The Radical Truth About Neediness
If you have ever felt confused about your needs--thought you were too needy, worried you didn’t have a right to your needs, didn’t know when to express them, how to express them, or if it was even safe to do so---you will want to read this email.
Because I am going to suggest something radical...
You can have needs, and still love someone who is completely unable to meet them.
Their inability to meet your needs, does not negate your right to have needs.
It also doesn’t negate your right to love that person.
It doesn’t negate their right to love you, either.
It is just indicative of where you both may be, in life’s process.
And that is not always in the same place.
It is not their “duty” to meet your needs, per se, and it's not a judgement of them that they can’t.
It’s also not possible to suppress your needs, or “lower your standards” to accommodate.
We have this misconception that need satisfaction must be equated with love, and that is not always the case.
You can love a person without that person meeting any of your needs.
Will that be the best person to build a life with?
I think we can all agree, probably not.
But not everyone you love has to be someone you build a life with.
And there is no cap on how much you can love.
And love does not have to look or feel like a gut-wrenching spiral into oblivion, or rocketing to the stars.
For many of us, we want love to crack us open like a nut.
We want it to be quick and fierce and instantaneously obvious.
We are addicted to that sense of urgency.
We want instant gratification and assurance…”Here! Now! I have found my person! Thank God. I can stop looking and finally start living.”
But the living has to start long before that.
To call in a partner that is so much alive, you have to be on fire about life yourself.
They cannot be your life support, and you cannot be theirs, or you’ll both drain each other’s oxygen.
Love can be a subtle warmth that seeps into your being.
But that doesn’t make it any less passionate.
Cracking open that nut is much like yanking at a seedling that has just begun to sprout growth.
You will only kill it with your fervent impatience.
It takes passion to month after month, and year after year, tend to a new growth.
If you water that seedling, nourish the soil, give it air to breathe, and sunlight to feed it...that sprout may turn into a solid oak that can weather any season, and outlast the nuts that fall from its branches.
Don’t be the claw that cracks open the nut.
Be the sunlight, the soil, and the water that encourages the blossom to open in its own time.
If you can love in this way, prioritizing the process above the desperate need of something...you will find that instead of settling for the momentary pleasure of eating that nut, you will have a tree that bares life sustaining fruit, year after year.
Now, which do you think is a more practical route to ultimate need satisfaction?
And in the recognition of this process, you also become better able to discern the nature of your love. Which is the only way to truly see and acknowledge who your partners really are, and where they may be in process (without judgement).
Then, you will know what has to happen next, for your needs to be satisfied.
So, say it with me…“I embrace my lover for who they truly are, and I embrace my needs.”
You don’t have to choose.
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Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT
Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist
Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner