War on Needs

by P. Braithwaite

I tend to blog from two places on my psyche:

1. The place of knowingness — the place where, at this point in my life, I accept a particular idea as truth.

2. The place of pilgrimage — from the frontlines of my journey. I understand that the concept I’m discussing is larger than my understanding. I have no real answers to offer, and I know that what I see in front of me is probably incomplete.

In truth, all of my thoughts come from the place of pilgrimage, but sometimes I’m more confident than others. Some lessons I’ve gotten and some I struggle with.

Today, I’m blogging from the latter place. I feel very lost, and very confused in my own journey. I am understanding myself as a person with needs, but also trying to understand how not to be crushed when someone I love can’t meet them.

My “best friend” and I aren’t speaking. I don’t think we’re in a fight, I just felt she needed to know what I needed. I needed to be able to rely on her. She communicated that she wasn’t in a space to address my concerns. That was about three weeks ago.

My “boyfriend” and I are probably breaking up. We have a palpable connection, but he has stated that he cannot (will not?) meet my needs. There doesn’t, in his mind, seem to be room for compromise. Something great may end as a result.

So I’m left with the faint feeling that my needs are wrong. Intuitively, I know they are not, but logistically I have a very hard time understanding this concept of “needs.” I know, after lots of therapy and self-help books, that it’s okay to have needs. I also know from lots of religious txts and new age books, “needs are an illusion…desire is the cause of suffering.”

And I am suffering. Someone should teach me how to be more patient — unattached. Someone show me how to “wait upon the Lord and be of God courage.”

I’m struggling.

So today I write, not from a didactic place, but from a place of exasperation. I’m reporting from the frontlines of my unfulfilled needs. I step carefully to avoid land mines and wait for news of peace treaties. I’m afraid that when the war is over…the land will be inhabitable.

Today, I don’t have any answers or quips, reflections, or one-liners about God and life. I sit, fingers moving and ears perked toward inner peace: there’s the faint whisper that the universe will meet my needs….but maybe I have to give up attachment to where and how they are met.

It’s the giving up part that’s really hard…

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