Two years ago, the answer to this question was an absolute NO. Of course, I knew I needed love and care, those basic human needs that all of us have but I had just come out of a relationship where I did not speak my needs, I had put my needs aside in the unhealthiest of ways sacrificing them in the desperate hope that I could meet all the needs of another person and through that feel that they loved me in return. A simple recipe for disaster for everyone involved and the most co-dependent approach to life.
Over these years I have had to face my part in this and in doing so I had to become reconnected to my own needs. What did I need anyway?
Each of us are unique human beings and each of us experiences love, care, and connection differently. You don’t have to look far to see our desire to understand this.
If you are familiar with the book The Five Love Languages, by taking a quiz you can determine your primary and secondary love language. This language is how you will tend to receive love and it also tends to be your default mechanism to express it. Obviously if your language is different from a partners, it gets tricky because you need to adjust to this.
My primary love language is physical touch, it is a need for me most definitely, without touch in a relationship I do not end up feeling connected however in my deeper exploration of my own needs I have uncovered a nuance to this need for touch. If there is only touch without intimacy, the touch over time loses something, it can end up feeling hollow or shallow somehow, it ends up being devoid of meaning.
As my exploration of my needs continues to expand and broaden it has become important for me to just be me, in all my messy, straight forward, cards on the table. I have a need to be real, to be authentic. If I am not being authentic there will be no intimacy either, no connection to the real self. Again, if I am presenting a false version of myself and another connects to that, the connection feels hollow.
You can not trick your body into believing an inauthentic story in your head either. Your body knows your truth.
As a woman my relationship to my needs has been steered in all manner of wrong directions from my early childhood. Messages like “don’t be too needy” or “you don’t need that” or “don’t be so much trouble” can all be subtle indicators that we shouldn’t stand up for our own needs.
I can remember my grandmother’s wisdom, “go along to get along” she would say and for several years I listened. I went along until I couldn’t anymore.
I ended up realizing in my late thirties that going along meant that I wasn’t living my own authentic life. At the time I thought blowing my life up and starting fresh was the answer, I didn’t know then what I know now.
Yes, you can blow up your life but if you don’t turn around and look at the mess you made, face it, face your part in it, figure out who you are, what you are about and what you need from this life, well you are destined to continue a messy journey.
I have a need to grow as a person, this need drives me to ask questions, to test myself, to not just accept an answer without looking at it from all angles and dimensions.
I have a need to love greatly and deeply, to care for those people in my life in all their facets and uniqueness while also loving myself in the same way.
I have a need for freedom, to live freely and authentically as myself.
I have a need to grow spiritually and show up fully with all the gifts that I have been blessed with in this life for the betterment of myself, my fellow humans, and the planet we all share.
I have a need to experience this life fully, sensually and with a fluid awareness.
As I have continued to look at my needs, to understand their nuance, to uncover the subtle ways that they make themselves known in my day to day, I have also had to take the opportunity to speak up for them, to ask for them to be met. Sometimes they can only be met by me and other times I can ask for them to be met by another.
The asking is a muscle that needs work regularly to be strong.
I am finding that if I continue to ask myself, “Is there anything I need right now?,” I am usually able to uncover my need and the next step in getting it met. For me this is an exercise, I do know others that seem to have this muscle well trained, but I know this is a process for me and one that I need to continue to exercise.
Is there anything that YOU need right now?
I hope these words and my own questions get you thinking or writing or both. Here are a few questions for you to ponder in your favorite journal or in your morning shower.
- What do I need?
- How do I ask for what I need?
- How do I get my needs met?
- What needs do I have that aren’t being met and what can I do about that?
I blog because I love the process of posing questions to myself, uncovering those deep answers in the power of the words, those unexpected answers that I found here. I love forcing myself to grow in this way.
If you want to question yourself, then subscribing to my email list will ensure you have an opportunity to do that. I blog about once a month so you will not receive a ton of emails from me, only what I hope to be the best questions that we can ask ourselves to be better tomorrow than we were today.
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