3 minute read
Are you afraid that saying what you want will have other people judge you as needy?
Do you hold back from saying what you want because you don't believe that your needs are as important as other people's needs?
Many of us were educated to believe that our needs are less important than other people's needs and that we should sacrifice what we are needing in the service of others. We don't express our own needs and make sure to please everyone else. This kind of martyrdom can be successful in preventing others from getting upset with you and ensuring that you are still liked or loved by your community. The downside is that it can also lead to exhaustion and burnout.
Needs are life energy. All living beings have needs, and it is these needs that are the driving force behind life as we know it.
Take the seed of a tree for example. Inside that tiny seed exists the desire/need/longing for light, air, water, growth, structure, stability, nourishment, warmth, procreation, and communication. When the needs for water, warmth and air are met, then the seed will begin to grow. Next, it will send roots deep into the ground for stability and nourishment and it will reach up to the light and produce leaves to be fed by the sun's rays. When the tree reaches maturity it will produce flowers as a strategy for procreation. Fruit will develop with more seeds and new trees will be born.
Could you imagine a tree in the forest deciding it should stop being thirsty just in case other trees would think it was needy?
Just like trees, and other living beings, we too have needs. When you don't listen to your own needs, you neglect the part of life that is you. It is as if you are saying that everything outside of you has needs with the exception of you.
In order to live a life of joy and connection, it is imperative that you include yourself when connecting to needs. Doing this does not make you self-centred, narcissistic or needy. It simply means that you are aware of what it is that you are longing for in order to ensure your own well-being.
Becoming aware that your needs matter does not mean turning things upside down and becoming hyper-aware of your own needs whilst excluding everyone else's needs. Many people make this mistake upon realising that they had been sacrificing their own needs for many years. They take the stance that "only my needs matter" and begin to fight for their needs whilst ignoring everyone elses needs. Serving only yourself or only others is not life serving and will only lead to more seperation and suffering.
I am suggesting taking neither the position of only my needs matter nor only your needs matter. What I am suggesting is something more inclusive. I am inviting a shift in perspective towards recognising the abundance of this life energy that flows through us all. When we understand that we are all filled with an abundance of life energy, then no living being's needs matter more than any other living being's needs. When we live in this way then we become an embodiment of living compassion, and we become the compassionate self that our hearts have been longing for.
Did you know that Dyad meditations are a great way to shift from the struggle of your needs or my needs to a place of WE (our needs)? Curious to learn to Dyad. Click this link for a short introduction to Dyads or this link to join a Dyad practice group.