Wants and Needs
The Holidays can be a time of comfort and joy, but I am under the impression that for many, it is a stressful time of buying lots of presents, accruing financial debt, hoping a gift is adequate, and wondering what on earth to buy that person who has everything.
And now and then, the season can become the Season of Give Me, a long list of things someone wants but rarely needs.
Wants are never satisfied.
What about taking this season to try to fulfill human needs?
We humans need safety. We need to feel that we will be verbally, emotionally, physically, sexually, spiritually, and financially safe. For far too many, this is not true.
We need to develop mastery. That begins at about 6 weeks when a baby tries, and eventually succeeds, at rolling over. But it never ends. Mastery is a life long task and a need. Even into old age, mastering the ability to accept loss is part of our human need.
Independence is our third human need. Everyone needs to feel independent in life choices, work, relationships, the ability to speak one’s mind and heart and act decisively.
Belonging comes in many forms. We often think during the holidays that is about family. But sometimes family is the last place a person feels the sense of belonging. Developing belonging at work, in organizations, in volunteering, can meet that need.
And finally, generosity is a need. As humans, we have a need to give of ourselves. Too often in the Holiday Season, it can feel like we meet that need by spending money but this is only a small, and often, least satisfying way to express generosity. Giving time, giving acceptance, giving a sense of humor, giving unconditional love, these are all very important aspects of generosity and provide a sense of fun in life. Generosity and fun can go together so well.
I invite you to put away the credit card, and open up time and space in your life to find safety, mastery, independence, belonging, and generosity/fun. That is a gift to yourself and others that will last much longer than any Holiday Season.