Friday, May 15, 2015

What Is Your Need?

Every one of us has needs. We're all born with needs. No exception.

Whenever I sit down with hurting individuals, couples, or families, I often ask about their needs. Pressing for specifics, I discovered that many of them have not been clear or able to accurately pinpoint the real needs in their lives.

Yes, they do have a generic feeling of neediness. They have a nagging, gnawing feeling that something is not okay inside them. They feel overwhelmed by a problem they can't solve or a question they can't answer. Yet they simply can't name and define well what they say and feel are their needs.

In my work as a therapist and counselor, I've frequently and routinely encountered the following "top needs" expressed and described to me by those who visit me in session:

*  Security
*  Health
*  Relationship harmony
*  Sexual partner
*  The need to be loved
*  Success/achieving dreams
*  Financial stability
*  Marriage
*  Parenting children
*  Healing damaged emotions
*  Forgiveness
*  Control
*  Recovery from betrayal
*  The need to be needed
*  Inner peace
*  Connection with God
*  Making peace with one's parents

Allow me to invite you to take a look at this list above and review these areas in your life. Is something missing? Can something be better? In all likelihood, you will choose at least one area in which you have a sense that things are lacking, weak, or breaking down.

Understand though, as you go though the list above, that there is a difference between "need" and "desire." A "need" is something that is essential for the fulfillment of your life (e.g. water, food, shelter). It's different from "desire," which tends to be something that is not essential but feels enjoyable (e.g. control, dreams). All of us have at some point can be confused or unclear because we believed something was a "need" when it truly was only a "desire."

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