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What We Need Vs. What We Want

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1 What We Need Vs. What We Want on Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:03 am


What We Need Vs. What We Want

29 Jul 2016

Written by Linda Hamilton – Director of NewEarth Institute’s Birth & Dying Faculty
I’ve been given an amazing gift.
I’ve lost many things in my life. Including people that I love dearly. I now live a life everyday of feigned normalcy. I move throughout the day as much as I can as if my heart is not broken in a million pieces – that my soul doesn’t constantly cry out for my children that are away from me.
At the same time, and the reason I say that it’s a gift – is that I see things so differently than I used to. I see things with more depth. I also really want to try to figure things out, more than I did before. And make the best decisions that I can with the time that I have left in life.
Like right now, for instance, I’m on my way to go to the store and I came into my room to sit for a minute, to find the money, to send a message to a friend – and to decide what it is I’m going to buy once I get to the store. I think about it for a minute when I hear my voice saying – “what do you really want to eat?” – and because I’ve been sick for the past days, I have barely enough energy for just the one trip – so, I qualify the question with – “be really clear about it”.
It’s the last part – that made me stop and realize that this is exactly what I need to do in my life right now. To be clear.
I struggle with this concept – because I have worked very hard in life for things in the past, only to lose them – some of them, disastrously. And this – what feels sometimes as a constant losing – has made me fearful and unbelieving and questioning if we should ever try hard for anything.
I struggle with it because I have almost seen more “results” in my life by not trying. Sometimes all I had to do was have the thought – and the thing I was thinking about, that I wanted/needed was handed to me, quite graciously.
After personally witnessing this time and again in my own life and in others, I began to think that the way we really get the things we want/need, is by not trying – but by surrendering to the Cosmos, becoming unified with the “all”, while still being clear about what it is that we want/need.
But then I have moments like right now – where I know with great certainty that the food that I want to eat is not in my kitchen. And I am really hungry. And at the same time, I’ve run out of toilet paper. So, toilet paper is definitely on my list, but not sure what the other things should be – and this is the moment…I sit down and DECIDE what it is that I will go to the store for. I’m making a clear decision and making a list.
I’m distracted, being caught in the middle of these two ideas – do we GO FOR the things we want/need – or do we surrender to faith and wait for the things to just come to us?
I don’t know.
But, it seems that the common denominator of both – is first KNOWING what it is that I want/need. And that first requires a decision.
So here goes…I will be buying today: bananas. vinegar. toilet paper. plantain chips. eggs. I pause here because out of wanting to be sure that I know what I want/need….I take inventory of what I have and what I’m missing. I take note of the fact that I will be hungry later on and to keep that in consideration. I think about how I’ve been craving bananas and since I’ve been quite sick, my body probably wants and needs at least 4 bananas. Based on as thorough an analysis as possible, I make my final list and then I add a hot pepper to it – just because I want one.
I pause and make the comparison to my life situation right now. What is my life list?
I love looking at biomimicry. It, to me, is the greatest teacher. I see that our bodies’ usually crave what we need. I’m always telling women how important it is to listen to their body. So I use the example of the bananas right now. I am craving them so much! And what I’m wondering is, does the body use its “need” for something, manipulating it to be perceived by me as a “want”? Ensuring that I consume it? And I’m wondering, does the line between want/need even exist?
In the very least, these “desires” most likely originate from the same source.
What if it’s bad for you though? The thing you want?
I think, if you are driven to do that thing or want that thing – then do it. You’ll do it until you don’t want to anymore. And that might be never – but at least you were honest with yourself.
I don’t have the answers – as there is very little “truth” that I can unequivocally state that I know as truth – but one thing I do know as truth is that we are horribly judgmental of ourselves as women, constantly barraging ourselves with what we “should” or  “should not” do – and our happiness in life is definitely effected by it.
What if we let go of the judgement – listened to ourselves and our bodies and followed the signs – as much as possible?
I believe that there is truth to be found.
But why does it matter?
I know for me, each time I discover truth, I feel deeply happy. I see the beauty in it, in the same way that I feel when I stand on top of the cliffs of Punta Uva overlooking the ocean. There’s no denying its natural beauty, its reality, its truth.
Even when one of my best friends was diagnosed with 4th stage cancer last year, it sucked to hear the truth – but at the same time, there was relief and perspective changes. And looking back on it, I’m able to appreciate knowing the truth when we did.
Truth, for me, equals real life – real beauty – and I feel whole when I surround myself by it.
So I’m going out now – and will be getting extra bananas….
*I was going to end with that last sentence – but as this was still in draft mode…I had to add that as I finished writing this, and began to get on my bicycle to go to the store, a good friend of mine showed up, unexpectedly. She had a bag for me – the contents of which were: one big juicy mango, and a bunch of bananas.
There it is…
(I never thought of the mango, but if I had, I know I would have wanted that too)
Originally posted @ Birth Without Boundaries

Thanks to:

  I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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