Do you know what you really need?

Getting in touch with our real needs

Our feelings are the engine of our actions and the gateway to our needs. If I want to know what I need, I have to ask myself what I feel first. If my needs are not met, I may feel angry, sad or afraid. It’s helpful to feel these emotions in order to understand what I need. The emotion is a torch to my need.

Martha knows she eats compulsively but she cannot help it. She feels trapped in a loop: when she’s asked how she feels, she says she feels empty and sad and then she eats, when this happens, she feels guilty and throws up and after this she feels empty and sad again and the same pattern is set in motion one more time.

We usually move from feeling to action without being in touch with our real needs.

What do you do when you feel sad? Do you go to the fridge? Do you take a nap? Do you watch TV? Do you wait passively until it goes away? There are many possible actions but they have something in common: they are all quick reactions to save you from feeling the pain. If you stay a bit longer with that sadness, as uncomfortable as it is, you may get in touch with your need, you may realize, for example that what you need is to clarify something with somebody or tell a person how you’ve been hurt and then you take action or you may need some affection and then you decide to ask for it or to give that affection to yourself.

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