On this day a week ago, I did not realize that I was beginning a quest. Actually I didn’t even fully understand the definition of a quest, until I met Chris Guillebeau and heard him speak about his new book The Happiness of Pursuit. I had to abruptly leave the event as my husband had gone to the hospital. When he finally got a bed, he laid down trying to calm himself through the pain, and I began reading The Happiness of Pursuit to him. The next couple of days were a blur, filled with more grief - another sudden loss of a friend, pain, hurt and overwhelm.
Grief brings up so many different emotions for people. For me I went into a place of fear. As I was sharing with my husband some of the pain I was experiencing he responded to me, “You can choose to respond from fear, or love. Natalie Stratton shared that with me years ago, and it has stuck with me. Love is a choice. Sweetheart, you are responding from fear, your need to feel needed is resulting in more pain for you. Maybe this is your quest?”
BAM – he got me, tears flowed as I swallowed hard the power of what he just said to me. And then out loud I said:
When I feel not needed I also feel rejected, hurt, not loved, and alone.
So what is this neediness, and need to feel needed?
Am I being so needy, that others have been unable to be by my side as I grieve? Do I really need the ‘others’ when I have a small yet mighty group of friends supporting me?
Are others needs something that I may not be able to relate to, or maybe I can’t fulfil their need?
What if my need to soothe and give comfort to another is out of my own guilt for not being there? Maybe I am not who they need, maybe their needs are being met by others who they feel more safe with.
What if my need to assist a friend financially is out of my own guilt of being financially stable? Maybe I am enabling them by constantly giving, and I’m definitely not honouring myself or the other person by buying something just for the sake of supporting them.
What if my need to feel seen, heard and loved – actually pushes people away? Maybe I should trust that I am seen, heard and loved.
What if my need to comfort someone in pain, is due to my own pain? Maybe (actually I know this to be true), they are exactly where they need to be, to grow through this experience. I must remember to hold them as able to ask for help if needed.
At the beginning of one of his blog posts, Chris writes:
Lesson: Unhappiness can lead to new beginnings.
If you’re not happy with an aspect of your life, or even if you just feel a faint stirring to do something different, pay attention to the dissatisfaction. Ask yourself “What if” questions. What if I actually pursued that dream or idea? What if I made that big change?
The quest of letting go of neediness and the need to feel needed begins.