There are many reactions to the questions we face in life. Some we take as an affront, others as an attack. Some questions cause us to burst in to laughter, or to blush with embarrassment. Still others are glibly dismissed or are answered with ease. And then there are those that play on our minds for days after they have been posed. They make us turn deep inside and cause us to examine our beliefs, who we really are and what we hold to be truth. And to make matters worse, these questions that turn our lives upside down, that become forks in the road of our lives, these questions are always posed when you least expect them.
After a delightful day of exploration and frivolity, during a light hearted conversation, I was asked such a question. It was posed easily enough, but it set my mind a-tumbling.
What about you? they asked, What about your wants and needs? Are they being met?
OK, 3 questions but it comes down to what are my wants and needs? I think I deflected, I remember feeling that I didn’t want to answer. Not because it was a private answer, nor did I feel uncomfortable with the conversation taking such a twist, I didn’t want to answer because I wasn’t sure what my answer was. In the days following I have ridden the roller coaster on this one and here’s a synopsis of the meanderings of my mind over the last few days…
1. My wants and needs are not being met, don’t be ridiculous, I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a business owner. It is my place to make sure other peoples wants and needs are being met. Also, I’m Italian, we have an unwritten law that we sacrifice our happiness to ensure the happiness of others. It is my role, nay my duty to carry on this custom. Who am I to throw away centuries of tradition?
2. I have wants and needs. Dammit, why aren’t they being met? I deserve better, no, I demand better! I am entitled to have my needs fulfilled, I claim my right to my happiness. Either get on board and support me or get out of the way. Those who aren’t with me are against me and I will take no prisoners.
3. What are my wants and needs? Do I have any? Are they already being met? Why aren’t there more chips in the cupboard? Shout out to Thins Light and Tangy for getting me through the tough questions. Seriously though, what are my needs? What do I want? Do the desires I held years ago still burn strong within me? Are there other things I secretly want that I won’t admit to? What am I prepared to sacrifice or trade in the life I lead for the life I want? Much soul searching and many munchings later…
4. After 45 years (OK nearly 46, who are we kidding - don’t forget to say happy birthday when the time comes) I have come to a place where my needs and wants aren’t material. No I have not hit some guru spiritual level, but it’s not about things. Things have never made me happy - not for longer than a few minutes anyway. Are there situations I would like to be different? Of Course! There are many circumstances in my life that can and will change but at the core of it, my needs and wants are not easy, but they are simple.
That I am loved
That I can laugh
That I have freedom
That I am healthy (no comments about my lack of fitness - I didn’t say fit)
That I am surrounded by those that love me (in spirit if not in person - hey John, call already!)
That I have an positive impact on others
That there are people who will bear witness to my life (maybe that is why I write this)
That my life matters, that I have made a difference (maybe that is why I write this)
That I, on my journey to become a better person, succeed
That I am happy
I am not trying to suggest that I am a better person than anyone else, nor that I am more altruistic. I am just me. Why have I come to this conclusion? Because for me, the rest doesn’t matter, Things come and go. And regardless we all compromise, it is part of being in any relationship whether it’s one on one or in a group. We sacrifice our desires for the greater good. Why? Because Mazlo had it right (apart from wi-fi, but cut the guy some slack, it hadn’t been invented yet), our wants and needs are simple.
So to answer the question, HELL YES! my wants are definitely being filled and my needs are most certainly being met. Truly, thank you for asking.