Wednesday, November 30, 2011


As you read this, I would like you to ask yourself what kind of needs you have that tend to go unmet. Maybe you are in need of more balance, alone time, or the opportunity to pursue a personal interest.  Perhaps you need more time with your significant other, intimacy, or stimulating conversation with a friend.  Maybe your body is craving some attention or your health needs tending to.  Or, perhaps you are in a time of hardship, limbo, or transition and you need to turn the page.  Maybe you are currently fulfilling some roles that just aren't fulfilling you.  Perhaps it is none of these things and your soul just needs some stirring, making your needs a bit more abstract.  Or, perhaps instead they are really quite simple.

No matter what your specific needs are, though, you have them.  We all do.  Some of which we can meet on our own, and some that we simply cannot meet without the help of others.

As you reflect on what your needs are, take a moment to think about what it would be like to tell someone about them.  I am willing to bet that doing so feels a bit risky or uncomfortable.  Maybe even a bit vulnerable.  Admitting our needs to other people, especially when those needs have an effect on our loved ones, can be really difficult.  It can even feel somewhat foreign or scary as we expose parts of ourselves to others by admitting to our needs and acknowledging that we cannot always meet them on our own. 

This can be scary, because we cannot be entirely sure what will happen.  What if the person that we are opening up to doesn't receive it well?  What if they get mad?  What if they judge you or don't understand?  What if it hurts their feelings?  What if they turn the tables and they make it about themselves?  What if the person you have opened up to just does not respond at all?

Or, what if it goes really well?  What if none of those scary things happen, and the person you have opened up to takes your heart gently into their hands and says, "I understand.  I love you.  And I am here to support you"?  How wonderfully comforting would that be?  How good would you feel as you are finally able to have your needs acknowledged?  How satisfied would you feel when some of your needs are finally fulfilled? 

As you take this time to reflect on your needs, also take a moment to imagine the contentment you might feel should they be accepted and met.  Weigh the benefits against the disadvantages of pursuing those needs.  Similarly, consider the positive and negative consequences should you choose to not tend to that side of yourself.  And finally, as you wrap your head and your heart around each of these alternatives, consider how you might move forward from here and bravely take that first step. 


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