Lately I’ve been feeling out of sorts and kind of lost in my life. Rather than moving through my life with purpose, I have felt pulled around by whatever whim takes me at each moment, and it has started to become a real mental sticking point for me, with many minutes spent spiraling into different avenues of negative thoughts.
I thought it was simply the fact that I am still single at 28 years old, and therefore have wasted many a long hour wishing that a decent man would magically appear from the crowds of douchebags, fuckboys, and idiots that seem to make up the male population here in California. Then, I imagined, I could finally feel fulfilled.
Yet last night, I indulged in the ultimate single girl pleasures: I sat around in pajamas with my girlfriends, drank wine, watched movies, and played amazingly hilarious rounds of Cranium and Trivia. It was the best night of my life in recent memory.
You see, what I thought I wanted was what I saw other people in my life doing, and therefore I allowed my soul to become bereft and focused on all that I have lacking in my life. In reality, what I need was just a simple human bond created from laughter and shenanigans, and right now that need is being filled by my amazing girlfriends.
If you focus on how your needs are being filled rather than how your wants are left lacking, you can find a whole other level of peace and contentment that will permeate your life and eventually lead to your wants becoming subtly sated. So many times we fixate on how our wants are being supposedly ignored, and we can allow ourselves to totally torpedo how our needs are being amazingly fulfilled.
This can also go the other way. There are times when we find our wants being granted with fervor. You want a boyfriend? Boom, exciting new man pops up. You want a flashy looking job? Boom, high-end salesman. You want a active social life? Boom, instant party every weekend.
Yet when all the dust from our want tornado settles, we find ourselves starving from lack of need fulfillment. Perhaps that boyfriend doesn’t truly provide the love, support, and laughter we had imagined. Maybe that flashy job is actually pretty thankless, and leads to long hours and stress-induced ulcers. And that active social life could literally be the only thing that’s preventing you from finding out what you really enjoy doing in life as well as keeping you from getting to know yourself on a deeper level during times of solitude.
This concept can be seen even in the most basic necessities of life. We can stuff our face with all our dietary wants yet leave our body nutritionally starving and yearning for more. Our life needs to be balanced between the things that we want and the things that we need, yet so often we don’t see that if we satisfy our needs, those needs become our wants.
It is such a common concept, but our mind really does magnify what we focus on, and our momentum can carry us further than we ever thought possible in both a positive way and a negative way. Like begats like, and if we are focusing on how our life is a pile of poo, the poo will expand and block the view of any other color but brown. It’s something that we inherently know, but it is so easy to forget.
So instead of bemoaning how your wants are not being met, think about how your needs are being satisfied (or not). Bring it back to the basics. What foods do I eat that are good for me, leave me feeling awesome, and I actually enjoy? Do I really actually enjoy the sick, over-sugared feeling after stuffing my face with a donut or do I love the crunch of roasted brussel sprouts AND feel amazing afterwords? Do I leave moments with my friends feeling fulfilled and happy or am I fixated on the romantic relationship that I don’t have the entire time? Do I leave my job every day feeling satisfied or do I race out of there like a bat out of hell every single day?
Really, it all boils down to authenticity and actually, legitimately, 100% knowing ourselves. If we take the time to sit quietly in true solitude for a while and really ponder what we like, when we feel good, and where we want to go, we would have a greater understanding of when something is a true need versus when something is a simple want.
We spend so much of our time focused outward that our external wants become the focus. Bring it back. Look inside. Get in tune with the fluctuations of yourself and what really, truly, brings you joy. Those springs of true happiness are what need to be nurtured, not chasing after the gushing waterfalls of other people’s lives that seem so much more enchanting than your tiny trickle.
Because here’s the thing…if that tiny spring is nurtured, eventually it picks up steam and those looking from the outside will only see the roaring waters of self-satisfaction. Everyone has the capabilities of creating their own wondrous, rainbow-inducing, awe-inspiring waterfall. And it starts with those legitimate needs becoming our focus and main source of fulfillment.
So take a step back from the whirlwind of thoughts and outside influences and take some time to get to know your truth. Focus on meeting your needs, and in true domino effect, those stalwart needs will quench your wavering wants; eventually, you’ll wonder why you even yearned for some things in the first place when all along they were right in front of you.