You need in layers depending on what you allow yourself or what you have been taught is available to need. A glass of water, a quick walk around the neighborhood and then back to work. The needs that are on the surface, easily accessible to your mind as you struggle to connect something tangible with the ache you feel in your body.
You absorbed the threshold of what you allow yourself as you observed the adults around you interacting with their needs as you were growing up.
You filed these experiences away in categories, “good” needs vs. “bad” needs.
The good needs are fairly simple. They are the ones that are met with little fan fare or fuss. The ones that you can easily accommodate without causing anyone around you to rearrange their schedule. The ones you can meet in secret, around the periphery of your life. The ones that you tend to late at night when everything else has been set to right.
The bad needs are the ones that require significant investment of time, energy, or money. The ones that take you outside of yourself to advocate on your own behalf. The ones that require you to set (shudder) boundaries with the humans you encounter. The ones that cause friction as the need bumps up against your equally important need for belonging to your relationships and communities.
And yet, a pressing need in and of itself is the need to acknowledge everything you are hungry for – the “good” and the “bad”, the easily accommodated and the complicated matrix of what you desperately require for your wholeness.
But also warm hands tight around your waist. And time to write. And other women willing to soberly look you in the eye as you whisper back and forth about the crazy wild ideas that keep you up pacing the floor when everyone else is asleep. And multiple orgasms. And the ability to utter the word no and have it be a complete sentence. And clothes that fit. And a church that resonates. And opportunities to look at your body in the mirror with open tenderness in your heart.
And… And… And…
This is where you begin backing away from yourself. You become overwhelmed to inaction your needs start to feel like a downward spiral without an end, an abyss without a bottom.
You would have told yourself, let’s just push that away for now, as you stuff your needs into drawers with old ikea instructions and extra wires from the cable box. This is where you put need needs that you can’t deal with to patiently wait until “their time” has arrived.
When you’ve gotten the promotion. Once you’ve lost the weight. After you’ve found the person you’re just right for. When the baby goes to kindergarten. When you’ve figured it all out and have a moment of relative calm in your life.
It is safe(r) to tell yourself that tending to our needs is the thing that you do before you get back to doing the things that matter. But, in your heart you know that your needs are doorways into what matters deeply, the connection to the things that make your life unique and worth living.
This is why you do all of the right things and still feel empty, still feel under resourced and uncared for, because those doorways have your name on it and you feel the ache of their need when you neatly put them away for an undetermined date in the future.
You have needs and they are not just permission to take a break to go to the bathroom before you finish going through this file. Or make your way through your entire to do list.
You want more. You want the hands and the community and the right words and the delicious dinner and fresh salty air and the time to create, hands messy and deep in the process without interruption.
You have many needs, each need a doorway into deeper relationship with yourself.
Your needs are not a distraction.
They are teacher guides here to provide you with turning points to truly know and honor yourself. They are opportunities to tend to yourself, and being cared for allows you to create and serve.
They are invitations to selfishly claim what is yours to have – space in your own life.
You cannot need too much.
You cannot be too much.
You can cultivate a capacity to embrace your enormous appetite for nourishment each and every time you allow yourself to need.
Need with me
If you are ready to commit to the brilliance of your needs and embrace your appetite for nourishment, I want to hand deliver you a very special invitation to circle with me this year in Tend.
Tend is a 9-month group coaching program dedicated to helping you figure out what you need so that your needs can (finally, joyfully, tenderly) be met.
Truly taking care of yourself is such a deep and private matter. You hold it close to your heart and bear the burden of believing you should know how to do it all without assistance.
I believe 100% in your capacity to get to know yourself and to learn how to tend to yourself with ease, but I offer myself to you as a guide.
Over the course of our time together, I will help you unearth the fullness of your needs in a safe environment, practice honoring your needs with my (gigantic) bag of tools and energetic support, and advocate for your needs as you gather your strength and find your voice.
If you are ready to feel peaceful in your relationship with your body and trust yourself to show up to have your own back – no matter what – I have created Tend just for you.