What is the difference between having needs…and being needy?
Having things you want….and having addictions?
When your need is healthy and when is it really not serving you?
Can you tell the difference within yourself?
Or do you judge your natural human desires as unhealthy, addictive or codependent?
Do you convince yourself your addictions to food are good for you when really they aren't?
Getting in a healthy relationship with needs and desires can be really challenge to truly know when they serve us and when they screw us.
And it's not surprising really...When as children, we have so often been taught and had it modelled to us to deny them; to give them up, reject them, suppress them, feel bad about them.
Having really clear and healthy relationship with them is often something that we have to re-learn as adults.
In relationship to food, sex, relationships, work..all of it.
A very wise person said something to me which has become a very powerful barometer and understanding for how I live my life and relate with what I want.
Healthy needs always lead to wellness.
I'm going to repeat that because it's extremely powerful.
Healthy needs always lead to wellness.
When I was going through a big breakup with an ex partner of mine.
There was hardcore addiction going on, wanting to check his facebook page every few minutes, have draining phone conversations about meeting or not meeting up, blabbing on with my friends about all the little bullshit details of our ending... none of it resulted in feeling very good, but there was some superficial satisfaction when I did get my hit and it was a challenge to resist it.
But what really resulted in my deepest wellness was my need to be alone, with a glass of wine, chocolate, an open fire, a bath and my grief. Even amongst the intensity of the emotions, there was a nourishment and satisfaction in the latter option.
When you are addicted your need is tense and tainted with anxiety, there may an initial sigh of relief, pleasure or a rush to the body of feel good chemicals when you first meet that need. But it doesn’t take long for you to end up feeling empty or dissatisfied or just plain gross.
So, choosing wellness…. it's JUST like choosing between a gourmet, home cooked organic meal rather than greasy takeaway pizza, right?
Well, no, not necessarily.
This is actually the exact murky place where we can get lost here. When our own mental ideas and conditioning around what is healthy and what isn't come in and lead us astray. Deep wellness has much less to do with what you need exactly but how you feel when you are needing it and how you are left feeling when you get it. Because you know what, you may really need to just get drunk and let loose a little, or have a souvlaki at 3am, it might be a really great idea to skip your morning yoga class and have a sleep in. It might be a good idea to see your ex for a final goodbye ritual, or to take a risk financially.
Our ideas about what behaviours or decisions constitute as healthy and unhealthy are so often tainted by our own judgments and conditioning which totally cloud up our clarity in relating with them and doing what is truly right for us - it is a dangerous game to only use our logical perceptions and analysis as barometers for your wellness as we can become deeply dogmatic, rigid and controlling.
The question to really ask ourselves is.
Do you feel nourished, happy, fulfilled and satisfied when you get this need met?
Or …do you feel something more like superficial relief?
Like some tension has just been eased, like you’ve just got a hit of something that didn’t quite ‘hit the spot’...a sense of emptiness even?
Beyond ideas about what your relationship is meant to look like, what kind of person you think is good for you or how many times you should text someone a day - how are you feeling?
Beyond ideas around what kind of foods you should be eating or not eating? What feels nourishing right now?
Beyond what you think you should be doing - what feels right for you right now?
Let go of dogmas and deeply listen right now to what is true for you.
Because someone else's unhealthy addiction may be your healthy need in that moment.
If you aren't experiencing wellness and nourishment when you get what you want, it's very likely an addiction worth dropping.
Your personal desires and needs are changing all the time.
Only you know what is truly good for you, and it's a trial and error process of learning that we can only really do if we trust ourselves and are willing to experiment, fuck up sometimes and really listen to ourselves and our truth.