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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2 really good questions. Because it's the basis for everything I do, think, feel or experience. If I peel back the layers of myself, these 2 things are at the core. Everything else branches off these 2 things. So, applications? Whenever my life takes a less satisfying bend & something feels missing I push "reset" by asking these 2 questions. And start from there again. I have to know who I am & what I need. I look at my needs; the most powerful ones are love, sex, being understood, appreciated, forgiven, accepted. What silly, regressive things am I doing because of these needs? What are these needs driving me to do in the complex process of social assimilation? In my behavior? What I say or do? What I feel? I didn't know what I needed until my 30's, I was afraid to look. I didn't know I was allowed to look because the first 18 years of my life I wasn't. Needs were a source of shame according to my dad so my needs didn't matter. Well, turns out they do matter if I want to survive. I didn't know what I needed. I just knew that I was miserable & didn’t know why. I was made to need by design. Nothing to be ashamed of! I can almost always figure out why I feel what I feel now. I don't need a year of therapy to dig it out of me. I just ask myself these 2 things & get straight to the source of my angst. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why did I say/do that?” Or "Why do I feel this way?" Which leads to an answer & question, which leads to another answer & question until I’ve peeled back 4 or 5 layers & Bingo! There it is, the answer to why I said/did that. Or feel a certain way. Knowing my needs helps me to know who I am. Knowing who I am helps my self-esteem. We can’t love who we don’t know, including ourselves. Know yourself, love yourself. For me, this is psychological preventative maintenance. It helps me stay grounded & sharper focused in this confusing life. This is just me & my experience though, hopefully of some value to some else.

Edit: I should mention that this is common sense to people raised in a functional environment. To others like myself, this has to be learned & practiced until it's 2nd nature. I was locked in the middle of Maslow's Pyramid until I understood this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs
 
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