We all have needs. We need food, water, shelter, community, communication, rest, exercise and that is just the beginning of what we ask for to live a healthy, integrated life. Our needs are always in flux depending on the time of day and time of life we are in. Many of us may recognize we have needs, but then get confused about what it is we need in the event of each moment (we eat when we are tired, talk when we need silence: this kind of confusion will be covered in another post) and even when we think we know what we need we often forget we can request our needs be met. We can request it of ourselves and we can request it of others.
I remember the day I first discovered I could not only ask for what I thought I needed, but I could simply ask for what I wanted (this came right on the heels of the realization that it was OKAY to want things!). Of course I’d been trying hard in my own way to get my needs and wants met for my whole life, but it wasn’t until way into adulthood that I realized I could go about it all much more directly: I could simply ask.
Previous strategies (that I still try out sometimes) had included hard work convincing others that I was lovable and loving, all in a round about attempt to get the love and attention I longed for, wasn’t totally able to get myself, and didn’t trust others would give to me directly. They say that the universe is made of love, but I was doubting it.
So I started asking…this was scary and vulnerable, but exciting. When we ask, there is the possibility we will be met with a NO. All I can say is, it is worth the risk. It may be painful to hear the NO and we may think we will melt into oblivion, but if we can take a deep breath and hold our ground we’ll discover on the other side of the NO is abundant discoveries. We might find out the following:
- We actually don’t need what we thought we needed.
- We discover there are other ways to meet this need than our original idea.
- We find out it is not other people’s responsibility to meet our needs.
- Which in turn may mean we discover it is not our responsibility to meet other’s needs.
- We realize we didn’t actually ask for what we needed, so we clarify and ask again.
There is also the possibility we are met with a YES. We ask and we receive. And the truth is, whether the answer is YES, NO, or “I’m not sure, let me think about it, this is awkward, I can’t believe you asked me this” no matter what, we receive. We may not get what we want, but it is possible we get what we need.
So go ask for what you need and then come back and tell us how it went. What did you discover?
Photo from Okko Pyykkö’s photostream.