Acknowledging that you have needs is like acknowledging that you breathe

Do you know when you won’t have needs? When you’re dead. 

From the moment we are born until we die, we have needs. And every single last thing that we do is about meeting a need. We literally cannot survive or thrive without meeting needs continuously, and we do it consciously and unconsciously. 

So when we tell ourselves that it’s “selfish” to have a need, it’s like saying “I’m a bad person for needing to breathe.” Are you? How is you breathing taking oxygen from someone else? It’s not. How is you having needs taking something from someone else? It’s not. 

The only person who can breathe for you is you. The only person who can meet your needs both directly and through your choices is you. And it’s the same for everyone else. 

Sure, you could decide to try to use less breathing capacity. That gradually affects how your body works and how you feel when you do things that require, well, breath. 

So, you can breathe and oxygenate your body, or you can hold your breath and feel physiologically stressed out, but you’re still breathing. And you can be you and take ownership of your needs (or not), but you will still have needs. 

Needs extend far beyond sleep, rest, shelter, hydration, etc. But they are your basic needs. Is it selfish for you to eat, sleep, drink and have a roof over your head? No. Is it taking from someone else? No. You not eating, sleeping, etc., doesn’t help someone else. You avoiding intimacy, not respecting yourself, hiding from your potential or purpose, also doesn’t help someone else. Pretending that you don’t have needs or stifling them doesn’t make you ‘strong’ instead of ‘weak’.

How can you be weak for having those needs, never mind any others? You can’t be. You can’t be. If you’re ‘weak’, the other almost 8 billion people on the planet are too. Given that we all have the same needs, you’re giving you a hard time about something that doesn’t make you any different to anyone else on the planet. 

Hiding needs or shaming you for having them is about identity. You have built your identity on not having needs you already and always will have. 

Why? Because it’s what you thought you had to do to feel safe and secure. To earn attention, affection, approval, love and validation, or to avoid conflict, criticism, stress, disappointment, loss, rejection and yes, abandonment. 

Who is this identity for? Who are you trying to please? It’s ‘benefitting’ someone. But is this something you want or even need to continue? Have you noticed that acting low maintenance or ‘needless’ doesn’t work? Also, why should they get two lives (yours plus theirs) and you get none?

It’s time to stop hiding your needs. You can’t anyway–they just manifest in painful habits.

By paying attention to you and becoming conscious of how you’re meeting your needs, you can choose ways that let you breathe, the let you become more of who you really are, instead of compromising you.

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