matter, my darling. Because not believing your wants and needs are valid can have real health implications. Especially when your mindset is codependent, so you don’t believe that you’re as worthy of love and care as everyone else.
Add that to living within systems that insist that productivity is more important than humanity. Where are my nurses? My teachers, my wait staff at? I see you. Not eating, not drinking water, not taking your break, when you’re not even getting paid for that time anyway.
Often not peeing when your body is screaming for it. How many of us have agreed to eat things that hurt us because we don’t want to appear needy? By saying that we have dietary restrictions and want to eat a certain way, and then go home to spend miserable days with headaches, IBS flares, joint pain, exhaustion.
How many of us have agreed to have sex we don’t really want to? We’re not asked for the sex or the kind of touch we want to because we’re so worried what our partners will think of us that we’d rather go along and please them while not being pleased ourselves.
Five, this matters because so often we make our wants someone else’s responsibility to meet when we’re not fully owning them, which is what we’ll be talking about next week in detail.
And in so doing, we hand over our power, our agency. We strengthen the neural grooves in our minds that say I cannot meet my own needs, I cannot get what I want, someone else has to give my permission, someone else has to validate my desires, someone else has to make it happen for me.
And that keeps us stuck in painful old stories about who we are and what’s possible for us. Often, as girls we are taught to not be a burden or a bother and that having wants makes us needy, which again is painted as very bad indeed, so don’t be a bother, don’t be a burden, don’t be an inconvenience.
That is, continue to deny your humanity, your wants, needs, and desires. People please instead, go along to get along.
Six, finally, we block our own wants in life because we fear failure. We fear challenging emotions and we fear what others might think of us, all classic codependent, perfectionist, and people-pleasing thought habits.
So we don’t start the business or go get that MFA because what if we’re not good enough? What if our desired outcome to be a poet or a coach isn’t successful? What will our parents or peers or partners or neighbors think if we leave our job to explore that passion that just lights us up?
And we don’t go after the dream goal we most want because what if we don’t succeed by our own exigent internal standards? Then we will feel a whole slew of feelings. Disappointment, sadness, regret.
And what we forget if we’re not doing thought work and somatics, if we’re not investigating our habitual thoughts and felt bodily sensations is that all of those feelings can be met with love and compassion, can be felt and processed through our body and truly can be transformed, which means that we don’t ever have to fear our feelings.
We just need to learn to manage our minds and honor our bodies, which builds capacity in our nervous system to find peace, whatever the circumstances or outcomes.
I could go on and on and on about how we block ourselves for asking for our basics wants and needs to be met, how we block ourselves from going after the things we want most, how we are taught by our socialization, our conditioning, our family of origin that having wants and needs is okay for everyone else but not for us.
But I promised you a celebration of wants and needs, so here it comes. My darling perfect amazing little tender ravioli, you get to let your wants be your guiding north star. Wants are beautiful things, go and get them. Go get what you want for you.
Give yourself the permission you’ve been asking everyone else for. If you want to ask that person out on a date, go do it. If you want to tell your partner you’re leaving them and filing for divorce, you get to do that. If you want someone to pass the salt, ask them to.
And this is an actual client example, by the way. A client of mine said that before Anchored, she couldn’t even bring herself to ask for the salt to be passed because she was so worried about being a bother.
And what’s true is that it’s okay to want whatever you want. Truly, really, for realsies. And if you’re like, “But Vic, I don’t even know what I want,” which is so common for us, it’s something I hear literally every single day over in Anchored, my six-month program, I want to invite you to start by asking yourself what you want.
And really, make it that simple. There’s no need to complicate this, my darlings. We love to overthink things and we think, “Well, if I just think about it and make it really complicated then I’ll come up with a perfect solution, it’ll be the most perfect solution,” and then we get into a spin.’
So let’s leave that behind and let’s keep it simple. Pause, breathe, step out of your habitual ways of thinking and being and literally just ask yourself, what is it that I truly want in this moment? And start by keeping it small.
Remember when we talked in the episode about the minimum baseline. The whole point is to start with something teeny, teeny tiny when you’re building trust in yourself.
So what do I truly want in this one moment, this millisecond? Not even this hour, this day. This moment. And allow that desire, allow whatever you hear in your mind, in your body to be your guide. Ask yourself, do I want fries with that? But like, for reals.
Don’t just order the fries without thinking. But also, don’t just get the side salad instead without thinking. Pause. Ask yourself, ask your mind, ask your body, ask your inner children, ask your most loving amazing caring internal parent what they think.
What is it that I truly want in this moment of my life? And once you have built that skill, then you can expand that to ask yourself, what do I want in this hour, this day, this week, this month? This relationship, this work situation, this life.
As you learn what you want, you get to ditch the old thinking that tells you that wanting is selfish or bad, or that you need to feel guilty about wanting something so you can prove you’re a very good person. Because none of that is true.
My darling, my beauty, want what you want. Own it. And allow the process of getting real about what you want for you to support you in building self-trust. Because when we deny our wants, we erode self-trust. So you get to practice rewriting that lousy old story.
And there is so much freedom and flexibility in dropping the story that I need things to be a certain way so I can fully claim my wants as valid. And once I’ve given myself that internal validation, and remember, that’s a new skill for us from our codependent thinking.
We’ve spent a lifetime looking for external validation. So once I have validated my wants and I’ve said yeah, it’s okay, it’s great for you to want what you want, from there, I can choose to be flexible around those wants because I’m not making them out to be a need.
Like for example, well, I like my house to be tidy. It’s a want of mine. And when it’s just me here, I keep it that way. I have a place for everything and put everything in its place and I love that. I love waking up in the morning and there are no dishes in the sink, it’s really tidy, the wood stove is all set up with fire ready to go, the shoes are on their little mat. I like that. I want it to look that way.
And when friends or dates come to stay over with me, in variably, my house will not look the way I want while they’re here. And it’s by recognizing tidiness as a want that I can be like, well, there are dishes in the sink, the couch pillows are all asunder, and that’s fine because I don’t need it to look a certain way. I just want it to.
And from recognizing that want as a want, I can decide that well, in this given moment, I actually want to spend time connecting with beloveds more than I want to perseverate on how the house looks.
You can always say that anything beyond basic needs are wants. And I’m down with that. That’s just what they are. And it’s wonderful for you to go and get those wants. Give yourself the permission to want what you want just for you. Just because you want it. Just because it brings you joy.
And see if you can drop the judgment of yourself for wanting what you want just long enough to let yourself go for it, to work towards it, to make it happen, and then to celebrate the crap out of yourself for moving ever closer to the life of your dreams.
And while we’re at it, celebrate what you already have too. My beauty, it’s homework time. To connect in with the abundance of your life as it is, and to connect in with that which you truly want, I’ll invite you to write out 20 things you want and 20 things you already have.
20 things that you want to decide to feel abundant around. If you want a partner who cherishes you, write it down, and then get detailed about what that looks like. If you have a partner who respects you, write that down and get detailed about it.
If you have a job that pays the bills, write it down. If you want a job that you love to do, write it down. Next, I want to invite you to see how you can give yourself all the things that you want from someone else. Celebrate it all. Let your desires, your wants matter to you.
Even if they don’t matter to anyone else, even if no one else gets them, if no one else approves of them, if no one else thinks they’re worthy of wanting, let it go. And let yourself matter, my darling. And then you get to go on and get it.
Ask your beloved to do the dishes after you cooked, to stay with the kids for 30 minutes so you can exercise or meditate. Invest in you and your future if you want to. Take the leap if you want to. Set a boundary if you want to. Make your bed if you want to. And don’t if you don’t want to.
Make yourself a delightful cup of tea and pause for a moment to savor it if you want to. Just because you want to. And let your deepest wants, your desires be your guiding north star.
Thanks for listening in my beauties. It’s always such a pleasure to connect with you. If you haven’t checked out Anchored, my six-month program, we’re well over halfway full and we’re starting up again in February 2022.
So if you’ve been listening to the show, loving what you’re learning here, on the Instagram @victoriaalbinawellness, on my webinars, and you would like to spent six months together with me and a loving community of humans who are ready to make their lives better, to release the codependent, perfectionist, and people-pleasing stories that keep us from owning our wants and meeting our needs, you’re going to want to join us for Anchored.
Head on over to victoriaalbina.com/anchored to learn all about the program and to apply now so you can get on a call with me to talk all about it. Really looking forward to connecting and to having you join us for Anchored so you can make 2022 the best year of your amazing life.
Be well, my beauty. And before we go, let’s do what we do. Gentle hand on your hand if you feel so moved. Remember, you are safe, you are held, you are loved. Be well, my beauty. I’ll talk to you soon.
If you’ve been enjoying the show and learning a ton, it’s time to apply it with my expert guidance so you can live life with intention, without the anxiety, overwhelm, and resentment, so you can get unstuck. You’re not going to want to miss the opportunity to join my exclusive intimate group coaching program, so head on over to victoriaalbina.com/masterclass to grab your seat now. See you there. It’s going to be a good one.