Wants vs Needs
The past week gave a beautiful display again of how our needs and wants can play out in our lives. I suspect misunderstanding these two leads to much pain and suffering for most.
Their interplay are similar to the difference between adulthood and teenager-‘ness’. As an adult we do what we need to, as it is required; and do what we want, when we can. In our teenager phase we try to expand the boundaries of our upbringing and explore life. That is why children and teenager demands can be so frustrating, they are only focusing on wants and their parent are focusing on their needs. Leaving the kids feeling that they are not getting what they want and parents feeling that all the needs that they are fulfilling go unnoticed.
The same goes on in our own lives, the levels of development, from teenager to adult spiritually, are not connected to age as many assumes. Just as becoming a parent does not automatically make you an adult. As a spiritual teenager we push back against authorities to find our (hopefully soul’s) way in the world. As spiritual adults we realise that life is not just about us and that we have spiritual duties and responsibilities. Many find these to be burdens as they are stuck in teenager-‘ness’ and thus insisting that their wants must be fulfilled instead of realising that our needs are always taken care of as part of the whole.
Back to the beautiful display between the two in my life last week. Running the 56km Two Oceans has been a dream, paradoxically not really to run marathons per se, just the ultra-Two Oceans, for which you have to qualify hence running a marathon is inevitable. I ran the Two Oceans half marathon, yet to run along Chappies is only on the ultra, and it is that run along the Two Oceans that I want. At the same time, my soul has a deep need to embrace its job as communicator on a larger scale.
I experience an upcoming event as a revealing worry, in its natural form as thinking. It is as if I start to intuitively feel what the script and timelines are for the event. Then as I focus on it, placing my focused attention on it, more details are seen. If I have all the details it clicks and feels done. Thus worry/thinking has played its part to completion. If not, thinking continuous until I have all the puzzle pieces.
Every time I would focus on the deep soul need to be a communicator, it would move forward in time. Then of course, as we all do, I tried to align it with my want. Yet, there was no clicking, no completion. It was then that I realised that the opportunity cost of achieving the deep need would cost my want. And in that moment, the clicking and the settling of my mind just happened effortlessly.
If I was caught up in teenager-‘ness’, I could have experienced this as an unfair request of life to give up my dream. Nicolette from Art & Healing* so eloquently expressed it this morning “wants are closely linked with victimhood”. As an adult, I know there is a cost to each choice and decision, economists call it opportunity cost. They refer to the price each choice cost, more accurately they refer to the profit you loose by making a choice; in this instant, the letting go of dream to run around Chapman’s Peak.
I am aware that the shift over to life aligned with my soul’s job is manifesting quite effortlessly. And that is the lesson, our needs are taken care of effortlessly. To recognise this, you have to view life from being an adult and be willing to let go of wants, as often insisting on wants literally blocks the fulfilment of needs.
Ask yourself… Am I standing in my own way? Am I assisting on wants? Am I open to have my needs met? Will these wants contribute to my soul’s fulfilment in this lifetime?
As we navigate life between these lines, we can shift to riding the wave instead of crashing in the waves.
May you surf effortlessly!
* https://www.facebook.com/ArtandHealingwithNicolette/ @ArtandHealingwithNicolette