All Signs Point To Ask

When it comes to generating ideas for posts, a lot of times I just pull something out of thin air.  Usually it will be related to something that I’ve experienced in my recent days or something I’ve wondered about, but most of the time, ideas just hit me for no clear reason and I run with them.

This particular post was brought to you all by the universe.  Yes, that’s right.  The universe.  You see, for the last week, I have been inundated with the same topic time and time again.  Badgered over the head, if you will.  In no less than three different ways has this issue been made the focus of my life at separate times.  Clearly, I am meant to write about it.  However, as I sit here, I feel like I cannot truly do the topic justice because I feel that the message is clear enough and why should I further elaborate on an already defined subject.

But I will because, let’s face it, this is what I do here.

What is this mysterious topic that I write about so enigmatically?  Asking for what you want.

Who could forget Meredith’s speech on “Grey’s Anatomy” where she begged Derek to choose her over his estranged wife?

Simple enough, right?  You see something you desire, you ask for it.  A raise, a dance, a shiny new pair of shoes.  Children do it all the time.  “Mommy, I want ice cream!”  “Daddy, I want a teddy bear!”  “Auntie, pick me up!”  But is it really that simple?

Cécile over at Trying to Be Conscious shared some sage advice from her grandmother about asking the universe when we want something really badly or need a question answered, be it a parking space or whether or not one should quit a job.  Honestly, I had never really considered this before I read her smart post and I kick myself for blindly disregarding the simplicity of expressing your desires out loud.  There is something to be said about verbalizing your needs.  When you make something known in a vocal way, it’s hard to disregard it.

People can no longer pretend that they don’t have a clue as to what you want.  You’ve said it.  You’ve made it clear.  There is no room for confusion.  Unless, you ask for something that you don’t want in order to get what you do.  But that is a post for a different day.

I saw Hope Springs over the weekend and there is a scene where the psychiatrist (Steve Carell) is trying to get to the root of where the marriage of Kay and Arnold (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones’s characters) disintegrated.  Through a series of questions, the doctor determines that Kay never got what she wanted and he asks her, “Did you ever ask for what you wanted?”  Kay fumbles and seems surprised by the question and it is clear that no, she never asked for what she wanted.

I’m sure there are a lot of us out there who have been guilty of the exact same thing.  We’ve bottled up our feelings and dropped subtle hints as to what it will take to make us happy, but we never ask.  It all boils down to fear.  But really, what is there to be afraid of?

Sure, rejection sucks.  No one is disagreeing with this, but not asking for what you want, what you need, is so much worse.  By not asking, you risk so much more than receiving a “no.”  Unrequested desires are as dangerous as an untreated infection.  They can fester under the surface, doing much more damage than can be seen with the naked eye.  You may experience feelings of irritability, depression, and self-loathing that can have negative effects on all the relationships in your life.  All because you were too afraid to ask for what you want.

We cannot allow fear to keep us from getting what we deserve.  Don’t be afraid of hearing the word “no.”  If anything, you should be more afraid of what holding in your desire will do to you.  Imagine spending years of your life pining for someone who had an interest in you, but you were too afraid to make the move.  You could have been together all that time, potentially having the time of your life and a love worth remembering.

But if you never ask, you’ll never know.

17 thoughts on “All Signs Point To Ask

  1. L says:

    My dad, inundated with requests and whining little girls when my sister and I were both young, had a saying… “girls that ask don’t get”. It made sense at the time and makes sense for any parent who is tired of being asked for treats, toys, etc. Somewhere along the line, as we grew up, my dad (ever so gracefully, and ever so wisely) changed his tune to “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. Little girls who needed to be taught patience had become young women who needed to learn confidence, assertiveness, and their own value.

    • Jessica says:

      I think this is a lesson we were all taught as children. Unfortunately, it does get us into the habit of not asking because we equate asking with being annoying and told “no.” As we grow up, we learn that people are not mind readers and we don’t get what we want if we don’t ask for it. Here’s hoping you’re comfortable with asking, Laura!

  2. Cécile says:

    Wonderful! I love your take on this, Jessica. I just had yet another example of how stupid it is not to ask. I’m in Vancouver on Holiday and was dying to meet Rian from Truth and Cake but didn’t dare send her an email before my arrival to organize a cup of coffee or a glass of wine- I didn’t want to come across as a stalker.
    But then I arrived in Vancouver and saw a piece on her blog about the region. I finally mentioned being there on the comments and she offered to meet right away! Turns out she’s super friendly and gave me tons of tips about the city (I’ll have to write a post about it soon, you just got a preview from it because it’s so close to what you just wrote here and I know you love Truth and Cake as well :-))

    • Jessica says:

      Cécile, I am so incredibly jealous that you’ve met the lovely Rian and you’re spending time in Vancouver! I’ve definitely felt the same way (thinking they would perceive me as a stalker) about asking to meet, or even email, other bloggers, but my experience has taught me how incredibly kind and open people in the blogosphere are. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to experience the sweetness first hand. Imagine if you had never told her you were in town… you would have missed out on meeting a great blogger and probably always wondered what might have happened if you had just spoken up. Enjoy the rest of your holiday! I can’t wait to read about it. xoxo

  3. claireelizabethscott says:

    I loved this post (especially the Grey’s reference — I loved that season!), and the main reason for that is because it’s so true. People hardly ever speak up for fear of rejection, but I’ve learnt the hard way that voicing your feelings is the best way. Once upon a time, I told a boy that I liked him and he told me he didn’t feel the same way — at the time, I was gutted, but we remained firm friends until, a year later, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We’ve been together three and half years, and I dread to think what would have happened if he didn’t know how I felt. Everything’s always much better out in the open 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks, Claire! Your story is exactly what more people need to hear. You may not be as happy as you are today (and I imagine for the last three and a half years) if you never opened up your heart. I’m sure you felt completely heartbroken when the feelings weren’t reciprocated, but it all worked out in the end. I’m so happy for you! xoxo

  4. mylifeisthebestlife says:

    This is so true! I SUCK at asking for things that I need and I’m always surprised by how willingly people give me what I want when I actually speak up.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m not going to lie, I suck at it too. But you’re right, when you ask for what you need, people are much more willing to help you than you would expect. Who would have thought?

  5. rommel says:

    What I have learnt from my dark days was not to be afraid to ask. You gotta get out of your high horse. You got to bow down. Don’t shy away from blessings and support other people are offering to you. If anything, you don’t even have to ask, you just need to “share” your thoughts.

  6. Paleo Liz says:

    Sooo true. When hubs was deployed I could have used a lot more support and company, but I was too stubborn to ask anyone for help or companionship. Turns out many of them didn’t want to “bother me” or “intrude” and didn’t know how to help. All I needed to do was open my dang mouth.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, Liz. I remember how hard it was for your when the hubs was gone and I was so grateful that you got the chance to get things off your chest when we walked around the building. If I had known then just how difficult it was, I would have been over at your house with a bottle of wine all the time. I guess we both learned something from not asking the right questions. xoxo

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