There are many things that the pandemic opened our eyes to such as:
Who has empathy and who doesn’t
Who is willing to sacrifice to protect their kids from the virus and who isn’t
How much we care about the people who are immunocompromised
How much we care about ourselves and are willing to protect ourselves from the pandemic
How fast we can learn lessons about life, loss, selfishness and genuine care for others and science
Who the people around us really are
And the list could go on and on and on
Buuuuut there is ONE thing that (other than the loss of life of our loved ones from this pandemic) hurts THE MOST and that is realizing how insignificant we are to people who we thought for months, years and decades that were our friends.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a couple of people who communicated with me in 2019 but haven’t written or called me in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
And having talked to other people who also experienced this phenomenon, I know I’m not the only one. And chances are high that you’ve experienced this, too.
So today I want to share with you 3 ways to grieve a wonderful friendship that was and no longer is and reduce the hurt you feel every time you think about those ex-friends who don’t remember that you even exist anymore.
I know what you’re thinking “I could have died during the pandemic and they wouldn’t know.”
That’s my point!
That’s something I’ve also thought and it hurts like hell.
And I know how ironic it is that some of those people would be people whom we have wished were at our funeral when we die (before any of us ever experienced a global pandemic).
And the fact that they are so uninterested in whether you’re even alive or not is a little bit humorous but painful.
There’s something amazing about being able to live one more year.
Regardless of whether last year was great for you or not, what we can ALL agree on is that this year, 2019 CAN be a better year than last year.
And if you’re already starting to doubt that it CAN be a better year, watch it! 😉
How great 2019 is, LARGELY depends on your attitude, so keep it in check.
My Top 2018 Lessons
A lot of people have published their review of 2018 and shared their New Year’s resolutions for 2019. I want to go beyond that.
Today, I want to share with you 5 lessons that I learned in 2018 that can help YOU squeeze out the most goodness in 2019. To make it more positive. And to allow you to have the most amount of joy.
Lesson 1: Despite The Challenges You Made It To The End Of Last Year And The Beginning Of The New Year
That ☝️ in and of itself is a blessing.
We can simply start from that frame of mind, and suddenly, things become more positive.
Last year may or may not have been the perfect year, but you’re here. Alive. Today. In a country, with internet, on a device that you were able to purchase because of everything that you have to contribute to the world via your talents and skills. Or if you were gifted your device, you had/have someone in your life who was this generous or who has a good job that allows you to have a device to read this blog on.
Before I attempt to say anything…. I just want to hold your hand through time and space, squeeze it and tell you that I know how you’re feeling.
If you’re part of my community, it is highly likely that you were hoping that the outcome of this week’s election was one of peace, hope….and love.
Turns out, it was one of shock, desolation and hate for MORE THAN HALF the country.
For the past couple of days, I have been hibernating emotionally.
Hopefully, you have also been doing what you have to do to find your footing once again. To feel more grounded with each passing day. But If you’re on the floor still and need a bit more time to process this all, go ahead. Take your time.
How I’ve Been Coping, Which Is a Actually NOT The Best Way To Do So
Even though words are my thing, I have said little to very few people. I Whatsapped a friend. Talked to my mom over the phone . FB messages two other friends and my brother. Instagrammed an acquaintance. But I haven’t talked to anyone face to face about it. And it’s felt lonely.
And I think that’s how we feel with our emotions.
Like we put all our hope, all our will and all our might for this result to be a positive one and we were cheated of the win. To say that we were blind-sighted is an understatement.
So now, what we’re really left with is suspicion.
Of who we can trust.
Of who’s on “our side.”
Of who’s open to love.
Of what’s gonna happen.
Of whether we should have faith.
Of whether we even have any faith left to cling on to.
What I Learned Really Matters From This Election
Even though words are my thing, it’s almost like there are no words to process this all. And it’s only through really digging deep within ourselves that we can find some answers and make a teeny-tiny little bit of sense of this situation.
I get that there are changes that the political establishment needs. I really do.
But what’s surprising is that it seems like America snapped and demanded change instead of politely asking for it. And yes, I also understand that maybe politeness in a tense time like these is the last thing you think of. But man! We don’t have to be savages when wanting our voices to be heard, right?
“Our desire to be heard shouldn’t have to inflict hurt on others.” – Haydee Montemayor
Ironically, I think that the best thing we got out of this election is actually several things:
The notion that we have to be more strategic about how we communicate not only as citizens, but in our own relationships.
Waiting until we snap….is not the best way to communicate.
Insulting isn’t either.
Nor is marginalizing.
Nor is it minimizing.
Nor is it making fun of one another.
Nor is not taking people who pose a potential danger seriously.
Because when we ignore these things. we run the risk of letting hate win instead of tolerance, unity, acceptable and love.
So What Did You Learn?
As you can see, processing this ordeal takes courage.
We need to come to terms with our hurt, how we communicate it and our hope.
“Before we can state our hopes, we need to process our hurts.” -Haydee Montemayor
In large part, we will have less hurts if we learn how to communicate better.
So let’s explore what’s going on inside of you.
Before we blame others (which is VERY tempting, especially if you’re in the losing side of this election) ask yourself:
What didn’t YOU do?
In what way did your communication fail?
The 11 Biggest Lessons From The Election Results That I Learned Regarding Communication
1) For me, I wish this blog, Love and Treasure, could have reached more people than it has and be more than it is. Since I created Love and Treasure, I knew that love was a topic that deserved and needed the spotlight. And yet, sometimes, I admit that I was worried that everything I wanted to say about this topic would feel cheesy. So I held back a little. Actually, a lot.
2) Several months ago, I had the “grandiose” idea of wanting to ask more famous people and famous entrepreneurs to voice their political preference as a way of convincing more people to vote for love, not hate. But I didn’t ask them. Why? Because I thought that I would be an inconvenience and I assumed people were smart, and could see through the candidate that was trying to con them.
3) I created a meme about this election that I didn’t promote enough because I didn’t want to be “in your face” about this issue and because at that time, I was a little afraid to speak up more than I did and more than I could have.
4) As Oprah says, what we focus on expands.
I always had a feeling that we were focusing way too much on the guy that we didn’t want instead of the Madame we did.
I was guilty of this too.
It was fascinated and even mesmerized to see the ineptitude of the guy we didn’t want … and to see how popular he was.
It was, and unfortunately is, a very bizarre phenomenon of luring a moth to a flame that I still can’t quite get my head around.
For more information on how it literally all went down, I suggest that you reconsider what media you watch. I loved watching an independent news show called The Young Turks because these guys really DO bravely (not cowardly) tell it like it is… about all of the candidates, and about the issues that most deserve our attention. You should check them out!
But I’ve learned that next time, I should focus mostly on what I DO want and be more proactive about sharing my reasoning for moving TOWARD something instead of against it.
5) Almost after every election someone comments that there should be an amendment to the electoral college.
That’s an understatement, to say the least.
Too late now, right?
Well, yes. At least for this time around.
6) “Just like being a witness to generosity, brings joy to the heart, being a witness to insults should make you more empathetic.” -Haydee Montemayor
We don’t have to be a woman, a Jew, Muslim, a Mexican, disabled, gay or ugly to know that an insult to one of us impacts the rest of us.
7) Words written in The Constitution matter.
8) What we say we endorse or disavow reflects on us.
9) Education matters
“Ignorance is the root of many things, especially the disassociation of that which is really sacred, such as our essence and our heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
Said another way,
“Ignorance is the antithesis of the ever-increasing potential of the wisdom of the heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
10) “The labels we so cowardly put on others are often what we are ourselves. ” -Haydee Montemayor
For example, if we call somebody “crooked, ” we are projecting that we ourselves are crooked.
The same goes for “dishonest.”
The same for “liar.”
You can truthfully describe someone. But if you repeat the descriptive word again and again and again, without concrete evidence that you can use as unbiased examples for why you’re calling someone that name….then guess what? You’re not telling the truth about other people, you’re simply projecting what you think they are.
It’s like we’re taking our dirty little secret, the characteristic we hard the most about ourselves and momentarily saying to the world, “I’m not ____, THEY are.”
And in the end, when we do this, we do one of two things.
1) We only fool ourselves OR
2) we attract other fools who have this same issue with themselves to make our projection a little bigger and to think that our way of seeing the world is our absolute truth.
But in the end, repeating our projection more and more doesn’t make it a truth, it’s just makes it a more annoying projection.
11) And perhaps my favorite lesson is that words of gratitude matter. It is beautiful to watch Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Barrack Obama do so much for the people. To truly become invested in their well-being. And we owe so much to them. And a thank you may not seem enough for everything they’ve done, but it’s much better than nothing.
So as you live through the many stages of grief, which if you’re like me… Aren’t sequential but all over the place…. Ask yourself: What did you learn about your communication and communication in general?
If You’re Scared To Look Within, Listen From An Answer From Within
If you’re in a state of shock so big that you haven’t really been able to process what the beep just happened… try this:
What Does My Soul Want To Say?
In my case, it pisses me off when the bad guy wins.
Like what the hell?!
I’m all for the underdog winning, not the dog.
So What Does Your Soul Want To Say?
Listen to your soul.
Resist the temptation to sensor it.
Simply listen to what is wanting to come through you.
And once you’re ready, talk to whomever has earned the right to hear your story.
“Communicate because words are the way we make sense of the world.” – Haydee Montemayor
Communication is your way out of the fog you may feel. Even if you’re only communicating with yourself.
Rip The Bandage Off, If You Need To And When You’re Ready
If your soul is still resistant to speak up. Ask yourself:
What Hurts The Most About What Just Happened?
In my case, the result is pretty bad in and of itself. Having to explain it to my son… is just too much! I haven’t had the heart to do it. Just the notion that he lives in a world where this could be happening made it very difficult for me to want to get up on November 9th.
Trying to make sense of all of this as an adult… is super hard. Trying to explain it to a little one… seems almost impossible. This is really messed up.
Another thing that hurts me quite a bit is this:
I’m sure that people on both the winning side and the losing side have lost in the past.
“Losing sucks. Losing unfairly sucks big time.” -Haydee Montemayor
You know what I mean?
If the electoral college really gave the ultimate victory (which it hasn’t voted on and will do so until December 19, 2016), to whoever got the greatest number of votes, then justice would be made.
But instead, we’ve decided to play Bingo and grant the victory not to the person that actually filled most squares of the card, but to the person who filled in the least number of fields. Like helloooooo?!
Who DOES that?!
Apparently, we do.
And unfortunately, we do this more times than they’re acceptable.
Or fair. Or just.
Let me explain. Since the beginning of this century… This “phenomenon” of putting the losing candidate into the White House has happened twice in 5 elections.
So Let’s Do Some Math, Shall We?
2 divided into 5….is 40%
That means, that the people of the U.S. get a leader that we DON’T vote for 40% of the time!
That’s outrageous! Insane! Shitty! Totally, Absolutely and Painfully Unfair!
Yes, of course there are way more years to the century (if we all survive that long, know what I mean? Wink, wink) … But STILL!! Being stuck with someone who you didn’t choose for the second time in just a little over a decade and a half is unimaginable… Preposterous.
So it’s no wonder that we’re hurting!
How this can happen in a “so-called” democracy beats me! Yes, I know that the electoral votes are the cause behind this, but as it’s REALLY clear, that electoral college system is archaic. It was used as a safeguard that no longer applies. And that quite honestly, reduces the value of the vote.
For example… why should someone’s vote in New York be less important than someone’s vote in Oregon? People who live in large cities or crowded states already compete for and literally pay the price for living there. They shouldn’t be cheated out of having their vote be worth less. They shouldn’t have to compete for the value of their vote.
So yep, the electoral college should be removed. And when it is, the value of someone filling out the space on a BINGO card, will be exactly the same value as someone else filling in another BINGO card.
That, is called fairness.
We all need an even playing field . Whether were women, men, someone voting for the 8th time or the 1st time regardless of where we live, what our race is or what our socio-economic status is.
So, on the brink of doubting what freedoms you have still and what you can control, take advantage of the fact that you still have the chance to feel and the chance to express your emotions. You still have the chance to connect with yourself. And to extend your hand to someone else who might be needing you to reach out, squeeze their hand and help them heal.
Now It’s Your Turn
In the comments below, share with us what your biggest takeaways were from this election. In times like these, like in every “so-called” failure, we can make the “failure” a little less of a “failure” by asking ourselves what we learned and applying those lessons in the future.
None of us want to wait around for what seems to be “forever” to get our wants met.
So, here are my best tips for how to increase the chances of getting what you want.
The only prerequisite is that you are open to changing the way that you think.
Can you do that? Good. Let’s Get Started!
Hey, Guess What? You DO Have a Genie!
This genie, however, has ONE rule: Be specific in how you feel, be specific in what you want, and be specific in how you ask for it without treating the other person poorly.
Pretend that the person you want to get something from is your genie.
But remember, as you know, with genies, you have to be careful how you phrase something because making a vague request gets a vague response. (And it ruins a wish) People don’t usually limit you to 3 wishes, but you can’t keep asking them for tons of stuff forever, you know?
For example, instead of saying:
“You should be able to know what I want when I get all emotional like this!” say,
“I just want you to give me a bear hug and tell me that everything will be okay.”
Express gratitude for getting what you want. When you get the goods, don’t forget to say “thank you.”
Feel how wonderful and EASSSSY it is to get what you want when you’re clear.
In the example above, can you notice the difference?
You get what you want ASAP (the bear hug and reassurance) and the other person doesn’t have to think about what you want, they just bibidi-bobidi-boom give it to you. It’s definitely a win-win-for you both.
You can’t control their mind, you can’t control their heart and you can’t control their beliefs. So instead of waiting for them to have compassion, to offer to help you or to think the same way that you do, ask clearly for what you want. They’re a genie, not a mind reader. You still gotta do the ask.
This genie “of yours” is genie to a lot of people as well, so your wishes will not always immediately be their command. Be patient. Wait your turn.
Even genies have wishes. And they have a heart, needs, and dreams and they need a hand from time to time. So help them out. If you treat a genie kindly, they will be kind to you.
Be Okay With “No”
In life, you win some and you lose some, but in order to be in the game, you’ve gotta realize that sometimes, when you ask for things you want and you need the answer will be, “No.”
And that’s okay. Beautiful even, because that means that when someone asks YOU something, that YOU have the same right to play by the same rules and say “No,” to them, not out of spite, but because you want to honor what you desire and WHAT YOU DON’T desire… what you want and WHAT YOU DON’T want.
There’s nothing worse that agreeing to say something that you DON’T want to do and want to kick yourself in the butt for it.
Notice What Actually Makes You Feel More Comfortable and More In Control
“When you’re waiting for people to “figure you out” and give you what you want without you asking for it…. instead of feeling like you’re in control, you’re actually feeling out of control. Every second that goes by and they don’t read your mind makes you feel less important and less loved.” – Haydee Montemayor
But what if you told the person what you wanted?
A) You would stop waiting
B) You would be doing something about it
C) They could say “yes”
D) They could give you what you wanted
E) They could say “no” and you could then move on to Plan B
Doesn’t that feel like being more in control than expecting to be surrounded by mindreaders?
Yep, I thought so.
And, the more you get into the habit of asking people for what you want, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Even if they say “no,”…. because at least you’ll get that “no” out of the way.
Plus, even if they say “no” for one thing it doesn’t mean that they’ll always say “no” for everything and forever. So, it boils down to trying.
And trying. And trying, and hopefully getting more self-sufficient in the process.
What To Do When People “Fail You” (AKA Don’t Give You What You Want and Need)
(Mmmmmhhhha) This is literally, vital… but hard… especially when you’re upset that the answer the someone gave you was not the answer you were expecting. In that case, breathe deeper and really let it all out. (Mmmmmmm Ahhhhhhhh)
Rephrase your emotions into language that they can understand and NOT get all defensive about. In order for them not to get defensive, you need to use language that doesn’t attack or that doesn’t convey that you’re pointing fingers. The rule of thumb is to stick to how you’re feeling instead of trying to imply that what the other person “did” to you made you feel a certain way.
As much as possible, stick with the facts. Men react more positively to facts than they do to emotions. Instead of putting on a pouty face and saying “You were late to my sister’s wedding because you don’t care about my family or me.” (Does that remind you of Married At First Sight, by chance? 😉 It was actually one of my favorites for April)… say… “You got to the wedding premises at 6:45 P.M., when the wedding actually starts at 7:00 P.M. and you’re gonna officiate the wedding.”
State what you expect for next time. Listen up ladies: guys don’t tend to like this tip because it makes it harder for them to get off the hook when something similar happens in the future, but stick to this anyway. ? Whenever you have an argument or a misunderstanding, say something to the effect of, “Okay, don’t worry about it. Let’s drop it. But can you promise me that next time that ____ happens, that you’ll ____?” They’ll usually say “yes.” However, the question is whether they’ll actually carry through the next time when it happens. From experience, they’re bound to “forget.” But don’t lose your cool (although I know you’ll want to), simply say, “Remember when something like this happened about one ______ minute, day, week, month or year ago? And yep, ladies can remember things that happened YEARS in the past, #amiright? If the guy says that they do remember, “Oh my! You’re in luck!” But if they say that they don’t remember, briefly remind them. If they’re still claiming amnesia, just continue with your original plan. State what you would expect for next time. And if they claim amnesia for the 2nd time for the same thing… I would start recording conversations (arguments, specifically). Us ladies don’t have time for this mental runaround. You may think that recording arguments is creepy. I call it smart. Not only will you really e able to review what they said, but hearing yourself argue can allow you to see in what way your communication can improve. And if the same situations pops up again, no worries, the proof will be in the pudding, my friend. Ta-da!
Call your emotions by their name. If you feel insecure, scared, etc. say so. For ideas of what words to use look into a prior post, How Good Of A Communicator Are You, Really?You gotta name it to claim it, get the reassurance/clarity you need and then release it. IFFF someone asks you, “What’s wrong?” don’t resort to the totally-lying-between-your-teeth-and-you-know-it, “Noooothing.”
Recognize when you’re trying to “take it out” emotionally on someone. Notice when you’re prone to letting off steam. Notice when you’re directing your frustration at someone. Most importantly figure out WHY you’re doing this and what advantage that’s giving you. In other words, what are you getting out of not getting your needs met? Realize that it’s not fair to be unfair and to blame others for issues that are going on inside of you and emotions that you’re supposed to be able to process without necessarily putting the blame on other people, especially those that have nothing to do with what you’re experiencing. Oh, and by the way, when you catch yourself doing this, this is the BIGGEST clue that you have to speak up, acknowledge the truth and get rid of the shitty feeling. Throw the poo down the drain, not at someone else. P.S. Stuffing yourself with a pint of Talenti gelato isn’t the answer either.
Notice if the reason you’re getting upset at someone failing to please you is because you feel nervous, scared or out of control. Have compassion for yourself and for the other person. Empathy. Heart. “Don’t let the conditions of the difficult moment you’re living become a difficult moment between you.”
Get to the root of the issue. If you’re upset that your husband wasn’t gonna get to your sister’s wedding on time, really dig deep and identify what it is about this situation that is making you feel out of balance. If, for example, you felt nervous thinking that your husband wasn’t going to make it to your sister’s wedding, that the wedding would start late because of your husband or that perhaps something had happened to him on the way there, tell him that instead of going on and on and give him the “How could he?” speech for days.
What Not To Do When People “Fail You”
Don’t name call. Don’t call someone inconsiderate, lazy, unloving or worse. Got it? Good?
Don’t project what they did wrong this time into the future. Don’t say, “Based on how you reacted with this request, I wouldn’t doubt that you won’t be able to do ____, when the day comes / when I need you/ during Christmastime.”
Leave the “I can’t believe” comments for another time. Hopefully for a good surprise. So instead of saying, “I can’t believe you did _____” or “I can’t believe you were ___” or “I can’t believe you didn’t ____” or “I can’t believe you weren’t _____,” (you get the point), get into the habit of using that phrase for positive things, “I can’t believe you took the time to make me my favorite cookies even though you got home tired from work. How thoughtful! Thank you!” You see what that does? If you do that often enough, you’ll be encouraging positive behavior with that phrase instead of adding salt to a wound or unwanted honey to an already sticky situation. When you use this phrase negatively you usually do three things:
make the other person feel worse,
make yourself feel worse,
and make the situation worse because you’re essentially adding shame to a wrongdoing… so you create an additional problem to resolve.
Don’t blame people for things that they couldn’t resolve even if they wanted to. Don’t say “I felt neglected by you.” What if they weren’t by you because they needed to run to the restroom? Were they supposed to not go to the restroom so that you didn’t feel unwanted? How could they have predicted that whatever the action was that they were going to take was going to make you feel unwanted? Most likely, they couldn’t right? Plus, what do you say to someone who felt neglected? What do you do? You can’t turn back the time.
Don’t generalize. Don’t say things like “You never help me.” “You’re always gone.” “You’re never here when I need you.” “You always do that.” “You never do that.”
Why shouldn’t you say that? For three reasons: a) Saying that, no matter how true it feels, is most likely a lie (Why? Cuz there are hardly any absolutes in life. Absolutes are true when you say you’ve never done something in the past. For example, you can say, I’ve never been to Montana, and that would be true). 2) You will make the other person feel worse than they do… and they can become sadder, more ashamed or angrier 3) Saying an absolute that’s not true will become like a self-fulfilling prophecy that you’ll attract. And since the other person doesn’t believe in them anyway, they’ll be less worried about disappointing you. They’ll do what you hate almost on purpose (although subconsciously) so that in the future you can say, YOU SEE?! You’re never here when I need you.”
Don’t assume that people know what you want and don’t expect them to. Even genies need to know what you want to fulfill your wishes, remember?
Don’t try to take them down emotionally. Don’t say things like “If you were a good husband, you would ______.” #badidea
Don’t put the entire responsibility of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on one person. (In other words, remember that there are no Prince Charmings For example, don’t say, “I need you to make me feel safe.” “I need you to make me feel loved.” “I need you to give me support so that I can become self-actualized.” These requests are SOOOO BIIIGGIG that the other person will be left wondering where to start, so much that they’re very likely to not start at all. Plus, even if someone is amazing with you, they will not last forever. None of us will.
In Sum, What Should You Do?
Express your needs honestly and politely in a clear way and invite other people in your life to do the same. That will increase the odds of you getting what you want and will allow you to give others what they want.
As others communicate their needs with you, you get to practice recognizing what clear requests sound like so that you can be clearer with them, too. In the end, everybody can win, as long as they continue to communicate.
When It Comes To Communication, Give It To Them Straight
To wrap up all of this communication series (you can find all of the links for it below), any time you feel that you’re upset because someone is not giving you what you want or need and instead is giving you what you don’t need, ask yourself these questions:
What is happening that is causing these emotions to surface?
What emotions are popping up?
What am I needing that I’m not getting?
What am I getting out of not having my needs fulfilled? What am I getting out of NOT getting what I want?
Only by thinking about these questions and coming up with honest answers and helpful solutions can you actually increase your odds of getting what you want and what you need.
Continue on and ask yourself:
What do I really, REALLY want?
Be okay with owning what you want and what you need and proclaiming it.
What am I truly asking for?
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Make sure that your actual desires are matching up to your nonverbal cues and body language.
Whatever You Do, Keep This In Mind
Life is much more fun when you have what you want and you have what you need.
Don’t pretend that you don’t want and need what you do.
Speak up for yourself.
Be your best advocate.
And PLLLLEASE, don’t get to the end of your life without fully embracing your desires.
Your desires are what make you feel alive.
Let me repeat that, it’s THAT important:
Your desires are what make you feel alive.
They’re what make this thing called life worth it.
As long as what you want, what you need, what you say you want, what you actually want, your tone, and your body language are all matching, and your intention in getting what you want is clear, but also generous with others… then you should be golden… and your life should be golden.
A Controversial Caveat
The older I grow, the more I believe that there are two main wills in life.
One is not better than the other.
“Life is a sensual dance between your will and life’s will.”-Haydee Montemayor
2) There’s a lesson, a blessing a gem in what you perceive to be the absence of what you want. It’s always there. Always. And it can be more than one.
3) What you want is on its way and just a little bit more patience will be key.
4) You have to work harder for what you want.
5) You have to change directions and go after a dream that will ultimately end up being much more satisfactory than the one that you want.
“What you have been able to attain and what has been denied to you PLUS what you’ve been able to choose and reject are all events that you’ll one day be able to connect the dots with and see how they formed the tapestry of your life.
“Focus on what you have because what you have is what you once wanted, and what many would give the world for.” -Haydee Montemayor
Now It’s Your Turn
Which of the “no-no’s” for communicating your needs are you guilty of?
Which of these tips has worked well for you?
Which of the ways of better communicating your needs will you be trying first? Why?
Do you have any tips that have worked wonders for you?
Share your experience with us. After all, you can be our knowledge genie. 😉
The Want/ Need Series
If you liked this post, feel free to visit the others in the series designed to teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of assuming responsibility for what you want, what you need and how to communicate those wants and needs.
In 4 prior posts for this series, we have been talking a lot about what our needs and wants are and what we can do in order to get them.
However, has it ever dawned on you that what you are NOT getting may be working for you?
In other words, has it ever occurred to you that there is a benefit or a payoff for wanting or needing something, but not having it?
I know, it’s crazy! But hear me out.
There are many reasons why what you want isn’t showing up in our life.
And no, those reasons aren’t because you’re unlucky, doomed, a loser or anything like that.
On the contrary, you are soooo powerful that you are probably preventing some of these things from coming into your life. (And nope, these are not woo-woo reasons, either).
Let’s see if some of them actually ring a bell.
Reasons Why You Subconsciously Prevent Yourself From Getting What You Say You Want
Keep in mind that there are three ways you prevent yourself from getting what you want:
The first way you prevent yourself from preventing what you want own is by you getting in your own way (without other people involved). In this case, the conflict is internal. It’s you vs. self.
The second way that you keep yourself from getting what you say you want is by not communicating your needs clearly, tactfully and with conviction. The conflict is with someone external. It’s like you vs. them or you vs. the world.
The third way is that it’s a combination of both you having an issue with yourself and with others. This usually manifests itself when you have a scipt you play again and again in which you have an expectation, and when people don’t figure out what your expectation is, you regurgitate the script as to why this happened blaming yourself for not being worthy of getting what your want or their stupidity for not knowing by now what you need. Sounds familiar? Yep, I thought so. That is because, unfortunately, this is the most common reason why you don’t get what you want. You make everything mean something. More precisely, you make everything mean something negative about you. You play the “woe is me” game… and you end up winning the woe, or seen another way, you end up losing on the beautiful moments in life all because they didn’t go according to plan.
In each of these cases, however, the solution to getting what you want is within you, and you either have to make changes in your own internal landscape to get what you want, OR you need to change the way that you communicate and interact with others, in order for those positive changes to flourish.
Reason #1: What You Are Asking For Is Not What You Want
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “WHAT?!? Of course I am asking for what I want!”
Of all the ways in which you block things, admitting that you don’t really want what you say you want is among the hardest things to admit. It’s so difficult, so uncomfortable and so painful that if this is going on for you (which in some area of your life it probably is)… your brain is just saying “NEXT!” You want to go onto the next topic because you don’t want to deal with this.
You don’t want to think about this. You don’t want to have a conversation with yourself to get to the bottom of what your anguish is. You would rather ignore the truth, because that way you can “peacefully” continue doing what you’re doing and not have to change a thing.
Let’s say, for example, that you have been telling yourself and others that you want to build a business. But for years, you’ve been trying to get that thing that you’re doing off the ground and it’s not budging.
If someone were to ask you what you would do if you won the lottery today, your first response would be to spend more time with your children, because deep down, you KNOW you don’t want to be in business for the sake of feeling accomplished, but rather, because you want to take care of them, even if it’s monetarily.
And don’t get me wrong, children are a HUGE motivation behind the success of many businesses but some women would prefer not having to worry about being a breadwinner or contributing to the household’s income and would instead prefer to truly focus on fully being a carefree mother.
So ask yourself, if you had more money, more time, or more support, would you really want to do that which you say you want to do?
If yes, good for you.
But if your answer is no, then you have four choices.
You can abandon ship and stop trying what you’re trying and is failing miserably and instead do what you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to do no matter what anybody thinks.
You can sit down and get real with yourself and even promise yourself that even if you do gain traction or achieve success in that which you have been resistant to be successful in, that you’ll still make time for the things that are the most important to you.
You can do something else that allows you to have more time to do what you really want to do.
You can continue burying your head in the sand like an ostrich and not gain any satisfaction in your projects that you’re doing out of obligation and give up the courage to actually pursue what you want. And life, will sound like this… tick, tock, tick, tock… and it’ll take something bigger to wake you up, and most likely it’ll be painful.
Reason #2: You Don’t Want To Do The Work
If truth be told, sometimes you have wants or even needs that you don’t want to work for.
You may say you want to go to Bali, but you don’t want to put in the effort to earn the money to go, book the travel or remove yourself from your comfortable routine in order to potentially have a good time.
When it comes to love, people need romantic love (and they even go as far as to say that they want it) but then they don’t want to do the work, by making the time to date, making the time to grow the relationship, heal the relationship and give more love to their partner. Ever done that?
So, whatever it is that you want, if you actually are convinced that you really want it, requires that you invest either time, money, effort, attention or love.
If you’re not willing to invest these things, then you probably don’t want it that bad. And that’s okay. But don’t whine and complain that you don’t have it if you’re not willing to do the work.
Reason #3: You Prefer Placing The Blame On Other People Rather Than Taking Ownership
It’s SOOOO easy to “resign” yourself in not having what you want by telling yourself, “Oh well, I guess I’m not gonna have ____ need or ____ want because so and so is not willing to give it to me/ is not supportive/ doesn’t think I’m enough to deserve it or to achieve it” (and the list can go on and on).
So then, you sit in your laurels, well actually, to be precise, you sit on your pile of excuses and have a pity party for yourself instead of focusing on the fact that you pretty much CAN have everything you want and need if you work for it, think highly of yourself to think you’re worth it and ultimately want to give yourself the satisfaction of obtaining it for yourself.
Solution? Take ownership and pride in what you can achieve.
Reason #4: You Have A Block
When despite how hard you try you’re not able to obtain a need or a want, it’s very likely that you have a block.
Blocks are especially common around money, love and self-image.
If you hit income ceilings, income plateaus, or don’t believe that abundance is for everyone and that there is enough to go around, then you probably have a money block.
If you haven’t been able to attract a good partner into your life, have had broken engagements, routinely attract the bad boys or have gotten to the point in which you simply don’t believe in love any more, then you probably have a love block.
These blocks are probably there because you’ve had a terrible experience in the past that pretty much traumatized you.
Or you’re very jealous and critical of people who have what you want but you don’t. But if you stop and think about it, why would you be able to have what you criticize others for? You are essentially protecting yourself from your own critical by not having it.
So what do you have to do to clear up any blocks that you have?
Admit that you probably have a block.
Find out why that block is there to the best of your ability.
Find out what the benefit for remaining stuck is for you and decide if you prefer that benefit over getting that which you want or not.
If you decide that you would want to have what you haven’t let yourself experience up until now, you should monitor your thoughts around that which you want.
Monitor your language.
Monitor your actions that could be repelling or attracting that which you say you want.
Have courage to face your fears of things going wrong, of you potentially being hurt, of you potentially being criticized, of you potentially being seen as conceited, of you potentially being seen as shallow. Most importantly, have the courage to face your fear of things going RIGHT… of you getting what you want and being able to do more things in your life that perhaps in the past you haven’t been able to.
Have the perseverance to do the work.
Have faith that the work will be worth it.
Have patience with your yourself and in getting that which you desire.
Reason #5: There’s Better Timing
When you know that there are no blocks regarding what you want and need and you’ve put in the effort required in transforming your needs and wants into reality, it is highly, HIGHLY possible that it may not be the right time to have what you want.
It sucks to admit it, but usually, when the timing isn’t right, deep down, you know that it isn’t… or you soon find out that it wasn’t.
The reason why things don’t move forward when the timing isn’t right may be because this desired need or want that you have may clash against something that you’re currently enjoying in your life as it currently stands or because it may clash against something you desire.
For example, let’s say you’ve been wanting to backpack throughout Europe with your husband, but for some reason or another, you haven’t been able to finalize the arrangements to make it happen because companies cancel on you, there’s miscommunication, things (like emails) get lost or disappear and it seems that the world is literally conspiring against you so that you don’t go (and it’s not you having paranoia).
The situation is so bad that you have practically given up on your desire to go backpacking… or at least you’re not currently thinking as actively about the beautiful sights you imagine you’ll see. Then, all of a sudden, you find out that you’re pregnant. Right then you understand why things were getting on the way. You weren’t meantto go backpacking throughout Europe. Having morning sickness in that environment would not be pleasant. Heaven, forbid, no. Perhaps instead, you can go on a European cruise… that is, if you aren’t also prone to being seasick.
This phenomenon of “there’s better timing” happens all the time with jobs that you want and don’t get or jobs that you have but are let go from. And during those moments remembering that things will come in their due time is especially tough. But take a look at your own life… at your own jobs. Can you see the thread of how one job and one disillusion in a job led you to another job, and another thing collapsing led you to a better job, and to you meeting someone else that was important in your life?
From what I know, there’s always a golden gem in failed jobs, failed relationships, failed businesses and failed transactions. The gem comes in the form of a person, a lesson, a better opportunity, health, more peace, more overall joy and even saving your life.
I didn’t always have the best time in my jobs, but you know what? If it wasn’t for one of those failed jobs in particular, I wouldn’t be in this home, with my current husband and holding my son as I write this. And for those reasons alone, I don’t mind that failed job as much. I would even do it all over again just to be able to hug my current family because to me, they are my gem. Did I learn other lessons with that same failure? Of course! So, in many ways, it was all good.
The ideal destination isn’t an achievement, success or a recognition, it’s being embraced by the people who believed in you all along, not because of what you accomplished, but because of who you are. -Haydee Montemayor
Things happen for a reason. When it comes to things not working out in a specific timeframe and then finding out why, seeing what that reason was for things not working out is like a big “aha moment” and it provides you with more clarity, peace and a feeling, of “alright, I see why that happened the way that it did,” and you’re better able to move on in your life and TRUST, that next time, when you question why things are happening the way that they are, that Life has your back.
Reason #6: Not Getting What You Want Helps You Avoid Your Fear
It does so In two ways:
1) It Gives You Security And Protection.
Sometimes, the goals that you want are so huge for you either because of the bravery required, the strength they call for or the courage needed that just thinking about going after them gives you the heebie-jeebies to the point that you either don’t move toward that dream AT ALL or you take one step forward and three back.
You can relate, right? And then, you feel justified in saying, “Oh, well, it’s not working out” even though YOU KNOW you gave it a wimpy try and you can do SOOO much better!
The truth is you’re scared of going out of your comfort zone. You’re scared of being signaled, criticized, made fun at, attacked or followed around the internet by trolls.
WHY are you afraid? Because you don’t fully believe in your dream. You wouldn’t slay a dragon for it, yet. And the operative word is “yet.” But don’t worry, there may come the day when you do have more faith in your dream when you finally realize that even if you were guaranteed security and protection for life…that that itself won’t make you the happiest.
Having an entourage or a body guard for you and your dreams won’t make your life meaningful, so go out there and create the things you think the world needs, because it most likely does. While your creation might not be well-received by all, for those people that you positively impact, your decision to go out on a limb for them will be well worth it. -Haydee Montemayor
2) It Keeps You Small
By insisting that you have security and protection instead of accomplishment, adventure and bigger satisfactions, you stay small.
You’re staying small if regardless of how much you SAY you want to progress in life, you’re very comfortable living in the situation that you’re living. Your life isn’t all that you want it to be, but it’s not a total disaster either, so you just stay put right where you are and continue getting the results you always have.
Some people decide to play small most of their life. There are some people, however, that “graduate” to medium… doing more socially noteworthy things while still taking special care to remain in their comfort zone.
But if what you’re really after is self-actualization, you need to G-R-O-W and therefore, staying small, or even medium, is not an option.
With self-actualization, it doesn’t matter WHAT you want to do, but How you want to do it. And usually, truly self-actualized people do things with a beautiful impact. So whether you want to build the next Apple, be the best stay at home mom you can be, or provide the most humane philanthropic care that you can, you can’t stay small. Because in a way, you staying small would be like you loving small, and I’m pretty sure that’s not what you’re after.
Think of Oprah, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Gandhi, Deepak Chopra, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Adam Braun the founder of Pencils of Promise and Scott Harrison the founder of Charity: Water. They are human people who make mistakes just like you and I. Yet, they’ve been able to do great things for the world. It doesn’t matter so much WHAT they’ve done, but that they’ve done it with their own unique touch and to attempt to reach their own mission in life.
In order to make a big difference you have to play big where you are, whether it’s in your own relationship, in your own family, in your own community, in your field, in your state, in your country or in the world. There are needs that need to be fulfilled at each of these levels. It’s not the size of the things that you do that will matter. Ironically, it’s usually the little things that people need to make them feel better like inspiration, motivation, meditation, education and water. These “small things” end up being the most important of all. They’re the little links connecting the beautiful gemstones in life. They’re the little things that make life feel more complete, more worth it.
In sum, you don’t have to put yourself out there for the sake of putting yourself out there and for the sake of accomplishing HUGE things.
In order to create great change in the world, you just have to lend a helping, supportive hand every time you get the chance to help people you know, people you don’t know, people who are having a rough day, or people who have been having a rough life. The greatest changes are, after all, achieved by providing hope to one person at a time. -Haydee Montemayor
Reason #7 You Like Drama
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Really, Haydee? You’re gonna go there?” And my answer to that is “Yes, I am.”
As you already know, because you and I both have been guilty about this, sometimes the reason why we consciously or subconsciously get in conflicts with people is because it’s entertainment.
More like a terror or a thriller than a romantic telenovela, but it’s entertainment nevertheless.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten into an argument with your partner because you wanted to add some “intensity” into the relationship because it’s pretty boring without it?
Have you ever gotten into a fight because you like making up?
Have you played the “woe is me” role in a conversation only so that you’re pampered at the end?
Do you pretend you’re jealous of your spouse or do you make your spouse jealous just to gauge how much they love you?
Do you prove to your husband how wise you are by always wanting to be right instead of preserving the peace?
And perhaps the ultimate question is, would you rather create conflict with your spouse instead of being emotionally and physically intimate with them because you fear what that fear and intimacy requires?
You don’t have to tell me all of the answers to these questions, unless you want to, of course.
When you opt for this drama instead of actually getting close to someone else, it’s usually because you think it lacks passion. The true kind, the romantic kind, the thing that romance novels are made of. Well actually, even romance novels have a lot of drama. They use the rubber-band effect of coming together and pulling away a little too often. So perhaps, the love relationship you’re after is the one that the best couple in your life has.
At the very least, you’re actually afraid of that which you say that you want. If you come up with all sorts of issues about love, and say you want love, but spend more time untangling the messy parts of love than enjoying it, it’s about time that you get real with yourself in a loving sort of way and tell yourself that you can have the beauty and benefits of love if you behave well. You can’t be throwing constant tantrums in a relationship and remain desirable.
Yes, I know that there are plenty of ladies out there that pull every one of these tricks out of their bag every single day and seem to have a saint for a husband. But even saints get tired. What’s worse is this:
If you make drama a daily part of your life, pretty soon, you forget who the actress is and who you really are. – Haydee Montemayor
In order to untangle yourself from the drama as much as possible, there are two things you should ask yourself:
Have I had similar dramas like these in previous relationships? This is especially useful if you want to get a better idea if this is a pattern that YOU are carrying with you into every relationship. If you find out that you are causing some drama, ask yourself, how is it serving you?
If I could say ANYTHING to my partner, what would I say? Am I really saying it? The reason these questions are important is because often, we add drama into a relationship to distract ourselves from the void, the pain, the apathy, the tiredness and the loneliness we feel in a relationship. Perhaps we want proximity, perhaps we want out. It’s very important to know the difference. Most likely, you just want to let a prior argument, blame or situation go… but you insist on holding a grudge. When you forgive that situation or release that situation from the bottom of your soul, you create space for new experiences with your partner.
What Can We Learn From All The Ways We Self-Sabotage?
There are three things we can learn:
If you remember this, you pretty much have it made:
Don’t send mixed messages. To others, especially to yourself.
Women are the topic of many stand-up jokes because of this very tendency to say yes when they mean no and vice versa.
And while it is funny that we do this subconsciously and consciously, the more we send mixed messages the less surprised we should be if we don’t have what we want.
When you send mixed messages to yourself, your subconscious mind cannot help you. Napoleon Hill once said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” But if you’re coming and going, then, there’s no clarity, no path and no vision.
Know what you want. It’s unfair to expect other people to unscramble your desires. -Haydee Montemayor
2. You have more control of your destiny than you give yourself credit for so choose and act wisely. If something isn’t working out, the most likely person to blame is you instead of other people.
3. When something isn’t working out, it’s the perfect opportunity to evaluate whether we really want it. It’s totally okay if it isn’t. Just be real with yourself.
You can either repeat the story of why you can’t, or create a new story of why you will. – Haydee Montemayor
5. There are various seasons in life and what you’ve wanted for your past or present, may not necessarily be what you’ll want for your future. So instead of carrying a huge backpack of dreams up a hill without ever stopping, stop and take inventory of those dreams to see if they still would be things that give you joy. If they’re not, leave them by the roadside, perhaps someone else would like to have that dream. Don’t feel guilty of leaving them there, especially if they started being someone else’s dreams instead of your own.
But for those dreams which you really treasure, march confidently up that hill knowing that you can achieve what you put your heart, mind and soul into.
Now It’s Your Turn
Fess up, what are you getting out of NOT getting what you want?
What would you prefer to have? The current payoff or what you really, really want?
Feeling brave? What is the primary reason why you’re not getting what you want out of life?
The Want/ Need Series
If you liked this post, feel free to visit the others in the series designed to teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of assuming responsibility for what you want, what you need and how to communicate those wants and needs.
What have you needed recently that you haven’t gotten?
Is it possible that what you’re calling a need, is actually a want?
Are you demanding that someone fulfills this want of yours by calling it a need?
Confusing, I know.
Yet we confuse our needs and wants ALL THE TIME.
And let’s be honest, what irritates you the most:
Not having a want met or not having a need met?
A need, right?
Why is that?
Well, for starters, no matter how much you want something, you can always soothe your temptation to have it by remembering that it’s just a want.
On the other hand, if you think something is a need, then you MUST have it. Like yesterday. Or the day before. Or soon, like REALLY soon. And your impatience for not having it tends to grow.
Even if you have a legitimate reason why you don’t have a need now, like for example if you’re saving money to purchase that need, you won’t be at peace until you have fulfilled that need.
Except that mayyyyyybe you aren’t going to be at peace even after that need is fulfilled. Why? Because you’ll already have another need that you need, if that makes sense.
When it comes to the need-get-need-get-need-get cycle…. we have to realize that our “need to need” won’t go away (even monks and nuns have needs). One day you will need a new pair of socks, next month you may need to replace an appliance that breaks down, you may need to buy a new car next year, and ten years from now, you’ll need new socks. It’s a cycle.
How Can We Manage Our Needs?
So knowing that our needs will be with us till the day we die, we have to do 4 main things in order to be in control of our needs rather than have our needs control us.
We need to:
1) Learn what a need really is. (You think you know what it is, but there’s more to learn).
2) Be able to truly distinguish a need from a want and be mature enough to give our needs a bit more priority.
3) If you have to rely on someone else to fulfill your needs, you must communicate effectively. Period. At the same time, you have to remember that you can only control what you can control and that you should let them control what they truly do need to control.
4) Have a better attitude about not always being able to get our needs met right away.
5) Become more willing to provide ourselves with our needs instead of expecting somebody else to fulfill them for us.
So, What Is A Need?
Answering this question can get tricky because immediately, we can see that if you were to compare notes between your needs and someone else’s needs, that they would be different. (The same applies for wants since each person has their own set of wants).
So in order to try to get as much relativity out of this equation as possible, let me introduce (or most likely re-introduce) you to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
I don’t know about you, but THE moment I saw this pyramid many, many years ago, I feel in LOVE with it. Why? Because I thought to myself, “FINALLY! Someone actually gets what I need!”
The premise of this pyramid is that we all have needs that go from basic needs, such as those that start at the bottom of the pyramid… to more elaborate needs the higher up in the pyramid we go.
This diagram essentially shows that at the base of the pyramid are our very basic needs and that these needs need to be met before we can logically aspire to have the needs in the higher tiers met. (NOTE: We all need these things listed in the physiological category in our life except for sex. For example, kids don’t need it. And adults can choose not to have it and they would still be okay).
For example, when babies are born, they need to be able to breathe well, eat well and hydrate well (their breastmilk or formula is both their food and their water), sleep a lot (at least they should…not that they always do), be okay in and at peace with their environment and they have to pee and poo. And even as adults, we need to be able to have and do these things, for the most part.
But after the basic physiological needs are taken care of, we need safety, then to feel a sense of love and belonging, then esteem, then self-actualization.
The Caveat Behind Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
If you’ve been on this planet for a while, however, you KNOW that there is practically never a moment in your life when every single one of these needs are met all at once.
Would be lovely… glorious even…. but that isn’t how life rolls.
At any given time, there may be one or a handful of things in each category/tier that may be “off.” For example, you can have all of your physiological needs met, but then all of a sudden, you’re laid off, so there goes your feeling of safety.
Or you may have your physiological and safety needs down pat, but you’re not getting along well with your in-laws, or your own family, so your sense of love and belonging isn’t as strong as it could be.
So what this boils down to is that we will always have needs that haven’t been met… perhaps ever, not right now, not lately or not yet.
You Have WAY More Than You Ever Thought
Therefore, while it’s good to know what you NEED, you also have to focus on abundance instead of lack.
For example, instead of fixating on what we don’t have… let’s fixate for a moment on what we do have.
Take at look at even the base of the pyramid…. even many of the poorest people living in the United States right now are richer than many people in the world who live off of less than $2.00 a day. And it’s not the minority of the world who’s in this predicament. It’s 2 billion people. … almost 1/3 of the world. Add to that that 17,000 children on our planet died yesterday, will die today and will die tomorrow of dire starvation…. and all of a sudden your needs and wants are pale in comparison, right.
As sad as it is, the fact that you are living off of more than $2.00 a day and are alive reading this makes you really blessed. It’s even more mind-boggling to know that most of you reading this who have a job and a home are richer than many kings and pharos were. Not necessarily because of the job and the home but because you have among many things, running water, electricity, the experience of having flown on an airplane and a computer that allows you to connect to the world literally right at your fingertips.
Can you believe that?
But wait, there’s more!
If you also live in the United States or in a country that values people’s freedom… isn’t that worth a ton as well? Think about it! How valuable is freedom that when people “behave badly” in our world they’re deprived of it. Freedom is one of the greatest treasures… and for the most part, it’s something that most of us have day in and day out.
WHAT A PRIVILEGE!
The fact that you can express yourself and be you is something that people have lost their lives over, but that can allow you to fully show up in your life.
So you see?
You have it made!
Well, pretty much.
Yeah, there may be that thing you really need or think you need, but other than that, be appreciative of the blessings that are so much part of your every day life that you don’t even notice. Even the hope or the certainty that one day you’ll have that need that you so much aspire to is something to be happy about. It’s one more reason to live.
Keep The Momentum Of The Glass Being Way More Full Than You Expected Going
If you’re lucky to feel that you have everything or most of what you need, continue to cultivate that feeling by focusing on the “little” things… that if you look at them long enough, you’ll notice that they’re big things.
For instance… for a couple of months now, I have been staring at one pair of curtains that I have in my home and just admiring them. They’re pretty, but more than that, they cover one of the biggest windows in my home. A home, which I happen to love. And I simply need to take a look at those windows to remind myself of how blessed I feel to have this home, where I live happily with my loved ones. It’s such a simple thing to focus on… but even writing about it makes me teary-eyed.
And is that curtain a need? Not necessarily, but it is part of the house, it makes me feel more secure and it’s representative of the home that I’ve been able to make of this house.
A NEW Model For Understanding Your Needs
Now that you understand Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and that you can use that pyramid almost as a mirror that can tell you that you may be feeling a little off or totally in your groove based on how many needs you’re blessed to have checked off at any given moment, I want to introduce to you a different model for understanding your needs.
According to Ayurveda, which is a 5,000-year-old natural healing system based off of India, you have four basic needs.
Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine are rooted in Ayurveda ,which also influenced Greek medicine.
The reason why it’s important to consider this model for understanding your needs is because aside from being a system that treats illnesses, it’s also a science. “Ayur” means life and “veda” means science or knowledge. It’s essentially a body of wisdom that helps people realize their human potential while staying vital. It provides knowledge on diet, routines, the best use of our senses and behavior. It’s underlying premise is that health is the integration of our environment, body, mind and spirit.
Your 4 Ayurvedic needs are:
Material comforts: Otherwise known as Artha
Love and connection: known as Kama
Sense of purpose: which you’ve probably heard as it being referred to as Dharma
And spiritual awakening or liberation: known as Moksha
Right off the bat, you can see that this model is quite similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Although it doesn’t break down our needs in as much detail, I do like how it clarifies what the ultimate desire really is…. and that is to fulfill your dharma/purpose and have a spiritual awakening.
It’s important to note that when you are upset, it’s because you feel that one of these needs is either missing or weak in your life.
And when you sense that something is off, you feel uncomfortable.
And when you feel uncomfortable… you don’t relate well to others. It’s possible that you even blame them for your discomfort thinking that the anguish that you’re feeling was somehow created by them.
You can see how people influence your issues in these examples:
If you know that someone doesn’t believe in your career choices and is intervening with your Dharma, you feel it because they don’t let you be who you know deep down you’re meant to be.
When someone treats you poorly, they’re messing with your kama.
Blaming other people isn’t what’s most useful, though.
Whenever you feel sad, mad, anxious, uneasy, etc., you should try to get to the root of the issue by asking yourself:
“What happened, who said, or who did something that is making me feel out of balance?”
You’ll usually find that it’s something someone else said about you, how they reacted regarding something about you, or simply your own limiting beliefs.
When people mess with what you hold dear, you are better able to see what you really want, what you need, what you stand for and what you’re unwilling to give up.
People confronting you or questioning you is like bowling.
They throw the ball towards your needs, which are your own particular convictions in life.
It’s YOUR job to be strong about them.
It’s not your job to control the direction in which they throw the ball.
By standing your ground, you are better able to gain control.
What Can You Do When Someone Pushes Your Pins?
You can acknowledge that something/someone “pushed” you and now you’re a bit wobbly, so to speak through your feelings of sadness, anger, disappointment, anxiety and sorrow
When you feel that you’re wobbly you can ask yourself…
Which Pin or Ayurvedic need did they just take a blow on?
What component of this needs is more affected? Meaning if they hit the love and connection pin, for example, what exactly is making me feel unloved?
No matter what the blow was like use the “yeah, but” strategy. It goes like this: If your main sorrow is
“My family doesn’t care about this side hustle that I’m doing, ” Answer yourself like this: “Yeah, but I have the support of my husband and I believe in the positive impact that I’m having on others that do care.”
In other words, what you want to do is liberate yourself and the person or circumstance that upset you from upsetting you.
By focusing on that which you can control. By having better thoughts, by taking better actions that support yourself, or by facing the circumstance or person head on so that whatever is bothering you goes away.
For example, if you’re married and your spouse has stopped being a loving contributor to your life for years and on the contrary, has been a pest for quite some time and is robbing you of your peace for years now and doesn’t want to seek outside help, you have to address him/her head on and perhaps give them an ultimatum, and if she/he doesn’t give you the love and connection that you need, you’re outta there. In this case, a simple, “He treats me poorly. Yeah, but he really loves me,” doesn’t cut it.
How can you tell?
Because the goal is to feel better…. to have more peace and love than you have indifference and abuse in your life.
Life is too short to be in a place or with someone who rains on your parade every day.
You don’t need that! And they certainly don’t need to be doing that to you, so why the hell are they?
Stand up for yourself and your needs… as long as they’re needs of respectful love, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to do something about them.
What’s The Difference Between A Need And A Want?
After reviewing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the 4 Ayurvedic needs, it’s clear that the items listed on both of these models are our needs.
However, as you’ve probably figured out as we were going through them, it’s still not easy to just take a list of these needs and give them to people (or for people to give them to you) and have them be happy, forever, all day, every day.
Because there are variables that influence what action will give someone the most joy.
So, the only way to know is to communicate.
A need may be a need, it’s how we want it that makes the difference in they joy we get out of it… and it whether it crosses the line between a need or a want.
Why we need something can also reveal that what we say is a need is actually a want.
For example, we all need love.
However, how someone is going to get you to feel love is different from how someone is going to get me to feel love.
You may want roses every holiday because it’s y our favorite thing to get. I may want my husband to help me with the chores every day because their company makes the tasks go by faster. If both of us appreciate getting roses or getting help around the house because it boosts our levels of happiness they may be our needs. (After all, there are five love languages).
If, however, you want roses every holiday to show them off on Instagram or I want my husband to help me with the chores because I’m a feminist who thinks that men should do an equal amount of chores or more chores than women do for a change… then you and I aren’t getting a NEED fulfilled… we’re actually getting a want. The intention or why behind getting what we say we need can reveal that it’s really a want.
One big clue to know whether something is a a want is to determine whether you are requesting what you’re requesting because you want to inflate your heart or to inflate your ego.
If it’s for your heart, you experiencing it for the joy that it gives you will be enough.
If it’s to inflate your ego, the experience won’t be enough. You’ll want to brag about it, whine about it, ask more than you got with it, get it because deep down you feel worthless, get it because deep down you feel entitled, etc. You’ll have ulterior motives for getting it.
How Can You Maximize The Likelihood of Getting Your Need (Or Want) Met? One Word: Communication.
As we’ve learned in prior posts, expressing what you want clearly is the best way to increase the likelihood of getting your need met.
You have to communicate expectation, frequency, level of importance, and ideal time to have this expectation fulfilled.
How Can You Effectively Communicate Your Needs
These are the questions you should ask yourself and that most importantly, that you should communicate with others so that they get to know you, what your needs are and how to meet them:
What is it that you need?
How often do you expect this need to be given to you?
In the grand scheme of things, how happy will fulfilling this expectation of yours make you feel in comparison to other expectations?
When is the best time to give you this need?
Why do you need this?
For example, you may love Cold Stone Creamery (which I do) and the Wendy’s Ice Cream Frosties.
Let’s say it’s your birthday. How will people know what ice cream to get you that day?
Answer: It depends on what you clearly communicated to them prior to your birthday.
But will you have time to specify each of these 5 questions for every want and need you’ve ever had?
Nope. Not happening.
What does this mean?
You will be disillusioned.
There will be needs you wont get.
Give Them a Break!
It is unrealistic to expect people to know what your wants are and what your needs are 100% of the time.
Let’s face it, YOU don’t even know what you want or need much of the time.
You REALLY have to be in tune with yourself to know what you want and you REALLY have to be in tune with others to share what you want.
And even if you did have the time to share it all… life is an exchange, not a laundry list for someone else to fulfill for you.
“The problem with our needs is that we confuse them with our wants and then we expect others to fulfill our need-want regardless.”
How Can We Have A Better Attitude About Not Getting Our Needs Met, Right Away?
The answer is mature patience.
The thing about patience is that it’s one of those things that you can’t fake because the more you fake it, the more it comes back to bite you.
Think about a time when you were pretending to be patient.
What was REALLY going on inside of you?
Your expectations were growing like huge air balloons impossible to hide.
Your impatience for not having your expectations met was rotting your brain.
You wanted to tell someone how pissed off you were that what you’ve been waiting for soooo long wasn’t yours yet.
You basically were torturing yourself repeating over and over and over in your mind how unworthy you thought you are, how undeserving and unlovable you were.
You felt soooo bad about all of these things that you wanted to give up.
You would have rather ended up with NOTHING than wait for that which you wanted.
Have Faith That Someone Can Help You
There are times in life when your greatest need wont be given to you by those who you hold dear and near to your heart.
During those times, aside from having patience you have to have faith that either you can provide that which you need for yourself or that someone can help you.
If you need to get a job, for instance, other people will be part of the process. They will give you information, interview you, hire you, train you, welcome you with open arms, etc.
In order to fulfill your need, you gotta be positive, but you also need to do something about it. Enough said, right?
It comes back to communication. You have to revisit the relationship.
Is it a relationship that you can expect something from?
Is there an obligation for them to help you?
Have you been able to get something in the past?
Relationships are also a matter of give and take.
Follow Your Desire To Help Others, But Also To Help Yourself
We often go from one extreme to the other.
“We neglect our needs when we want to be giving to others.
We neglect our wants by focusing too much on what other people need.”
And then there’s the opposite end of the generosity spectrum:
“We focus so much on our needs that we can care less about what other people want.
And we want what we want so much that we aren’t interested in meeting other people’s needs.”
The point is, you have to find the right balance to give and receive.
You can’t be so selfish that you neglect everyone else’s needs, nor can you be so giving that you let others be so selfish that you end up with nothing in the end.
These are like truth-twisters, which tongue-twisters about truth.
How Can We Be More Willing To Provide Ourselves With Our Needs Instead of Expecting Somebody Else To Fulfill Them For Us?
By sheer conviction and determination.
We have to wake up and smell reality. It doesn’t matter if it’s hard for us.
Here are some things we need to keep in mind in order to increase our chances of fulfilling our own needs:
Many of us, especially women, unfortunately, have a delusional dream that someone out there will be our prince charming that rescues us from whatever mess we find ourselves in. They won’t. We have to watch our every step so that we do get into a mess that we can get out of it, take ownership and learn from the circumstance.
We have to be go-getters, but we have to use our intuition.We have to take calculated risks.
We have to be alert enough to know when we’re chasing after the wrong thing… or the wrong person.
We know when we want to say that something was a coincidence or that “fate” brought you to a certain situation that you know didn’t come together by magic, but rather that you’re forcing. And we know that when we’re compromising ourselves and we’re not listening to our intuition, that if we pursue something that started poorly or that feels forced it won’t work. It just won’t.
If you grab onto something like a greedy kid… no matter how much of a treasure you think that thing is… it will be taken away from you.”
When we learn the effort required in fulfilling our needs we can better appreciate someone who out of love, fulfills our needs for us.
Be proud of the goals that you achieve for yourself.
Approach life and your needs like a Bucket List. Part of what makes Bucket Lists fun is that they’re something that you decide will make you happy, you work toward those goals, you take time to both prepare for your goals, you enjoy the day you finally do them and you feel a sense of pride checking off the items of your list.
Life is a Big Bucket List. Be grateful for the opportunity to be alive to fulfill your needs and the needs of those you love.
Now It’s Your Turn
What did you learn in this post that struck a chord with you?
How do you best ensure that your needs are met?
Look forward to reading your comment below.
The Want/ Need Series
If you liked this post, feel free to visit the others in the series designed to teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of assuming responsibility for what you want, what you need and how to communicate those wants and needs.
In the last post, we explored how your experience with friendships impacts the way you view friendships.
I said that it’s hard to not take things personally when you have friendships that don’t seem like friendships.
Essentially, there are three approaches you can take when your friendships are not what you’d like them to be:
1. Give up on the friendship and drift apart slowly OR cold turkey. (By the way, it’s sane to admit to yourself that there are some friendships that completed their course or that will complete their course. You are not meant to be friends with everybody forever).
2. Leave the friendship as it is and continue to be unsatisfied. (Sadly, that’s what most of us do).
3. Do something about it. What is that something? Come on, you know what it is, right? COMMUNICATE!
I know, I know! You’re probably thinking that you are already communicating or that communicating is hard.
And you’re right on both accounts! You are communicating, but it’s probably inefficiently. Communicating your true feelings and needs is what it takes. And yes, that’s hard! Super hard, actually! Especially since we were never taught how to communicate and communication is not a subject that we started learning since kindergarten (or earlier), although it should have been.
Why Is Communication So Important?
Well, think about it. Think about every time someone has let you down. The reason they let you down pretty much boils to four things:
1. Because of something they said
2. Because of something they did
3. Because of something they didn’t say
4. Because of something they didn’t do
Could the outcome had been different if you had stated your expectations before they let you down?
This is largely based on the ask and you receive premise. If you identify your needs and voice what those needs are, the likelihood of them coming true goes waaaay up.
Sadly, most people have a tendency to assume that the people around them can read their mind.
Communicating is soooo simple, but it’s often overlooked. This is largely in part because when you were little, and you cried, mom, dad or hopefully both, tried to figure out what exactly it was that you needed and provided that for you, whether it was milk, comfort, a diaper change or cuddles.
So now, we assume that because someone knows us, and because we think we’re good at identifying the needs off others that other people should be able to “tell”… “figure out” or “just know” what we need based on our interactions with them.
We almost immediately make “love” a part of this conflict. We say “If you really loved me, you should give me what you KNOW I want without me having to say it.”
We expect them to read our mind… without even asking them to read our mind (not that they could, of course). If we’re sad, mad, anxious or worried, which are typically feelings that we feel when we’re the most shut down, we expect someone to rescue us from our misery. And if they don’t, we simply become MORE miserable. In our mind, it toooootally makes sense!
Stop Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Given that it’s really frustrating to need something, expect it from someone, not receive it and feel worse and repeat this cycle over and over, our natural tendencies are often to judge others for not giving us what we need. We label others.
We say they’re insensitive, uncaring, unloving, uncommitted, mean, rude, selfish and the list goes on and on and on.
Yet, we hardly remember that when we point our finger at others when we’re trying to blame them and justify how inconsiderate they are, that three fingers are pointing back at us.
It hardly ever occurs to us that WE are the reason why our needs aren’t met.
This happens to me too, and if you read my last post or if you go and read it right now… I’ll be honest and admit that I, too, have made this mistake of not communicating my needs. Why? In part because I thought that if my friends cared about me that they would contact me and value me. And secondly, because up until now, I haven’t had the guts to say what I want and need in friendships. In my mind, I’ve thought that I should get what my friends genuinely feel like giving me. I always think that these should be nice things…nice actions, frequent check-ins, genuine concern, etc. But in reality, these friends of mine may are genuinely giving me what they felt like giving me… it’s just that I’m not so fond of what I’ve received. But that’s my issue… not theirs.
Face It, People Won’t Read Your Mind 100% Of The Time
No matter what your personality is like…if you’re shy, gregarious or blunt….most of us hold back from saying the most important thing we need to say… and that is how we are authentically feeling.
Being authentically brave with your feelings requires that you are:
In tune with your emotions, which is already difficult
Not scared to go within
Savvy enough to know what emotion it is
Mature enough to be able to see the role you played in feeling the way you do
Your ability to share what you’re feeling authentically and tactfully
Speak Up For Yourself
Ironically, when it comes to sharing our feelings. We are not direct… but we are certainly accusatory. We say things such as “I feel rejected, unappreciated, neglected, abandoned, unheard, unloved”… but when we do this… we are actually blaming the other person.
We are implicitly saying that if the other person appreciated us, heard us, loved us enough that we would feel better.
You Gotta Change Your Dialogue
According to psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, instead of using words that accuse others, there are several emotions that you should be very familiar with and use often to communicate your internal state.
As you can see, these emotions go far beyond the typical responses that we give when someone asks us how we feel which are usually: good, bad, happy, sad or the infamous (wait for it, wait for it) “fine.”
And don’t get me wrong,fine is fine as long as everything IS fine, but things are either usually worse than fine, and they’re much better than fine (although we hardly ever take the time to truly notice and truly count our blessings).
This does not mean that everybody needs to know the details of your life, but the people who really matter to you, do.
The most important thing is that this is just a list to help you get started in expressing your needs. It’s not all-encompassing, but it’ll provide you with a framework for stating how you truly feel.
Who Can Benefit From Your Improved Communication?
You, because you’ll know that you’re doing part of the work necessary to have great relationships (because listening and doing things for others is also part of the equation).
Your friends, your family, and your acquaintances because they’ll know what to do to provide you with what you need.
Your children because aside from knowing what you’re asking of them, the clear way that you’re communicating will also teach them how to communicate with you and with others to get their needs met.
Why Is Communicating Better Important?
It is important because:
It helps us realize that maybe the reason why we’re taking the lack of interest that we’re seeing from others personally is because we are communicating impersonally and so generally that they probably don’t know how to please us
As much as we would want to, people aren’t mind readers
Body language is a skill that not many people are good at and even if they notice that you’re ____ (blank), it doesn’t mean that they will have the tools to make things right, right away
The fact that someone has known you for years is not a guarantee and not on obligation on their part to mend your heart.
As you can see, even with this greater understanding of communication, actually communicating is hard. It requires investing in yourself to get your needs met and investing in others to get their needs met when they communicate with you.
It’s like a medical diagnosis. Unless you clearly articulate the symptoms of what’s going on in your mind, heart and spirit, the likelihood of it being fixed goes way down.
You are your best advocate.
Will You Be A Pest If You Start To Express Your Feelings?
No, as long as you don’t overdo it and expect the other person to fix what’s wrong all the time.
You need to remember:
That any relationship is a two-way street and that you should support them when they’re feeling bad.
That you should share your feelings with tact.
That you should avoid drama. It’s about expression not about theatrics.
That you try to convey your contribution for feeling as bad as you do. Not everything is being done to you. You play a role in your feelings and take actions that result in them being what they are.
A Gift To Help You Communicate Better
In order to help you remember that relationships will not get better on their own if we keep on thinking that our friends and loved ones are mind readers, I have created a Love and Treasure Sample Feeling Words PDF with these emotions so that you can have them handy and use them more often.
The PDF has two wallet-sized cards one of which you can keep in your wallet and you can share with others.
The odd contains two wallet-sized cards with emotions you can have handy.
You can print them in a regular sheet of paper. You can also print them on business-card paper. Or if you want to go green, or you’re more of a digital type of person, you can simply add them to a Note on your phone or to an Evernote note and have them on your mobile device. You can even add your own words and literally have on the top of your fingers any time.
Now It’s Your Turn
Which of these emotions are you most comfortable with sharing?
Which of these emotions are you most uncomfortable sharing?
Let me know in the comments below.
The Want/ Need Series
If you liked this post, feel free to visit the others in the series designed to teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of assuming responsibility for what you want, what you need and how to communicate those wants and needs.
Everybody in the world except my son and my grandma has disappointed me.
Yes, I have even disappointed myself. What‘s the most disappointing thing about myself?
Thinking that others won’t disappoint me and being extremely disappointed when they do.
I don’t know if it’s just me or if it’s actually in the air, but as I write this post I’m feeling emotional and thinking that it’s impossible that Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote the internationally best-selling book that I DO like called The Four Agreements, encourages us to not take anything personally. Ever since I read his book, I would mentally ask “What do you mean don’t take anything personally ?!” But I brainwashed myself to think that the way the people in my life responded and that the events in my life were impersonal.
However, I’ve had personal things happen lately. So many of them, actually that they inspired me to write this post.
Have you ever had:
A friend who says they love you but they don’t call and write?
A friend who says you can drop by their house anytime but doesn’t take the time to write to you in months (even on your birthday which you both share)?
A friend who asks for your number to WhatsApp you, but it’s been a month and a half since you‘ve heard from them?
A colleague who treats you like a friend at times but then seems upset when you WhatsApp them even though they shared their WhatsApp number with you and said you could contact them if you had any questions. And when you did, they were so focused on being so “profesh” with you that you wonder if they even know you (when you know for a fact that they do and have even referred to you as a “godsent” friend before)? And get this, it’s not like they were offline when you WhatsApp-ed them. They were actually online, talking to someone who’s probably more important than you, at least in their eyes.
A supposed best friend who says they adore you and spent years looking to reconnect with you only to care less that you‘re going through a major life transition which you waited five months to be able to tell them about in person less than a month ago…. and they haven’t even mentioned it ever since?
Well, all of these “non-personal” things happened to me anywhere from a month and a half ago to today.
So don’t tell me things aren’t personal! What the heck! How can they NOT be personal?
Who do you think is to blame for the challenges you’ve faced in your love life?
The conscious You?
The unconscious You?
As you know from personal experience and from the science of love posts I’ve written, love is more complex than we ever thought it was.
Part of this complexity stems from the fact that even though we literally are not aware of the actions of the conscious mind, it’s active 24/7.
What Can We Compare The Subconscious Mind To?
Think about a television. There’s the screen which you CAN see. And there’s the behind the screen things you can’t see… But which highly influence what you do see. So it is with our conscious mind….those are the thoughts that we can access, but it’s the subconscious mind which is at work.
The Three Brain Parts That Play An Important Role in Love
In order to understand the brain, think of three circles nested in one another. This is neuroscientist Paul McLean’s concentric circle model.
The circle in the middle corresponds to the brain stem, which is located at the base of the skull. It is in charge of reproduction, self-preservation, blood circulation, breathing, sleeping and muscle contractions. Since all vertebrates ranging from reptiles to mammals can carry out these Funtime, this part of the brain is called the “reptilian brain.” The brain stem is responsible for physical action.
The second circle moving from the inside out, corresponds to the limbic system. It generates vivid emotions.
Dr. Harville Hendrix considers the brain stem and the limbic system to be the “old brain.” The purpose of the old brain is to determine your automatic reactions based on its hardwiring.
The outer layer of the three circle model is the cerebral cortex. It is divided into four sections called lobes. This part of the brain is the most developed in human beings given that it’s where most cognitive functions emerge. It allows you to feel conscious, be alert and be in contact with your surroundings, make decisions , think, observe, plan, anticipate. Respond, organize information, create ideas. It’s the logical part of the brain that processes cause and effect. Dr. Harville Hendrix refers to this site as the “new brain.” When you think of who you are, it’s this analytical, probing and questioning part of your mind that you think of as being you.
So in a nutshell, you can see that the old brain is, in large part, the unconscious part of your brain (because most of the functions of your old brain happen without you having to be aware of them). And the new brain is the conscious part of your brain.
What’s The Purpose of The Old Brain?
The constant action and purpose of your old brain, meaning your unconscious, is to ask and ensure “is it safe?”