“I know what you need,” he said disgruntled, as I was expressing my sentiment over our short lived relationship.
Taken back by his comment, my mind quickly replied: “I don’t need anything! What I would like to have is what I want.”
These words echoed loud inside my head as they sunk into my core to be digested. They created what I like to call an enlightened moment of Eureka.
After he walked away, the tears that had been barricaded behind my eyes poured out. The days to come were filled with bittersweet moments of self-reflection. I had been yet in another unsatisfying relationship, where I had been tricked into believing that it was what I wanted. This was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. “I’m tired of these meaningless relationships,” I shouted at myself with anger.
I hired myself as a detective and started to analyze my current and past experiences. What surfaced next was a strange feeling of déjà vu—the arguments, disagreements, defensiveness, and emotional detachment on their part were all too familiar. It was as if every one of my relationships had been formed from the same mold. All of a sudden, there were patterns that I was stringing together. These provided clues to solve the enigma that was hidden in my relationships.
I wanted the opportunity to break the patterns that were not working for me. Recognizing these patterns was not a simple task, as each pattern surfaced strong emotions.
After allowing myself the opportunity to feel strong sentiment, I stumbled upon “radical acceptance”—the idea of totally accepting something with your entire being, soul, heart, mind and spirit. This brought me to a very important conclusion: Acceptance makes it easier to allow the sunshine of our true being to break through the heavy clouds of our thoughts.
Acceptance gifted me with a feeling of gratitude towards the lessons learned from those experiences. I no longer felt ashamed of how my enlightened moment of Eureka came to be, when I was magnetically pulled into the sheets of a stranger, one hot summer’s night.
In today’s extremely technological social era, we know how easy it is to download an app with the purpose to meet individuals that can easily shift into a hook-up. It’s easy to create a story for ourselves around the notion of “I’m bored!” Or to say, “I just want to find someone to hangout with and talk, maybe this could be the one.” We mask the truth with sugar-coated cow dung—to say it euphemistically—“Let’s chill,” instead of what we really mean: “I’m feeling lonely so let’s hangout and probably have sex.”
It’s hard to accept these things! It’s hard to accept that sometimes we want someone to cuddle with when fear is telling us that we might never find them. It’s hard to accept that we want someone to treat us with affection, but our own insecurity bullies us with ideas that we don’t deserve it.
For me the worst thing to accept of all is the dreaded company that we know as loneliness.
Being alone! The sound of this phrase can truly be cringe-worthy at times. This was the first piece to the crazy puzzle that led me to my Eureka!
In my own experience, I had wounds that I had ignored. Wounds of abandonment and loss. I needed to do whatever it took to keep someone near me. This was masked as needing affection for pleasure in sex. But my pleasure was actually pain hidden away to avoid a truth that was too bitter to accept.
I felt that my parents had abandoned me at a young age, and since I had also been disfellowshipped from my religion, I had lost another family there as well.
I discovered that with loneliness by our side, silence begins to whisper the idea of finding company. And with boredom knocking down our senses, we take whatever we can get.
This is where I came across my needs—another good lead towards solving the mystery of my failed relationships.
“Boredom kills our perception of attraction as loneliness fuels a complacent attitude…” I thought as I pieced together the clues. “That’s what needs have to work from.” I was getting close. “I need company, so let me find someone to chill with,” is usually the way it goes. It’s so much easier to justify seeking companionship on an app that clearly advertises getting laid.
Our wounds, caused by traumas from the past, seek a way to mask the pain that has been covered up and let to fester in us for many years. In my case, I fed my darkness the pleasure of sex. It seemed that was the only way the darkness would keep quiet.
Deep down my intuition longs for a “true love.” The idea of having someone to connect with on a level beyond the physical. Yet my needs always seemed to get carried away (more specifically, to the bedroom) before my mind could discern if it was what I truly wanted.
Instant gratification! That’s the basis of which most of life is governed by today. We want everything right now but the irony is that we long for things that take time and patience to accomplish.
Don’t we always hear people say: “I never get what I want!” Then they may pout or make a sad face and continue talking about all the things they wish they had. It’s easy to get stuck on autopilot and go through life speaking in ways that we don’t even realize at times.
I spied on myself and caught myself every time I said the words, “I need.” Then I took it further and stepped into the awareness of what I placed after those words.
This makes a huge difference.
Our needs easily overtake our wants. “I need to feel loved.” “I need to feel affection.” “I need to feel cared for.” “I need to feel appreciated.” “I need to feel listened to.” “I need to be satisfied sexually and emotionally.”
In reality, we want all of these things! But do we really need them?
“What do I need to survive?” I asked myself. After researching, I came to discover five basic human needs for survival: Oxygen, water, food, shelter, sleep. We work towards achieving these and everyday we are thankful and feel blessed that we are able to have these met.
Oxygen though is something that we can’t really go after and achieve. It’s something that just is and is given to us every single day. It’s in our nature to keep breathing and trust without a doubt that the oxygen won’t run out. I came to the conclusion that the other basic needs should be seen the same way we see oxygen. Like something we know the Universe, God or whichever name you like to give a higher power, will provide for us. Everything else becomes complementary to our lives.
When we are able to see our basic needs as oxygen, our true wants start to flourish.
When we confuse something as a basic need and allow our needs to overtake us, they deafen our own intuition’s ability to remind us of what we truly want.
“Desire! What is this?” I continued with my interrogation. This seems to be like a mediator between our needs and our wants. It usually picks sides depending on which impulse is temporarily more convincing.
When we place “I need,” in front of everything we want, our desire gets taken hostage by our needs. Our intuition is then ignored and we become numb to it—despite its cry for recognition within us. It’s when we know we don’t want that but still go after it that we are holding ourselves back. We are restraining ourselves from achieving our life’s purpose.
“Guilty!” My stomach churned as the sensitivity to my intuition slowly started coming back. It’s in those moments when we hear “no” shouting from our core, that we should reply to it. We should ask ouselves, “If not this, then what?”
What happens next is the most beautiful thing. We get a response! Whether we accept or deny our instincts, they sets the foundation for our actions that in turn determine what we attract.
Our intuition or higher-self seeks for us to attain everything that we want. The Universe works in harmony with it. So when we don’t listen to our intuition the Universe steps in, placing mirrors in front of us in the form of experiences through relationships.
All our experiences serve to guide us towards ending the need to satisfy impulses which are actually wounds in disguise.
Needs fill us with anxiety and fear. They instigate a compulsion to bargain affection for attention. They make us do whatever it takes to keep someone close, or to keep us satisfied from moment to moment to moment. Satisfying our “needs” becomes a habit of addiction that we have to keep feeding.
What I do accept now is that needs never get satisfied! They will always want more but we have power over them. By knowing what we want our needs vanish like the illusions that they are.
When we turn fear and anxiety into ambition, determination, hope, and faith, we no longer need to bargain affection for attention. We are free from the awareness that we need nothing.
When we allow ourselves the awareness of our needy tendencies, we let go of these needs. Our desire is captured to go after what we truly want.
Abraham Maslow, known for his work on understanding the psychology behind needs and what motivates people said, “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
I realized through my detective work that it’s okay to want a true loving relationship. One that with patience and determination is possible as long as we stay true to what we want. Most importantly, we must stay aware that we don’t need anything, but to go after what we truly want.
Author: Gregorio Sanchez
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Greg Raines/Unsplash