Every last thing that humans do is about our attempts to meet our needs. Because how well our needs are being met is communicated via our feelings, they’re emotional needs.
There is this tendency for us to attach ourselves to fixed outcomes, goals, markers of success and happiness, so much so that sometimes we want something so hard or feel the absence of it so acutely that it feels like a need.
Part of meeting our needs is aligning ourselves with the people, things and situations that allow us to be more us. We undoubtedly treasure the relationships, things, hobbies, interests, passions, jobs and other endeavours that light us up, but what it’s really about is how we feel.
So when we desire a loving relationship or the dream job or that bangin’ pair of shoes or retribution and validation, it’s not really so much ‘getting’ these–it’s about how we think we’re going to feel when we get there.
And our desires are valid, but to survive and thrive, we need to become better acquainted with the feeling we’re seeking. This is especially so if we have a pattern of being in unhealthy or unfulfilling relationships and jobs.
As humans, we have strong ideas about the people, types of relationship, things and opportunities that we think will meet our needs. And we’ve gone after these, and sometimes been deeply disappointed and confused by how miserable, hurt or unfulfilled we were by the thing we said we needed, wanted or had to have.
Of course, our ideas about our needs and wants are a hypothesis, and our experiences give us an opportunity to practice more discernment. Through healing, growing and learning via the joys and challenges of life, we become more us and enjoy more mutually fulfilling relationships and careers as a result.
This is why it’s crucial to allow ourselves to consistently feel our feelings so that we know who we are and can take better care of ourselves and the things that matter. Feeling our feelings allows us to acquaint ourselves with what we need to be, do and have so that we can be more us. When we’re emotionally available, we can orient ourselves.
If we’re not feeling, we crash around making repeats of the same guesses. We attach ourselves to people, things and situations thinking that they will lift us out of the feelings we’re trying to get away from. And sometimes we’ll over-egg it, thinking that we have to do something drastic when there are simple routes to feeling how we want to feel. Or we return to someone or something painful.
The truth is, we’re seeking a feeling rather than a concrete situation.
If we figure out the feeling we’re seeking, we connect to our needs and desires. We can then be conscious, aware and present, and offer ourselves more than one option.
“I don’t want to move to [somewhere far away] right now. I’m craving the freedom that I think a move like that would bring.”
“I don’t actually want to get back together with [the person who doesn’t treat me with love, care, trust and respect]. I want the sense of feeling that I’m not alone that saying that I’m in a relationship would bring. Except for I won’t feel that way with them because I’ll just be alone in a different way…”
What could you do instead? Rather than reaching for the unhealthy/unworkable option or plotting something massive and far-off, are there other things that you can be, do or have that could start moving you towards that feeling?
“Who do I have to be, or what do I have to do to feel like that? What do I have to get?“
Set intentions rather than goals. This way, you open yourself up to experience those feelings from a variety of means. You will also know that you’re in the ‘right’ place even when it doesn’t look quite how you expected or predicted.