We usually don’t have a problem understanding that we all have basic needs for air, shelter and food. These are givens that we need to survive, every one of us. However, we might struggle to truly grasp the value of psychological and emotional needs since they are less visible and thus easier to ignore. As a child, you may not have had these intangible needs met, simply because the grownups in your life didn’t know how or were too self-absorbed to do so. Therefore, to survive, you probably found ways to deny or stuff your needs, since they certainly weren’t going to get met, and you couldn’t afford to make yourself so vulnerable.
It just became so much easier to stay (too) busy so that you don’t pay much attention to how tired you are, maybe needing some good rest or downtime, or nurturing from someone else. It is a form of running from feelings, running from needing anyone or anything and ultimately from ourselves.
We hum along, telling everyone and ourselves that we are “fine” and will figure it out. Of course, hilariously, because we are anything but “fine”, we will eventually leak it out sideways by losing it over something small, become so anxious and controlling we are hard to be around, and probably end up paying for it with our physical health in some ways.
We all need balance in our lives, including play, solitude, exercise, together time, and time to get things done. Learning, leaning, mirroring, connecting, accomplishing, feeling nurtured and needed are all needs. They are not wants. Without them being met we will suffer, and those around us will too because we are not taking the responsibility to take care of ourselves. Others cannot do this for us. We need to decide first, that we are committed to self-care, and that we deserve to have the same needs met that EVERYONE else does. We are not alone. We are not selfish. Nor are we crazy or over the top. Just loving humans who need to love ourselves a bit more.