Finding balance between needs and purpose in our exploration of the 10 Emotional Needs of the Soul
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Lately, I’ve been more aware of the ways I can distract myself from what I am really here to do. At the same time I am noticing the ways people I work with distract themselves from what they are here to do. It is so darned easy to get sucked into the need to be needed, or the need to succeed, and completely get absorbed into a drama rather than fulfilling our purpose.
My challenge is in being distracted by people who seem to be in need of emotional support. It is too easy to let their needs take priority in my life. What I have realized is that helping someone else deal with their emotional fire, allows me to feel needed, which in turn provides me with a temporary sense of meaning and fulfillment, but it is only temporary, because that is not my true work.
How do I know it is not my true work? When I finish I feel good for having helped someone else, but minutes later I’m feeling guilty because I have not made progress toward my own dreams. In reflection, I know I could have spent much less time and given much less energy, encouraging them succinctly, yet compassionately to step into more of their own power.
The emotional need to be needed
In essence, I gave more than they needed, and I know it. My excessive giving easily creates a dependency on me for answers and disempowers them in fulfilling their own purposes. I have kept the wheel of life out of balance by giving more than they needed. I know the same out of balance nature would be true if I gave too little, and for me personally, the individual I give too little to is me.
I have been observing this with mothers, and I know I can easily slip into this tendency with my adopted daughter and grandchildren. It is just too easy as a mother to think we need to do more for our children than is truly appropriate.
How are our children supposed to spread their wings and fulfill their purposes if we are trying to do it for them? How will they ever learn to overcome their fears and triumph in their own spiritual freedom and relationship with the Divine if we are constantly trying to soften their lessons?
I also notice that some of my women friends are hiding their spirituality or not practicing their spiritual beliefs, or fulfilling their true purpose because their husband or partner wouldn’t like it. I can’t help but wonder how this benefits anyone, when we decide our partners’ beliefs are more important than fulfilling the promises we made to Divine Source?
How do we become our full selves when we give our power over to men or to our fear of being rejected? Isn’t something seriously out of balance when we would rather feel needed by a man for what he wants us to be than experience the fulfillment of living our true spiritual passion and purpose? And if we don’t have the courage to fulfill our own purposes, what will we give to our daughters, and how will we ever bring balance to the planet?
After all, it is what we create together that blesses humanity and the earth. Sometimes, it requires courage to stay true to one’s own purpose and experiences in order to bring forward one’s true gifts. In the end, honoring one’s truth is a gift to all we encounter, including our partners.
The need to feel successful
With some of my male friends, I notice that the need to make money, be successful, and provide can absorb them in a need to succeed that is not always in alignment with their purposes. Grinding away at jobs they hate, working excessive hours, allowing themselves to be taken advantage of—all in the name of I must provide, I need to be successful, I need more money to live the life I want…….all the while complaining and miserable…..is this any way to live? How is suffering today for tomorrow’s potential happiness living in the Divine power of now?
If any of us become so caught up in the drive for success—practical, concrete action in the world, that we don’t avail ourselves of the incredible spiritual power living within our reach what are we sacrificing. If we get still for a while; if only we have the courage to open the mystical doorways of meditation, ceremony, and quests—spiritual insights would catapult true success in recognizing and fulfilling Divine purpose.
Holding your emotional need to be needed or to succeed
The need to be needed and the need to succeed are energies that on the surface can look as though we are doing such important work. But when we look deeper, they are often actually keeping us from the true work we are here to do.
We feel the the fulfillment of our need to be needed when we are in the true service we have come here to offer. We experience the fulfillment of success when we are making the difference we came here to make.
And when we are in the flow of being true to ourselves, all else comes — money, influence, happiness, right relationship, health…….it all comes because we are alive and vital, living our true lives. We attract our deepest desires because we are living the best path to our fulfillment.
By Holding the emotional need, we honor the deep unfulfilled desire within, and rather than making that desire wrong, we fulfill it in a healthy way. Because it is completed within us, we more easily create healthy interactions and attract success with ease and joy.
Fulfilling the emotional need heals it
In my experience, needs must be fulfilled. If we do it spiritually and with love, we are no longer driven by the need itself, but rather by a sense of purpose. That is why I am so delighted to introduce the 10 Emotional Needs into your Holding practice. Here you can learn about fulfilling the powerful need of feeling needed, the 5th Emotional Need of the Soul.
Thank you for your courageous words. I have found this to be true in my life as well, over-tending to the needs of others. All the while I have thought I was sharing a kindness. What I’ve discovered is that, unconsciously, I have been hoping that through my kindness others would reciprocate and share a kindness with me. Isn’t that silly? If I tended to myself in the first place, I wouldn’t need outside help!
Of course, there is a place for sharing kindness with others, but not when it includes a manipulative play for attention. I’m convinced that the only way to learn how to give appropriately to others is by learning first how to give appropriately to ourselves. I appreciate your reminder.
Your article would have touched a nerve for many people…including me!
I’ve always had “rescuer” tendencies and it seemed natural for me to become a counselling psychologist. Years ago I worked in an area full of “need to be needed” professionals and saw many of us become burnt out. After all while, I learnt that when jumping in to assist someone you need to ask yourself: “whose need am I fulfilling? The person’s need for assistance/support/guidance/help… or my need??”
And when you can honestly answer this question you can be more benefit to everyone, including yourself. Give people as much support as they need… but the bottom line is supporting someone should not be about your need but about theirs.