Nobody likes being used.  It leaves us with a sick feeling.  It’s like finding your car’s been broken into or someone got into your house.  Things that you valued have been taken, boundaries have been violated.  We feel unsafe and unsure of ourselves.  How could this have happened?

But what if we’re the user?  We think of people who use as malicious. As having ill intent and doing the using on purpose.  We glorify them in scam artist movies, we make them into infotainment when they are exposed in the media, we cringe when going to buy a car because just the reputation of car salesmen makes us shrink in a little or put on armour and prepare for battle.  But not all users are using for personal gain.  Many don’t even realize they are using others.  They feel completely justified in how they are acting because they have a need.  They are missing something within themselves: validation, love, acceptance, self-esteem…the list goes on and on. They choose a means to meet those needs whether it is through money or prestige, keeping up appearances, leading church groups, running an organization, saving the day, being indispensable, putting it all on the line day after day.  Lofty goals, aspirational, but in the end they don’t resolve anything.  The don’t actually deal with the need, they are like dirt shoveled into a hole which never fills.

The sad part is that all this needing and all this doing blinds people to…well…people.  If they have a black hole of need they aren’t able to deal with let alone see anyone else.  In fact, people become just another means to achieve their goals, just another resource they can use the fill their need.  They use without even recognizing they’re doing it. They feel justified in doing so, even righteous because they have needs and their goals are the priority. Everyone and everything must be used in achieving them.  They have nothing else.  They can’t. The black hole is ever present and needs filling.

Blind need isn’t a hopeless or terminal illness.  It’s something that develops over time and can be remedied.  The first step is them recognizing they’re standing next to a hole with a shovel. When they can acknowledge that, perhaps they’ll be able to stop shovelling.