During the opening circle of any of my intuitive painting workshops or retreats I always encourage my participants (who are usually primarily women) to practice the art of being needy, greedy and proud of it.
As soon as the words come out of my mouth, I can hear the stifled gasps in the room and watch people’s eyes grow wide in astonishment hardly able to believe that I really said that… out loud!
Need is definitely a four letter word in this topsy-turvy modern world.
There is so much admonishment against feeling ANY kind of need. If we’re dating, we’re told that the quickest way to get a potential partner to run in the other direction … fast… is to be perceived as clingy… another dirty word for expressing the need for human connection.
If we’re suffering physically or emotionally we are expected to buck up. To deal with our suffering on our own. To not burden others with our “negativity” or challenges or difficulties. To hide our struggles and present a face to the world where we have everything under control and all figured out.
We learn that being a grown up means putting aside our needs because we are told they are childish. And shameful. We get the message early on that we’re supposed to be self sufficient and take care of ourselves.
And if we can’t do that then something is wrong with us.
I remember talking with a friend and expressing how much I needed my husband Tim. And she gently tried to correct me, saying that what I must have meant that say is that I WANTED him. Wanting was OK because it was related to desire and being an adult.
But need.. ah need… that is WAY too vulnerable. There’s an urgency to need. An association with the experience of hunger and survival. With lacking something essential. And it is perceived to be a weakness.
Need is often messy and awkward and confusing. Need reminds us that we are sometimes powerless. That there are situations when we have to seek help from outside of ourselves. That we can’t really ever do the most important things alone.
Need is at the core of our experience of connection. With each other and with the world itself.
When we deny need, we deny life. Because who would be foolish enough to argue that we need air to breathe and food and water to live and love for everything else.
One of my jobs as a teacher and guide is that of reclaiming the concepts of need and neediness as positive and essential. To remind and re-educate folks about what wondrous and amazing states of being that they are.
Because the deep and often hidden truth is that the River of Life LOVES your neediness, like a mama thrills to being able to feed her babe or a lover joyfully anticipating the hungry wanting of their beloved coming towards them.
Neediness and desire for sweet goodness is part of the dance of life that gets terribly shamed by our rabidly independent western mindset.
Neediness is SO beautiful. It’s what allows our hearts to open. It’s what brings us to our knees in surrender. It keeps us honest and real and oh-so-very tenderly human.
Need is luscious. Need is juicy. Need is what makes the world go round. We are ALL hungry for something…. whether it’s love, beauty, attention, power, abundance, play, contact, success, comfort, adventure, meaning, food or breath…. it’s part of being alive in a body… so indulge yourself.
Please, please, PLEASE don’t hold yourself back from practicing being needy, greedy and proud of it.
The Divine Mother of all good things can’t feed you unless she first hears your cries.