Get to know the need

Before we try to find an action to meet the need(s), it’s important to “meet the need” as in “meeting a friend” – to get to know how it lives in us as a “living energy” within our bodies, a longing of the heart. Otherwise, the strategy we choose may well be off the mark, as well as having a lot of “demand” energy behind it (which never works well, because everyone has a need for choice).

The way I like to do this is to spend a few minutes, eyes closed, remembering (or imagining) a time (or times) that that need was fully met for me, and how that felt for me. Here’s a 5 minute meditation for to talk you through doing that.

Meditation on the beauty of the need

This can have a variety of effects:

  • You’ll start grinning your head off – it feels SO good to remember a need being fully met! Wow! It feels great! Wonderful!
  • Sometimes, if that need has NEVER been well met, you may notice sadness or despair coming up. If so, try to sense into the LONGING you’re feeling in your body (NOT the thoughts about it in your head) – a ‘need’ is a living energy inside of you. Try the sentence “Every cell of my being is longing for [the need]” (thanks to Arnina Kashtan for this phrase). If tears come, that’s great! If that phrase doesn’t resonate, doesn’t bring tears, then look for a deeper need (see next paragraph).
  • Annoyance and irritation at people/life/God for not meeting this need. Look for a deeper need – annoyance generally comes from our thinking, and we want to look deeper than that, in our hearts and in our bodies.
  • Nothing. Blankness. If this is the case, then it’s probably not your need at this time. Again, trying looking for a deeper need.
  • Numbness. Disconnect. In that case, it’s probably a “protective part” of you, wanting to shield you from pain. Be patient with it. And look into Internal Family Systems for more about how to work with protective parts.

Find a deeper need: Try asking yourself, “So, if I had THIS, THEN what would I have?” (for example, “if I had support, then what would I have? Oh, mattering!” You’ll know in your body when you’ve found the need. There will be a sense of dropping in, of “yes”, or of “Oh my god, that’s it!”

(Thanks to Susan Skye for the concept of beauty of the needs, and to Robert Gonzales for making it popular.)

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