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Needs 2, Words And Being Gentle With Ourselves

Posted Mar 30 2009 4:32pm
I did not intend for these posts on Trust to be simply about "theory." I am recording and sharing my Practice. This is how I work coming back to balance when I get fucked up from things "happening" in my world.

Because of my belief that it's only from happiness that any things "balanced" can flow, this stuff is important to me. I keep revisiting, sifting, sorting, taking in ideas....questioning with my brain and body sensations then finding how they ring for me. I have enjoyed the discussion about needs vs. wants both here and off blog. I've continued pondering. I thought that the only post left before Trust was about Expectations...but I think those two are so intertwined for me that I cannot separate them. More clarity on this topic seemed important as background.

Although not the totality of what I do to heal myself, these stories/processes have saved me from myself for a very long time. They come from many different Teachers, books, workshops, and studying the science of the inner world which I focused on decades ago. They come from a wide variety of disciplines and schools of thought: psychology, physics, metaphysics, somatics, spirituality of all sorts, Tantra, self-helpy stuff...all jumbled up in the way I see my world, combined with my own unique experiences and the way my brain assimilates this stuff. I only kept that which resonates inside me and 'proves' itself to me. My understandings subtly evolve with new experience and insight. This is how I walk in the world. I don't want to use pain to emotionally and energetically shut myself off from life, love and the world. I have not yet found a challenging situation where these ideas and practices could not be applied, eventually returning me to Balance.

Part of that return is about these words and stories in my head. I like to make sense of my world and these words are the tools that my brain uses to string the ideas all together. They end up being the thoughts that influence my emotions. They end up being a part of what triggers changes and shifts.

These words, here in my head, which I try to share on a screen.

Fuck, sometimes I hate words...probably because I am a feeling/body person and have such a difficult time finding them, using them. I want to heart/mindmeld with others when I communicate so they "get" what I want to convey because so much of it is in sensation/knowing/flashes of insight...kind of like sequential feeling "pictures" that go "flunkflunkflunk" in my body/heart/mind/brain. I feel so inept...and yet...words are what we have.

I have emotional relationships with words and have to watch myself when I hear some of them. It's not the word, but the energetic behind it that I'm trying to talk about here. It's where I go internally and what it brings up for me that's important to me. Why? Because it's a tool for the work I'm doing.

"Expectation" would be one of my biggie words. Like the word "need" it feels "off" to me. But perhaps that's because I'm looking at it from one end of the stick of its meanings.

The stick of emotions. I learned this concept from one Teacher in a slightly different context, but I like using it here for clarity's sake. On one end of the stick I can feel the expansion and flow. On the other end, I can apply a meaning that ends up with me feeling icky...a pit in my gut...lack. I can experience gradations on a continuum between those two extremes.

Since I have a body reaction/off feeling about the words "trust," " expectations" and "needs," I went deeper with each of them. When I went deeper into "expectations," I found the two ends of the stick as they live in me. I will try to explain the feelings as "pictures" as I don't have words for them.

Expectation can mean a requirement, a demand, something I "have" to (am "expected" to) do. It is laden with need-filling angst, a do or die sort of energy. I must do this so you can do/feel/be this. It has a mom the size and temperment of Godzilla, wagging her finger at me and I am four years old.

On the other end of the stick, Expectation means a simple knowing about something. No attachments or requirements, just waiting for the manifestation of that which I am sure will happen. Kinda like I expect that the sun comes up in the morning, even when I can't see it. It has light, fluffy, happy air that's all swirly in sparkly trust around it.

Between those two extremes I can end up with fluid interplaying pieces of both energetics, depending where on the stick I end up.

Then I turn to the word need. Again..the discussion of need vs. want below has been a good one for me, helping me to further define myself after consideration of differing subtle, but important and interesting insights on that word.

And I've come up with this: Want and need are two ends of a stick. On one end of the stick, I say I unattachedly want something. I feel sweet, balanced flow and the power of that which I want to create. As I move along the stick, my wants can be of varying degrees, depending on how attached I am to both the want and how I want it to show up. Some stuff I want may seem so important to me that if I don't get it, I am in immense pain. The ultimate end of that stick, for me, is where the want becomes something my survival depends on, where I literally, physically die without it.

Within that continuum, as far as I can tell, we all have those places of darkness, those gaping, bloody, oozing places (as Adrienne so wonderfully described them in the comments of the link above). They simply are. It is what it is.


When I went deeper with the energetic difference for me between want and need, I re-re-rediscovered that I still want to (and do) delineate between the two because I continue to like the way that story works for me. The energetic I give the delineation helps to get myself out of the pain of those dark, bloody, oozing, gaping hole times.

I can certainly make anything a need if I want to. I can give it all sorts of meaning and justification to make it "real" and "true." And I have. I can even find all sorts of backup data to support my thinking, making it a Truth now because of the club that agrees with me. If I decide to define something as a need, no matter what it started out as, it turns into a need because I created it into one.

I speak here only from my personal experience and perspective. Within that, aside from air, food and water, I have yet to define something as a need when I'm not in pain or feeling lack around it. The pain comes from feeling less than whole and feeling that I require something out there to fill the hole.

There is nothing wrong with that. I feel no judgment around it, no need to make it be anything other than what it is. I am human therefore I am fucked up. It is what it is. I, personally, have plenty of woundings that certainly seem like needs in the moment of my despair. I am not a Transcended Blissbunny. I'm simply not there. I'm clear about that. And that's OK with me.

But withing that, here's the story for me: When I focus on my emotional response to the "lack" end of the stick, then define that it's something that I MUST have fixed from outside myself, "need" puts me in a place of dependency.

If I am dependent and can only be filled by another...the only story that makes sense to me for who I am is: if the world is in charge of me, the only place this leaves me is in automatic victimhood. Your story may not. Mine does. And although I fall into the energetic story of victimhood from time to time (a la my extended emotional colonic of a few weeks ago), I don't stay there forever because it doesn't feel good and it's not who I am.

Putting things in the catagory of want vs. need takes the energy off it for me. I simply want to feel happy so I want to think this way because my history has shown me that it gets me there faster than not.

I like believing that when I look at something I think I'll die without...that, really, underneath the drama I give it...I won't. I like reminding myself about the times where I thought there was no way I would survive a particular situation that triggered one of my biggest buttons/holes/"needs"...and I did. That all of a sudden I realized it was simply my story about that hole that created and sustained the need/pain cycle. And that when I remembered I wasn't a victim of my stories (because I was in charge of changing them..not something outside me), I no longer felt like one. That when I filled that hole, I no longer felt any need there at all- same situation, poof, different inner response. And the best part is that it was the very experience/pain that was the vehicle to make me fly higher than I thought possible. That story works for me. It has saved me. Many times.

Anyway...more hair splitting...but important to me in the subtle workings and self-soothing that goes into letting go of my pain, returning to being gentle with myself and the world.

I've loved the discussion, it's helped me get even clearer within myself. In the end, I don't think it's important whether we believe that humans have needs or don't. I do believe that the stories we tell ourselves about those beliefs are.

I believe these stories affect and shape the way we see our worlds and how we operate in them...which...again...aren't right or wrong. Nothing in this discussion is about a right or wrong way of perspective, looking, practicing or acting. None of this is about how anyone "should" operate. I applaud all ways we can find that return us to self-acceptance and love. I want to be gentle with myself and others. I want us happy and I don't care which stories we tell ourselves to get there. If others want to define that they have needs, I am all for it, believing that they will figure out their own stories to refind their happies. How they go about that is none of my business.
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