It was 6 or 7 years ago when I really reflected on whether or not I know my own needs. I was sitting in a circle of women, at Adagio Holistic Therapies in Minneapolis. We were exploring self-care concepts and talking about how we feel. The question came directed towards me "Do you know your needs?" and I said, quickly, "Yes." But then, as we went around the circle talking about needs, self-awareness etc, the words of everyone else were fading and my inner words were becoming all I could hear. I was hearing "No Jamie. You do not know your own needs." I thought that knowing your own needs was a NO Brainer, and that of course we all know our own needs! I reflected on this idea for weeks. I found myself over the following months unable to understand my needs, unable to decipher my needs. Why was I doing anything that I was doing? What was motivating me? Were my needs motivating me? Did I even know what was good for me? Did I even know what makes me feel content? I was in a crisis! I felt the necessity to figure out what I need, why I need it, and how to get the need met... for the first time in my life. I was on fire to become a person who knows what is best for her. I spent the next 7 years on this mission, and I will likely, always, be fine tuning this skill. What a courageous person one must be to fight for her own needs! We are expected to throw our own needs under the bus in many situations! Expected to not have needs at all. Sometimes what we need is more sleep, sometimes we need help with something, we need to stop for a sandwich, we need to stop and process, tune into intuition, sometimes we need more time, sometimes we need everyone else to let us talk, we need to feel heard, we need other people to trust, we need to walk in the woods, or listen to the waves, sometimes we need to create something artistic, we need music, we need books, we need a good meal, we need a friend.
Sometimes we need to relax. Sometimes we need to hustle. I have made a commitment to myself to honor my needs, listen to my needs, and try to get them met as best I can. And I made a commitment to myself to leave any situations or people that force me to sacrifice too much of what I know I need.
What about you? Are you in touch with your needs for your life and your happiness?