Living in a world that idolises independence and not needing anything from anyone as ‘strong’, I think so many of us have grown up with a warped picture of having needs and we are stumbling around in the dark without realising it.
I see from myself how a lot of what is happening to me at the moment is as a result of feeling shame around basic, foundational needs. The tendency I fall into is to feel like there must be something wrong with me for having a need. I should be different.
But when we ignore our needs, they don’t go away… we often end up trying to get them met though manipulation, entitlement or in other sneaky ways.
Developing literacy around needs and identifying what unmet needs we have, takes a determined effort to listen to ourselves. What is happening in our emotional landscape? Where are we not thriving? Often a lack of thriving or emotional suffering is a result of not having needs met.
If we are privileged enough to have the power to initiate change in our lives (I’m making the assumption if you are if you’re reading this) and all asked ourselves what we genuinely need in order to access our birthright of thriving, imagine how different the world would be!
We have to realise and decide that we deserve to thrive. Sounds so simple, but I think many of us struggle with this. We also come from a you/me or us/them culture mentality where getting a need met is equated with a sense of battle as someone else loses.
Reaching out and making a request to another around a need, whilst making peace with the fact that the answer could be a no, requires courage. We make a request (rather than demands of others that cause power battles) because our needs are OUR responsibility, and all we can do is create strategies to get them met and keep being creative if it doesn’t work out the way we first hope.
But every time we honour our commitment to ourselves and our right to thrive in the world, it is a beautiful contribution towards a much needed cultural transformation of creating a new definition of strength, of abundance rather than scarcity, and interbeing rather than separation.