Wants and needs are SO very different. As a person who has spent a large amount of her time doing what I thought would please other people (I know, hard to believe RIGHT!), I sometimes struggle to determine what it is I need. What do you need? Do you know? Abraham Maslow contends that self-actualization, that place we land and ACTUALLY change, will never happen until our basic needs are met. He described them in a pyramid with self-actualization, or existential conflict and realization, being at the apex.
I used to find myself saying things like:
I need my husband to stop being such an asshole an I'll feel better.
I need my kids to be taken care of.
I need my friends and family to feel like I love and
Those things aren't needs. They are wants that I have hidden behind to escape answering the most raw question: "what is it I need". I am afraid to answer that question because there is a part of me, a big part, that wonders if those needs of mine are unquenchable.
I need love. But will I ever feel loved enough.
I need food to fuel my body. But what do my food choices say about me, will I lose control if I eat something I want?
I need stability. But what does it mean to ever truly feel "happy" or content?
I need help. But will I be okay if I feel rejected when I ask?
Needs versus wants, y'all. That is the crux of change and feeling whole.
I was running on steam this week, making poor food choices (read: food that didn't fuel me and make me feel well and nourished) and doing way more than I need to be considering the stresses of my life. I felt overwhelmed with the tyranny of the "should". Do you know that tyrant? I should get the house cleaned. I should be more organized....
I slowed down for a moment. Assessed my needs and discovered that my "needs" the things I thought I needed, were just wants. I wanted to figure things out in my marriage, I want to be a healthier person.. Y'all the "shoulds" and "wants were out-of-control these last few days. So I had to get real with myself.
Jasmine what do you need?
Turns out. I was physically exhausted. I needed a nap and to ask for help. So I tearfully made a phone call and help is on the way. I resigned myself to the fact that the world will go on without me and I took a nap. I woke up feeling more stable, more capable, and more able to deal with three kids and a mountain of laundry.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is get the rest we need. Take a nap!
One of Maslow's observations of the most basic need.
What do you need right this second, today, this week? Will you take time to respect yourself and find ways to meet your needs?