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Wants, Needs, And Desires

Most of us think we have an idea of what we want, need, and desire out of any given relationship when we enter it, but do we truly know where those perceptions came from? We hold the people we welcome into our lives to expectations, but have we gotten to the core of why we believe we need, want, or desire these particular necessities we have carried with us from relationship to relationship? How about our deepest desires of fulfillment in connection to our soul's purpose and passions? All too often what we think we desire, need, and want out of relationships can get confused with and can often be a reflection of unfulfilled areas of our life where we have unmet dependency needs from childhood and are in response to areas where we have abandoned or left ourselves untended to.

In the last few weeks, I have taken a deep dive into my "needs, wants and desires" for the relationships I surround myself with. I looked at each one under a microscope, analyzing whether they are genuine, or some overcompensation from a limiting core belief I picked up along the way. Is this a void that I'm endlessly reaching out to others to fill but can really, only be filled by looking inward and healing, or is it a true key to feeling fulfilled in my intimate and connected relationships with others? I have been shocked by the realizations! In addition, the process of feeling safe and secure enough to share, then ask for my centered needs, wants, and desires and then believing that the people who care about me want to fulfill them, has been a challenging, yet heartwarming journey in itself. Primarily, feeling seen, heard, understood, respected, and loved are at the root of the foundation for any healthy relationship and unfortunately not standards I always held for myself. In the unveiling of my most recent layers, I discovered that so many of my so called "wants and needs" were unresolved betrayals, abandonment triggers or traumas, either reaching out for help or pushing people away as a mode of protection. Even worse, I didn't even know what I desired! I realized I was just floating from one relationship to the next, going with the flow and had never given myself the respect to imagine and dream of the of relationship I truly valued and what my deepest desires were!! As someone who has participated in multiple, long term, intimate relationships, I find it incredible that I was only functioning or showing up as a mere fragment of myself!


“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Gratitude is a state of mind. When you realize that nothing is missing from your life,

you'll see that you have everything."

~ Lao Tzu



The quote above was the first Lao Tzu wisdom I was exposed to in my very early 20's. It is incredible that so many years later, his teachings would have such a huge presence in my life and spirituality. I understand this quote today, more than I could have imagined back then. So often we turn, not only to outside things to fill a void but also, other people. We can't receive what was missing in childhood from another person until we are actively doing all that we can to give it to ourselves. Only then, we are equipped to participate in healthy, loving, mutual, and interdependent relationships.


So does this mean that we are to expect nothing from those around us and allow people to show up as they are and accept the good, the bad and the ugly. Well, yes, and no. Allowing people to show themselves for who they are and who they want to be in our lives is a great first step. We can't control the thoughts, words, and actions of others, but we can, however, decide if who they show themselves to be, is in alignment with our highest-self and purpose and then decide if they are the right fit for us to share our time, space, and energy with. For me, this is where desires come in.


A clear understanding of our identity, values, purpose, and passion empowers us to discern our desires in relationships so we can then understand more clearly, what will add to our experience and journey along the way. Knowing ourselves —our innate beings upon entering this world—and understanding our fundamental love languages, the ways we like to show and receive love, are very important insights to the foundation our evolving self-awareness in relationships.


Being able to distinguish between a fear-based trigger or impulse, and a genuine core, need, want, or desire has been completely life changing but this knowing didn't come without its battle scars. The lotus grows in the mud.


The most important lesson that I have embodied truer than ever before, through prayer and meditation, is that our relationship with self and our higher power, whatever that may be for each individual, is the most important relationship of all. When we are in alignment and functioning from a center of self-love, care, and nourishment, we fill our own tanks in a way that we could never expect another to intuitively do for us. In addition, it gives us the wisdom to teach people how we desire to be treated in order to feel loved, supported and cared for. We can then share these truths with those close to us and allow them to choose for themselves whether or not they would like to be in our lives.


In our pursuit of satisfaction, it's not that our needs are invalid. The issue is in our approach to fulfilling them. While others may wish to bridge the gaps in our lives, true fulfillment requires an active commitment to self-nurturing. Expecting external sources to fill the voids within us, without engaging in our own healing journey, is like pouring water through a sieve.


Attempting to rely solely on others to mend our inner voids can be draining for both parties. Without actively participating in our personal healing, we risk burdening those around us with the weight of our insecurities, creating a bottomless pit that strains relationships. The transformative power of self-engagement and the importance of looking inward to achieve lasting fulfillment is essential to participating in genuine, authentic, and healthy relationships.


  • What if the next time we felt unfulfilled, slighted, or abandoned by someone close to us, we paused, took a breath and asked ourselves from a centered place, what am I feeling, what does this feeling want to share with me and what part of myself is this coming from? Is it our 5-year-old self? Maybe our teenager self, acting out?

  • What if, the next time we felt confused about a need, want, or desire that felt uncomfortable when it was unmet, we journaled about what the true, deeper, unmet need was? We could ask ourselves, "What am I assuming is true?" "What am I feeling?" Next, acknowledge and validate ourselves and then ask, "what do I need, want and desire?" Then validate those feelings as well. Allow your uninhibited truth to pour out onto the page and re-read it as though you were listening to your child or dearest friend.

  • What if we made a promise to care for, love and nurture ourselves the way we long for others to and in moments of uncertainty, we trusted that we know what we need and how to nourish ourselves?

  • Lastly, what if we trusted and believed that the people we chose to surround ourselves with, genuinely care about our wellbeing and we turned to them from a centered, mature and grounded place to share and ask for what our genuine, needs, wants and desires are in any given moment? How magical life would become!


Immature love says, "I love you because I need you," Mature love says, "I need you because I love you." ~ Erich Fromm. May we all find mature love in all of our relationships and find our way back home to wholeness by starting with ourselves.


All the love,

Pamela



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