Needs

I find it very helpful to explore my needs.

First, what are my surface needs?

Can I find what is behind these, my more basic and essential needs? As I explore this, I find that my most basic needs are very simple, innocent and universal. I also find that my surface “needs” often are strategies to meet my more essential needs. (I may feel I need a particular connection with a particular person, but that is really a strategy to meet a more essential needs for connection.)

How can I go about meeting my most essential needs in my daily life? And can I find where they are already met?

Then, what appears as my most real and unquesitonable needs? Food? Water? Shelter? Health? Connection with myself and others? Life?

Are these really needs?

What happens when they are not met?

Is that OK? What is not OK about it? (This is a real question, and I can take what I find to inquiry.)

When I explore what appears as my most basic needs in this way, I find that they appear different to me.

They may be needs in a very limited sense, in that I need food to survive. (Even that story can be explored further.)

But they are not absolute needs. They are preferences and desires, and that’s different. It means they are negotiable. It means it is still OK if life goes in another direction, as it will sometimes.

Recognizing this, I hold these needs lighter. I hold them as preferences, as what this human self naturally desires and wishes for, and naturally pursues.

And in seeing and feeling this, I cannot help finding understanding, compassion and warmth for this human self. My heart opens to the dynamics around my own desires and wishes, whether they are met or not, or met in a way that is different from what I expected or initially wished for.

Life sometimes has other plans, and that’s OK. It’s just life. As I stay with this, allowing it to work on me, I can even find genuine appreciation for it.

Note: This exporation comes partly from the apparent discrepancy between Nonviolent Communication, where needs are central, and The Work which goes a few steps further and questions our most basic assumptions, and even the ones behind those!

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  • needs
    • what appears as my most basic needs (most real, unquestionable)
    • are these really needs?
    • what happens these are not met?
    • is it OK? what is not OK about it?
    • find, they are really preferences, desires, not needs (or needs in a very relative, limited sense)

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I find it very helpful to explore my needs.

First, what are my my basic needs? How can I go about meeting them in my daily life? And can I find where they are already met?

Then, what appears as my most real and unquesitonable needs? Food? Water? Shelter? Health? Connection with myself and others? Life?

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