07. 04. 2022



To feel our needs is so important not in order to get them covered, but in order to be ourselves.

Being in touch with our needs and being able to relate with our needs is one of the most important and sensitive issues in our lives. We have many needs, on the physical and emotional level. We need physical safety, food, warmth, and we need emotional safety, emotional nourishment. We have sexual needs. Some of these needs are strongly connected with a certain age, with specific periods of development.

Now many of us have experienced this type of situation, that our needs have not been met the way how we would have needed it, or sometimes also not at all. This hurts, and it happens very easily for the child especially, that it starts to forget to be in touch with certain needs. We simply do not feel the need any more, we adjust to our surrounding. But we still have the needs, we just don´t know any more. And this makes life rather complicated. How can others know what we need or what we want, if we don´t feel it ourselves, and we don´t show and express our needs? It puts the others in our life into a strange position. They should know our needs better than we do, and they should satisfy those needs without us showing what we need. This leads inevitably to frustration, disappointment, anger and also withdrawal.

It is quite a step in maturity, to be in touch with one´s own needs, and to be able to show them. There is a simple reason. If you ask for something, or if you show you need something, it creates the possibility that the other might say no. To show our needs, and then to not get them satisfied is strong. It brings up all the hurt, the not being seen,, the vulnerability of our childhood. It is safer not to have needs, you can´t be hurt.

Or you can put pressure on the other, openly or more indirectly, that the other has to satisfy your needs. The pressure of getting our need fulfilled gets so big, that we do not give the other any freedom to feel and decide, whether they feel like or can fulfill our needs. We put expectations on the other, or we openly demand.

Either way makes our life and our relationships complicated. If we want to meet as mature beings, who respect and value each other, this is waiting for us to learn. We need to feel and become aware of our needs, acknowledge that we have needs, and show them, without expectations. In a way, which gives the other the freedom to feel and say yes or no. This is something which we try to avoid, and often it takes quite some time, till one realizes, that showing your need brings a gratification in itself, even if the other says no, and this gratification comes from being yourself, you were true to yourself. This is much more important than getting what you want.

This is the Zen Koan about needs. To feel our needs is so important not in order to get them covered, but in order to be ourselves.