We have feelings and needs.
I think they were built into us by our Creator to help us navigate life, and learn about life.
My experience has been that when I listen to and heed their messages, my life is optimized. Things work smoother and I’m happier. Feelings can be body feelings, or emotions. They lead me to what I need.
* For example, my body hunger tells me I need food. I eat, I stay alive.
* The pain in my finger tells me to remove my hand from the fire. I do it, and I still have a working finger.
* If I sleep when I’m tired, I don’t get sick.
Our relationship with ourselves is defined by how we meet our needs.
Feelings can be emotional, too:
* If I have an intuitive scared feeling to walk down a dark street, but ignore it, I could be attacked.
* If I feel angry because I’m over-working myself, but brush it off, I could lash out at others as a result.
* If I feel sad because I’m not following a career I love, I could slip into depression.
Yet, we often disregard feelings! Some of us are scared of uncomfortable emotions. We don’t know what to do for them, so we may ignore them, numb them with drugs, food, or work. The only problem is, that allows the damage to keep happening. Like a light on the car dashboard that says it needs oil, if we disconnect the light, the car STILL needs oil. The engine can blow up without it.
I believe we are born with a NATURAL ABILITY to hear our feelings and needs. So HOW did we lose it?
* We may have had a parent or role model to do so.
* We don’t want to be seen as selfish. We put others’ needs first and ignore our own. We think that is love.
* We interpret spirituality to be self-less, that it’s good to sacrifice and suffer, as Jesus did.
* We feel guilty if we out-do others. If our neighbor is suffering, or has a dysfunctional life, if people are hungry in China, we shouldn’t do better.
* We don’t feel worthy, or that we deserve to have a better life.
* We were taught as children to deny our feelings and needs, “No, you’re not hungry.” “Stop being so angry!” or “You shouldn’t be sad. Cheer up!” “Eat the food, don’t hurt the host’s feelings!”
* There were so may fires to put out as children, that we learned to take care of others and had no energy left for our own needs. (such as needy, alcoholic, abusive, or absent parents)
* We were taught that people don’t like you if you have needs. To get love, be needless. “No thank you, I’m fine.” Your needs are a burden to others. So deny them, if you want love.
* We can’t say no. We were taught that if someone wants or needs something, we should give it to them. Their needs are more important than ours.
Do you resonate with any of these? Do you have any to add?
How do you overthrow the bad programming? Just by becoming aware, and becoming honest with yourself, you have already begun. You can also commit to yourself to listen more to your feelings, and to choose feeling good about doing the right think for you instead of letting yourself get talked into something for another’s reasons.
You can validate your worth. you deserve to be happy. You may have to become strong enough to weather another person’s dislike. Say “no” to what is not good for you, and realize that your genuine, healthy needs are gifts to people who care about you and like helping you.
This is a life-long art. You might like to use the Real Conversations process to feel your feelings and meet your needs. Your needs can be met by your Higher Power, yourself, or someone else.
You can get the Real Conversations audio and e-lessons in the box in the upper right of this page.
Do someone a favor and pass this on! And send me any success stories you feel comfortable sharing. With your permission, they could go into my book on RC, even anonymously.