I’ve been seeing this a lot lately, people being confused because they can’t get what they need.  They are clear what they need, most of the time, and sometimes they are even clear on how they could/should/would achieve this, but something happens to keep them from getting their needs met.  They have injuries that prevent them from doing what they need to do in order to meet their needs.  Or they go where they are supposed to go to get what they need and they are given something else entirely or have a completely different experience from what they expected.  All of which is amazingly confusing because they need what they need.  It’s not option and they can’t see why things would happen to prevent them from having it.

Sometimes this confusion comes in the definition of the word “need.”  We use this word in a variety of ways including:  making excuses for bad choices or bad behavior by calling the end result a need (ends justify the means), expressing the intensity of a feeling as a need and our extreme reaction to it or to alleviate it as necessary, or seeing some outcome as so integral to our identity that it becomes a need similar to air or water.  Examples of this are easy to find in the media all the time.  They are the stuff of soap operas, dramas, and reality TV like Intervention.  They are the stuff that drives Dr. Phil’s books and TV show and every relationship “reality” show.  We feel so deeply, want so much, and are trained, not to refrain/constrain or evaluate our feelings, but instead to indulge them immediately and seek to resolve them through things and others instead of within ourselves.  So wants become needs and the need it to fulfill the wanting and needing.  But emotions aren’t needs, they just point to the actual need, the need for growth in the area of emotions and an exploration of what lies underneath all this needing.

Other times the confusion comes in our understanding or misunderstanding of the complexity of the path to resolving the need.  Often people ask their guidance, their friends, their family, the Universe, anyone/thing that will hear them to help with this need.  And the responses they get are confusing in the extreme.  It’s like asking for help climbing down out of a tree and having a monkey hand you an ice cream cone.  Not helpful at all, confusing, distracting, and sometimes actually a hindrance.  Or is it?  Because the issue can many times be that we don’t realize all of the steps, lessons, growth, becoming that needs to happen along the way in order to resolve this need.  We don’t realize that we can’t get there from here and that the path winds instead of going straight.  We might actually need to eat the ice cream because it improves our mood, helps us to slow down, to see things differently, and to notice that there is a ladder propped against the tree on the other side and we can get down on our own.  Such is the wisdom of monkey’s with ice cream.

If you are struggling with needs that aren’t getting met, perhaps the starting point is to check and see what kind of needs they are and if they are needs at all.