Needs are something each and every one of us have; they are part of the human experience. And although this may be the case, it doesn’t mean that they will always be fulfilled. At times, one will have to go without having their needs met.
This may not be a problem for some and this could be due to their ability to regulate themselves, when this doesn’t happen. However, while going without getting their needs met on the odd occasion may be the norm for some people, for others, it may seem that they constantly have to go without having their needs met.
And for this person, the word need is unlikely to have many positive associations. The word need may seem like a bad word to them. And as something that makes them feel ashamed and/or guilty about. It is incredible how much of an effect needs can have on our emotional and mental wellbeing.
So what are needs? The needs that I am referring to here, could include the need to be; touched, supported, held, heard, and acknowledged; as well as many other mental, emotional and physical needs.
Good Or Bad?
These needs are part of being human and are not negative or dysfunctional per se. And neither are they something to be ashamed of or as something one should feel guilty about for having.
A decision has to be made as to whether they are detrimental to ones general wellbeing or if another person if being compromised because of them. If the above is true, they then become a problem not only to oneself, but also to others.
So for one person this may manifest itself in a tendency to completely ignore ones needs; for another person, their needs may have become oblivious to them and for others it might mean being more aware of the needs of others than they are of their own. There could also be a combination of the three; with one switching from each one, depending on the situation or person.
What this will then lead to is feelings of: anger, frustration, hopelessness, disempowerment and even despair. This is only natural, if one feels powerless when it comes to the fulfilment of their needs or in having the ability to influence their life.
How Life Is
However, this may be a pattern that has gone on for so long and it may be the only way that one has known. For this person it may seem to be the only way life can be and that there is no other possibility.
The people who are getting their needs met will likely be perceived to be lucky or different to how one is. And due to how one perceives reality, people who do get their needs may seem to not exist. This will mean, the ego mind could filter out any chance of one seeing that is it possible to have their needs fulfilled.
It Is Familiar
If one were to step back, detach and observe what is going on here, one will see that these experiences are constantly repeated. And whether this means one ignores their needs, compromises their needs or is unaware of them; this will be a pattern that one is extremely familiar with.
What the Ego mind attracts and repels, is based on what is has associated as safe and familiar. This means that on the surface, one may experience great pain and suffering through not getting their needs met, but the ego mind is simply doing its job.
And this job is to keep one safe, based on what the ego mind has been conditioned to perceive as familiar. If one is not aware of their mind or of the patterns that the mind is constantly creating; then it will seem that one has no control over their reality.
It is during the first years of one’s life that one’s perceptions of their needs are formed. All the meanings and associations will have been formed here. If one sees needs as good or bad, or right or wrong, this will be due to the early conditioning that one received.
How did our caregivers respond to our needs and how did our caregivers respond to their own needs? These are two important questions when it comes to understanding our relationship with our needs today.
Were our needs perceived as: important, special and precious? Or were they seen as a burden and as something to feel guilty and ashamed of for having? Did our caregivers ignore and deny their own needs? Or did they take care of them in a functional and empowered manner.
If ones caregivers were having difficulty in getting their needs met and were emotionally undeveloped, it is likely that they passed this on. As A child one would have had to have denied, compromised and repressed their own needs for their own survival.
What can then happen are ones attention and awareness then becomes externalized and focused on other people. So in the very beginning one is learning to dissociate from their needs and to perceive the needs of others as being more important.
At such a young age, one is powerless and completely dependent on others for having their needs met. So this means that the feelings of; powerlessness, hopelessness and helplessness that were felt during those moments, that had to be pushed out of conscious awareness, will return whenever one doesn’t have their needs met. Here one can regress to feeling like this powerless child and as a child that has no choice.
Now, as an adult, one does have a choice. A choice as to whether they get their needs met or not. And whether one regresses to this wounded inner child, will largely depend on how much repression has occurred over the years. If there are a lot of feelings and emotions, for example, that are waiting to be acknowledged and validated; then there will be the tendency to regress and to feel powerless.
These are patterns of the past and do not reflect who one is today. So this may mean that one needs to find a therapist, healer or someone similar to allow them to express these feelings in a safe environment. Or through another way, that allows one to be conscious and to leave the emotional charge behind. With this, one can be in the present moment and be who they want, as opposed to how their past dictates.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.