While it’s no doubt an important and vital movement, coming into contact with our needs, it feels important to address some of the shadowier aspects of this, that often seem to lie beyond our awareness.
We have a cultural blindspot around the necessity to be connected to the earth for our nourishment and sense of belonging, and instead of giving this focus, we run around trying to get all our needs met from people, and more often than not that ‘one special person’. While it seems to be the case that it is deeply in our nature to form pair bonds, if we look at nature and the example of interdependence she offers, it feels intuitive to me to also try and receive as much nourishment from as many different sources as possible, including our contact with the earth.
We are also embedded in such a culture of scarcity and individualism, so far removed from a shared sense of ‘we’ and a collective humanity, that – although a stage of focusing on ourselves and our needs as we come out of our disconnect is necessary – we must be careful not to see the world as existing purely to meet our needs and other people’s needs as competition, in a scarce world.
Intimate relationships suffer deeply when we confuse ‘love’ with an unspoken expectation of the other fulfilling our needs and the resentments that occur when this doesn’t unfold as we’d like. And yet in order to tangibly sense our interdependence and the realisation that other’s needs are as valid as mine (and that if another suffers, I suffer too), we must also be able to deeply connect with ourselves, identify what our needs are and trust they can be met.