My Blog

My Needs

Listen, I wouldn’t dare tell anyone to ignore or suppress their needs. It’s 9am on a Sunday, Mother’s Day to be exact, and before I go and do the usual thing and reach out to all of the women in my life- I need some time for Jesse. Needs-based psychology is powerful because it doesn’t matter what you physically “DO” on the outside; if you’re not taking care of your most fundamental need, YOU WILL BE MISERABLE. Think back for a second to a time when you sacrificed your needs for someone else’s. It feels good right? Well that’s not what this post is about. I want you to think about a time when you sacrificed your needs and they continued to go neglected- completely different kinda feeling hunh? Why do we remain in bad relationships? Why do we call people who never take the initiative to call us first? Why do we buy things to impress people we either don’t know, or who wouldn’t care even if they did know? I honestly believe that human beings are creatures of connection. We need it- we crave it-and when we don’t get it- we take it!

Over the past week or so, i’ve been personally neglecting phone calls from so called friends who only call me when they need something. And what’s funny is that I actually save their names in my phone as, “so-and-so who always needs somethhing”, just in case I forget and accidentally answer their phone call and get emotionally dragged into a their vortex again. Yes, I know that sounds petty. But one of the decisions I made since my 30th birthday is in a few weeks, (yes I know you’ve just rolled your eyes), is that I refuse to put myself in a situation where I am not equally honored and respected to the degree that I am honoring and respecting someone else. Now, what you do that you call “work”, well that’s different- for that four letter word, we can withstand all sorts of beatings and micro-aggression and wins and losses and sacrifices, all at the expense of taking care of ourselves and our families. However, what you decide to do with that other four letter word called “time”, as in your “free-time”, that part is on you. So, if you find yourself in a friendship where you call them more than they call you. Perhaps you need to re-examine whose needs are being met moreso than the other. If you find yourself doing favors moreso than receiving favor and good fortune- then you need to re-examine that situation. Hey, our psyche’s can only take so much- people can literally make you feel like a car that’s out of gas. Life needs you, but you can’t be a proper instrument of life if you’ve allowed other people to wear you down, to the point that your tune has changed. The prior sentence is my analogy for bitter folks. I personally think that one of the biggest reasons that people become bitter is because for whatever reason-whether it’s due to the fact that the world behind their eyes never quite matched the world in front of their eyes, or their level of experience never quite added up to the level of their expectation, said persons turned inside and allowed themselves to harden, instead of taking charge of their experiences, to the best that we all can, and giving themselves the experience of love, that they probably feel should come externally. Little children have imaginary friends- those are the games they play. We adults play an entirely different game. There are no brownie points for the suffering soldier. Religion has it wrong. That is not the abundant life that Jesus came to bring- hell, he was surrounded by 12 friends, although two of them betrayed him, (which is why we need to re-examine the qualifications of being a friend). Take care of yourself and life will take care of you because the energy that you put out is one of love and connection and fulfillment, which will more times than not, give you the chance to be in predicaments where you can receive the very energy that you are putting out. But also, have the wisdom and the courage to walk away from circumstances where you are not honored. God is not in the dishonoring good people business- don’t let your spiritual courage be mistaken for a weakness-it’s one of the strongest parts of the human spirit.

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Perspective

The word perspective contains a root word, (spec/spic) that means to look or see something. Typically, we associate the word-phrase, “specs” with glasses; and lately the word specs has even become sort of a hipster way of talking about those things that your mom can’t find in order to see, but they seem to have been on her head the entire time. For me, perspective is about positionally- where you are depends on what you see. Right now, I am at home in my living room, sitting on my favorite sofa, with my ancient macbook pro in my lap. This is exactly what I see. Oh, I take that back, I also see the ever-so-full trash that I have to dump in the morning on my way to work- which seems to be full everyday. Now, you may say, that none of that has anything to do with you or your life- but I kinda beg to differ. You see, my trash bag, my ancient laptop, my favorite couch, all come together in order to infuse me with a psychological feeling of either contentment or discontentment. Emotion is energy in motion, which means that when stuff moves or presents itself, it affects the way I feel. So when things appear in front of me, they definitely affect what I feel. If I don’t like the way I feel…believe it or not, a change in scenery can do both my mind and my body some good. So as annoyed as I am by that trash bag that seems to be the odd-ball, that’s throwing off my sofa/laptop/macbook comfort zone, i’m probably gonna have to stop what i’m doing and take it out…if I really want to feel better. Again, how you feel is directly correlated to what you see.

Everyone, at any given time, is always communicating from their own metaphorical “sofa state”, where at any given time, to the degree in which they are comfortable or discomforted, it shows up in the way they present themselves to the world. And it’s amazing to notice the vast number of folks that are communicating from their pain. In fact, I personally thing that folks reach for pain mechanistic-conversational tools (insults, sarcasms, etc) because those emotions make us feel good. We become addicted to what we see, how we see it, and the strength of the feeling that arises when we choose to buy into the emotion that makes us see things like that. They use to call it “tripping’ back in the day…I wonder why we still say folks are “tripping” when they get upset?

This cycle is really a vast circle that we either have to accept or continue to float around in, until one day we fall out the bottom of it. So yes, life is what you make of it. The root of suffering is desire. But your life’s experiences are neither sufferable or pleasurable unless that’s how you perceive them to be, within reason. If you’re sitting in a prison cell right now and you’re trying to make the best of your sentence-then to the outsider, you’re suffering. But to you, if you’ve made peace with your decision in your own way, then it may not feel like suffering. If you’re in a relationship or a marriage where you’re just there to raise the kids because the costs, both financial and emotional are too high for separating- then to the outsider you maybe suffering. But again, both scenarios are about perspective. What you see in life depends on where you see it from. So if you want to change what you see, you can change where you see it from. And if you want to change where you are seeing life from, you will also change what you see. The parable is like a reversible T-shirt…you can flip it inside-out and it’s still wearable.