Desires and needs have a strong influence on our emotions, behaviors and thoughts. We are led by our consumerist and escapist cultures into oscillating between being their victims or radical opponents – depending on the identities and groups we identify with or current mainstream trends.
Regardless where we have grown up or which unique flavor our family or self gave our relationship with desires it will rarely be a healthy one across the range of their emanations. And as long as we play at the game of duality and live in linear and emotionally charged definitions like good & bad, healthy & unhealthy, etc. we will not experience a peaceful and enriching relationship with our desires, wants and even our needs.
Having an avoidant attachment style makes it difficult to own, be at peace and fully embrace our desires, wants and needs especially if they depend on the cooperation of others. Nothing seems to be as scary as having to depend on another for the fulfillment of our needs. Our primary caretakers inability to acknowledge and/ or fulfill our needs traumatized the child in us into forming beliefs of having to avoid any dependence on another as they will betray our trust. Every time. Unfortunately having that (un)conscious belief, living with its vibration in us attracts exactly those kind of painful experiences. We forget too often the power of self fulfilling prophecies or law of attraction.
Yet if we shine the light of our awareness on those moments of vulnerability in our felt desires and needs, the moments where the pain of olden days arises and makes us want to shut down and assure ourselves we don’t need anyone but ourselves and instead choose to sit with those feelings… we will eventually move past the fear and pain, understanding that needing or desiring doesn’t make us weak or victimizes us if we can feel it with awareness. More often than not our needs will be met by another and we experience a moment of grace and healing of the past and a growing ability to have nourishing interdependent relationships. And if the other cannot or will not meet our needs awareness enables us to draw on our skills and resources to fulfill our needs or to find the ones who meet our needs willingly, with ease and love.
Loving all of ourselves, especially the parts we learned to reject and suppress in the survival of our childhood and youth, will bring us the joyful experience of equanimity as we embrace softer, fragile and more dependent parts of ourselves with gentleness and compassion.
In this space of equanimity we can experience and respond to our desires, wants and needs without constricting emotional charge but instead with a childlike beginners mind out to explore life. Our desires and needs lose their painfulness and potential for suffering, as we no longer respond to them from the narratives of the wounded child but from the sovereign creative being we are. Thus transforming desires and needs into tools for playful exploration of life in all its delicious vastness.
Grateful for residing in the zero point or equanimity and experiencing life with ease and grace regardless of external circumstances. It is good to be back.
? Jan Ward photographed by Norman Parkinson, in a streetcar named Desire, British Vogue, January 1971.