I have been thinking a bit about wants and needs. We often want something…something that seems indefinable, amorphous, something that feels out of reach. Trying to nail down that wanting feeling can be hard.
However, some people have their wants clearly identified. If only, they think, if only I had a new car, then I’d feel really good. Or…if only, if only I could go on vacation and just take some time off, THEN I would feel really good. Or maybe, if only, if only my husband/wife/mother/father/teacher/boss would just change their behaviour, then I would feel okay. Or maybe, if only I had someone to love me in my life, if I only had a partner who really, REALLY loved me, then I would feel okay.
So sometimes we want concrete objects: the new car, the big flatscreen tv, the smartest phone. Sometimes we want time and luxury: vacation, travel, food or entertainment. Sometimes what we want is something from another person: their attention, affection, or some kind of treatment that we experience as positive.
But do you hear the commonality that underlies all of these wants? Do you hear what we expect each of those things, experiences, or behaviour of a person? We expect that WE will feel a particular way, a particularly GOOD way, if we could have the wanted item or experience.
What we really want isn’t a car or a tv. It really isn’t a vacation or someone to love us. What we really, REALLY want, is the feeling that we think we’d have under that desired circumstance.
So no, honestly, I don’t want my boss to stop bugging me. I want to FEEL the way I think I’d feel without that behaviour. I want to FEEL unbugged.
So all I really need to do is change how I feel; take charge of my own feelings, stop giving my power to feel to other people or to my negative thoughts, and just FEEL unbugged.
Sounds easy….and it can be. If we can accept that we construct our feeling of want by our thoughts, fantasies, and wishes, then perhaps we can construct a feeling of having enough in that same way. Or try this: notice when you DO feel “enough…” What is it like in your body and mind when you feel “enough?” When have you had “enough” to eat? “Enough” work for the day? “Enough conversation,” “enough sleep,” “enough music?” How do you experience enough? Then allow that feeling to spread throughout your life…so that what you are right now, what you have right now, what you experience in THIS moment….THIS is enough. Enough for now.
When the craving or wanting or desiring or attachment to objects arises, see if you can locate a sense of “enough” in your body and rest in that.
Needs? Well, that can be a topic for another day!