The difference between Needing and Wanting.


I really enjoy the work that I do. It is a balance between meeting with people in person that have mental health or addiction issues; and doing things behind the scenes. I also get to do a lot of training and teaching others, which I also enjoy. And, my work place is one of many examples in my life, where I have gotten to distinguish between having a want, and having a need.

I have always loved to be needed by others. Being available to someone fully felt like the right way to be, whether as a social worker or a partner. I felt intensely that I needed to be needed, that it helped me to define who I was in the world. As a social worker, if I was needed, desperately, then I would always have to be at work, or otherwise my work would not be done as well. I had to be the one to conduct a training on a certain topic, because certainly I was the only one that could do it right. Same in my personal relationships; I loved for those around me to have a need for me to be around, to take care of them. I needed to be needed by others.

When I focus on needing something in my life, it is a real desperation. When something in my life is seen as a need, rather than a want, I feel myself desperate if I don’t fulfill that need. I feel lost if those around me can function without me doing something for them; I don’t see my identity as anything other than the person who has to be there for someone, because it is what I do. There is a sense of clutching onto something out of fear of the unknown. There is also an arrogance to it all; that I am the only one that can take care of what needs to be done.

What I enjoy much more is the focus of wanting something. When I express something as a want, rather than a need, I am embracing my choice. I get to say Yes, or No, in a powerful way. Just listen to the difference of “I need to go to work”, and “I want to go to work”. There is no freedom in the need. When I say that I need to do something, I immediately feel like my freedom of choice is gone; there is most likely some form of guilt lingering behind the scenes, that will grow as I cater to that as a need.

When I say clearly what I want in my life, I am open. I am calling it into myself by declaring it. When I focus on something as a need, I am closed, and clutching myself, and desperate for my life to stay a certain way, rather than being open to change, opportunity and magic. When I state my desires as wants, rather than needs, I am saying yes to my life.

It is a way to declare who I Am in the world.

me at mu


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