“Neediness” vs “Love”

IN Dark Night of the Soul

Pondering “Neediness” vs “Love”

This has been a big exploration of my mind, as I go through every moment of my life, learning about who I am from the feelings/thoughts and ideas I get whilst living this life, whilst exploring / experiencing this life.

Fuck I’ve been so many different personalities, been so many different aspects/shades of ‘human’.

One thing that I know I’m “still” learning from the past few years is that feeling of love.

When you feel love.. it feels awesome, it feels divinely inspired, it feels ‘hopeful’ for humanity – unity. It feels joyful. It’s a feeling of “appreciation” for another. It feels light. It feels nice, calm, peaceful, and like the warmth of a caring-connection. It doesn’t feel “bad/ugly/suffocating” and doesn’t bring out all your vulnerabilities and fears. That’s something else.

How I used to identify “love” was different, although so close that I couldn’t tell the difference because it was a feeling I’d identified with love my entire life… it felt … “strong”… “a need to connect with that person”… “a need to feel warmth/love, validated/accepted, liked/respected/admired” from that person”… “a need to help them become their greatest version”… “a need to be near them”… “to be by their side”… to spend time with them… to not be ‘separate from them’.

That kind of love is “agony” – it’s a “suffering” – as it’s full of “expectations” that doesn’t allow the other or even yourself to feel free. It’s a love that changes both to not “hurt the other”, it’s a “DEPENDENCE”..  a love that is forced and coerced and frightening. It’s not supportive if you want the other to be anything other than who they are. That is not the true sense of the word love.

Love is light, love is harmony, love is trust, love is space. Love allows each to be their authentic selves. Love allows each to feel free. It’s not an agonizing, needy, or desperate feeling.. that is attachment, that is misery, not love. But we humans get it confused (or I did).

I can see the difference now, although I’m sure I’m still discovering more about this as I’m living; as life is teaching me.

I don’t want to be wrong about this because if I take this on as a belief, and start “preaching” my truth (lol), then it can cause a very painful ripple-effect throughout humanity. The hellfire that I walked through to come to “this” realization, is not something I’d want anyone to go through unless it’s actually truth.

“Being Love” which is where I thought I “was”.. (and still have days when I still believe that), was a place I didn’t want to leave. When I felt love for all, oneness, and had inspired-action to help others feel love and joy the way that I experienced it… I never wanted to give up on that. I know others who feel the same. You want me to “shut down my feelings?” “you want me to turn this off?” “no way!”.

As I was driving the kids to school today, a thought crossed my mind that I’ve had many times over the past few years. That maybe I identified and confused love with ‘need’. Maybe… when I was born, I wanted my parents to love me, I wanted to be nurtured and adored and supported. I didn’t get that, and it created a big hole in my heart. A “need” to feel wanted. A “need” to feel worthy. A “need” to prove myself lovable, and worthy of love. And also – a “need” to get sick so that I could get “any form of love/nurturing” from my parents. It was an excessive desire for affirmation, affection, nurture, comfort, validation & reassurance from others. It was something I didn’t know how to do for myself and I confused it with the all encompassing emotion of “love”.

My definition of love was skewed by my feeling of empty-of-love, by my “needing love”, by my “needing others to validate my worth”. I used to define myself as someone who made everyone happy, that made everyone feel better, that made them laugh. I “needed” them to like me. I “needed” to feel validated as a human being, that I was meant to be here, that I was not a waste of space.

I carried around a pain in my heart – my entire life I felt this. When I was at school, when I was at home, when I was anywhere… work… parties… gatherings… shopping centres. I always “felt” others pain. I always felt and wanted to ease their pain. It was probably my own pain that I was feeling.

When I first read about empaths, I identified with them 100000%. I could “feel” others, the truth behind their lies. The real pain behind the mask they put out on the world and I connected with that part of them, and held space for their “potential” to not be in so much pain. I thought this was….. being human. Being a compassionate and sympathetic human. I thought this was “good”. And I thought that those that didn’t “feel” were … lost, disconnected, uncaring, and “off their path”.

As I was driving and pondering neediness vs love, I wondered how many times I had “needed” another when I had “my version” of what I identified as love. As I see the desperation in others now, that neediness, that “begging” kind of emotion that they are feeling when they are “in love” with someone, from this new space of what I identified as being “disconnected from my heart”, I realize that there could be something to this. That they are also identifying “love” as this “needing another to approve of them because they don’t feel worthy enough to do that for themselves”.

They are desperate and go mentally crazy when they think of their “love”. This “need” for the other to validate their existence. To feel worthy, to remove their shame, to take care of their inner-child, etc.

I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t have that “neediness” for others to validate my worth. But there are still times when it comes up. Times that life reminds me of where I do not love myself. When the emotion kicks in and I stumble – “why do I feel this way? why am I hurt that this connection isn’t what I hoped it would be? why do I feel sad about that interaction?” etc.

Times when I slip from being “I have a resonance with that individual – yes, I want the best for them – I like them – I feel a caring affinity with that person / soul” to ‘out of alignment to that’ when you are not doing the same for yourself. You have stay in alignment to that value-system you have created for your own being or your soul will give you a “pain” – a flag, a notification, a warning sign, a heads-up that you have something to learn about yourself here to come back into alignment to your own soul or to ensure that you are not trying to coerce someone else from living true to their own values.

So recently I had a connection with someone. After the last couple of years of shutting everyone out so that I can do the “inner work”. I only saw “background people”. I wasn’t interacting with the world the same way that I used to. Everyone was just.. in the background, and I didn’t have real connection to myself or to others. I felt completely disconnected from my soul, my heart, and from others.

It wasn’t a bad feeling, it was just… taking a long-overdue “time-out of viewing myself as a reflection through other people’s eyes and finding ways to be at ease with me” and really learn about what’s going on within my own being. Not consciously really either – at least not most of the time. It was more of an inner-balance thing going on, where I was no longer chasing “highs” or trying to impress others (receive love/worth/validation). It was being ok with people not liking me. And learning to like myself. I didn’t really want to do the work, but life unfolded that way anyway, whether it was my soul’s path to do it this way or not, this is how it unfolded, I had pushed myself to the limit until life exploded and I was forced to go within to get any kind of comfort and peace.

I know that I miss what I used to identify as love, but I don’t have the “neediness” anymore, and even though that doesn’t “feel” as “high” and strong as the “neediness-love” used to feel… it honestly feels better overall, because I’m no longer walking around in pain or in shame, and it’s only when those feelings come up – which is rare, but with each time that it does show up now… I learn more about “how I identify with my own feelings of worthiness”. Gradual progress in the right direction is identifying what these feelings are when they come up and not ignoring them or trying to make them “go away”. Knowing that they go-away naturally once I identify what they are, where it possibly stemmed from, whether that perspective on life is still serving me, and adjusting my belief system to be current with the now-ness of my human experience.

Generally it’s about expectations – I expect them to be better than that – to do it the way that “I” identify as the “right way” etc. And them not meeting those expectations. It’s me not allowing them to be where they are at. When these feelings come up, it’s about identifying where I’m not being compassionate to others no matter where they are on the path, and where I’m expecting “them” to change to meet a “need” that “I” have for them to be the “way that I think they should be, in order for me to be comfortable”. Once I identify where I’m at, it’s integrated somewhere within my being and the “negative” feeling about it goes away and I’m refreshed again … until the next layer shows up lol.

So back to the connection. At first, I had “fear”. Fear that my heart would be broken into a million pieces again. I could’nt go through that again. Fear of trusting another, fear of trusting myself. Fear of going too fast. Fear of everything going “wrong” again because the last time I was with someone, it all went to hell and I didn’t see it coming. Fear of “giving myself” – surrendering my own being over to another. Fear of losing myself and everything I’ve worked on so far. Fear that I haven’t “done enough work on myself” to be able to get through if it fails.

But with this connection, I’ve learnt that I “can” trust myself. I’ve created boundaries. I still have issues, but this connection has helped me identify “where I don’t love myself”. I felt where I had let myself down. My weight. My addictions. My bad habits. These things were not brought-about by any shaming on his behalf. They are all within myself – my own soul / being telling me.. where I’m not living in alignment to my own sense of truth, to what I feel is right for me, my own value-system, my own integrity.

I don’t “need” him. And that was an amazing revelation to have. I’ve never had this before with any other ‘connection’. When I’ve felt that “connection” prior to now, it’s always set me off into “changing myself to be what they want me to be”, to be “everything I think they need”, to “give them my all, to give them everything”.. that “need” to show them how much I love them and that I would do anything for them. I would… sacrifice everything that makes me me, for them. To be what I “thought they wanted/needed me to be”.

They say Jump! I’d jump as high as I could.

I gave away my power and everything about who I am to be what they needed me to be. To nurture ‘their’ inner child. To give “them” power. I would surrender myself to them and I would count that as true love. As loving their soul to the core.

I’d destroy my business, my health, my own wants, and be the total.. “compromising being”. Compromising what is in alignment to me – my own integrity – my own sense of what is right/wrong, to “be” what (I thought) they wanted me to be.

If I had stayed true to me, the relationship would’ve been over, and I couldn’t allow that to happen. It was “love”.

But if someone isn’t displaying the same level of integrity as you – are they really the one you are supposed to be coupling up with? And how is me “not being me” a good thing (if I consider myself a good person, with good values)? Why would I put on a mask to become someone else? If they don’t like the real me / the best of my be-ing, and I compromise my own values to make them feel more at ease – I’m not even staying true to my own inner-core… I’m being their puppet. And making myself have so many adjustments and allowing them to treat me poorly… how is that serving them in the long run? It’s being an “enabler” of all that is wrong in the world, a ripple effect of allowing darkness to spread, of not allowing people to be their best selves, it’s becoming “small” for their comfort (for their own low self-esteem), and as a result, they never learn to respect and care for others or do their own inner-work to become better in themselves.. and ultimately become a positive ripple-effect for humanity. You enable them to stay in their victim hood by mothering their inner-child & neediness to the detriment of your own inner-child & both of your soul-lessons. It keeps you both from “levelling-up”.

What if.. we come together with others, to learn about ourselves, to better ourselves, and to help each other, not ever having to sacrifice our own level of integrity, but to grow and evolve with others.. through having our own personal reflection of that which comes up within our selves.. through the interaction with others, and learning “that’s me, that’s not me, that’s in alignment to my path, that’s not, that’s something good and valuable that I can learn from, this is something that I may be bringing to the table that they can learn from”.

What if that “connection” we feel to another, is a message from our soul saying “Attention! Something valuable to learn here”.

If you feel a “need” a “yearning”… noting what is coming up from within to teach you something about yourself.. is it positive or negative. Is it something in you that doesn’t feel worthy that is trying to seek that worthiness and validation from another?

What if it’s not a connection of “let’s get married, have babies & live happily ever after” “become one with each other” “partner through life” but rather an opportunity to learn something valuable about your own soul’s growth. A ‘flag’. Red or green but a flag.

Red flags = something to learn about yourself about your values, your level of integrity, your self-worth, your self-love, how you perceive the world, the differences that define your own soul’s journey. Difficult difference faced = lessons to be learned. Process of discovering solutions and overcoming one’s own obstacles. Learning forgiveness and tolerance, but also learning about your own boundaries and sense of what is right/wrong and expectations of others, and how we deceive ourselves and humiliate ourselves through not identifying the red flags as ‘lessons’ and warning signs that there is “growth here” – something valuable here to learn.

Green flags = not only when you are on the same page or where you can positively help each other and all those good feelings of “warmth and caring connections, support, guidance, and encouragement you give to one another” but the genuineness of meeting each other from a space of “I teach you, you teach me” = a beneficial relationship where both are empowered and lifted and cared for. The meeting of minds for the benefit of each other. And the authenticness of being able to both be yourselves in this “meeting of the minds”, a shared space of equals – even with differing or opposing views – you learn more about who you are from interacting with each other and both achieve improved perspective, beliefs and growth from the ‘best bits’ that are offered from a space of trusting that each has something to offer, that every being is valuable and that you are learning what you are here to learn from each other – that there is value from wherever you are at – that you are both at the same time the student and the teacher and the observer of life.

So the red flags are those that are “not in alignment to your current belief system” and where your level of integrity feels out-of-harmony with theirs. You still learn though, it’s not a “wasted” opportunity. All meetings are never wasted. You still learn about life through all interactions. You learn what is important for you, where your boundaries are, what your values are, what is in alignment or not in alignment to you. Where you want to work on yourself, where others are at and their understanding about life – how that differs from yours and what is beneficial for you to take on or leave.

It feels good to help another. We are here to help each other. Feels in alignment to our human-ness. We feel like the world is more unified when we help each other. But some beliefs that may seem similar can be out of alignment.. can get skewed by past-beliefs or overlays we have taken on from our up-bringing, social-conditioning and positive/negative experiences thus far… such as:

“When he’s happy, I’m happy”.

That statement may be true, but it’s a statement that is out of alignment if you go outside of your own boundaries in order to make them happy, in order to get that ‘tick from life’ that you can feel worthy. When you cross your own boundaries (your own sense of what is right or wrong – your own values – your own integrity, your own inner-truth) – to make someone else happy, in order to receive that “approval” from another – to get that validation from another…

…That feeling you get when you go outside of your own sense of integrity to help another – is not love. It’s more closer to the emotion of shame, neediness, and desperation.

If you can help another, whilst staying true to you – that feeling is more in alignment to everyone’s soul’s path.

You wouldn’t want another to go outside of their integrity to help you? That’s not love. That’s control.

When 2 come together to help each other, to dance the human dance of joy and wanting the best for each other. Part of wanting the best for each other – is not wanting the other to have to go against their own sense of integrity in order to please you.

To be authentic expressions of their soul’s journey. To be themselves – wherever they are at. To help them through whatever lesson they are learning at this time, whatever level they are on, whatever level you are on, helping each other through – like caring-connections.

Being true to you, and allowing them to be true to them, and learning about ourselves through that interaction, growing naturally, evolving naturally, at our own pace of boundaries and belief systems, penetrating naturally through barriers-to-connection as each learns to trust the other, and trust themselves. Companions along the human journey.

We dissolve the barriers naturally as we allow and trust that each soul has their own pace that they are learning from and that each human-mind has generations of beliefs that have been programmed into us, that take time to dissolve as we learn a “better way” through the interaction of others who differ from us. It’s through our differences that we learn who we are at a core level and what we wish to aspire to and change for the betterment of ourselves and ultimately through this “being better/doing better”, we “be”, we “become”, that which inspires others to change that which is no longer serving their life. We become the example by learning about ourselves via life’s experiences – from meditating alone to the interactions with others – all experiences are a valid way to learn about ourselves, and what is important for us – what our values are – where our boundaries are – what we are doing to ourselves that is not in alignment to our soul’s journey, etc.

No barriers should be “pushed through” with force unless you’re in an emergency life-or-death situation – on top of a cliff with a helicopter trying to rescue you – but you’re scared of helicopters – that is a “must push through this fear, this barrier… in order to live”.

The rest of our barriers are the line we draw in the sand consciously or unconsciously – that show us where we’re at in our belief systems, our value systems, our own sense of what is right or wrong based on all the collected beliefs we have integrated over lifetimes. One need only learn about where their barriers are and whether it’s serving their life or not. Is it keeping you from becoming who you aspire to be? Does it hold you back from achieving an experience you want to experience? Does it block your path? That is something to identify or recognize and then naturally work towards adjusting the barrier so that is in alignment to our soul’s path. But only you can discern when it’s time to dissolve a barrier that is no longer serving you.

A “connection” is I think… a message from our inner-core that says “this connection will help me learn something important about myself, about life”. To help me learn and define what my boundaries are, my barriers, my ‘issues’, my ‘lessons’, my wants and desires, other people’s life-view and perspectives, what their values and boundaries are, what their issues are. All that help you learn more about yourself, and the world at large.

Through this latest interaction I learnt:

  • That I want to be authentic to myself
  • To help me set boundaries and understand more about what they are (having never had them before)
  • To learn the value of boundaries and how wonderful it is to not go outside of my own boundaries to make another happy – to risk losing them if they want to encourage me to live outside of my own integrity
  • To help me realize that I need to able to express my spirituality / philosophy and benevolent way of thinking – or I feel “off”
  • To motivate me to want to heal my trust & abandonment / unworthiness issues
  • To inspire me to be more disciplined with food and exercise
  • To help me know what I want / don’t want
  • I want to be cared for and to care for them – I want a more of an equal exchange rather than me being the one to always have to compromise for the other person’s ‘neediness’
  • I want someone who wants the best for me and me them
  • I want to be able to be listened to – just as much as I listen to them
  • I want someone who’s been through the dark night and takes responsibility for their own joy/despair/levelling-up
  • I want someone whom I can trust to open my heart
  • I’d like to be intimate when “I’m feeling a divine connection – soul-level connection – oneness”, not interested in having a “fuck”.
  • I will not sacrifice my own integrity for the care of another
  • I want to trust my instincts

Basically I learnt where I need to clean my own spring – where I am “unwell” and not where I personally want to be, and that I want to have something of value to offer others – and I want to bring that value to them and know that it’s valued and that I can only do that with self-work. It is a “beingness” of that value, not a “egoic” – this is what I bring to the table – thing.

It’s “being” that which you aspire to be – in alignment to your own soul – and bringing that “beingness” to those you interact with, to give “them permission” to “be that which they aspire to be”. 

So that says to me that I still have “value” issues too – where I want to work on improving myself and becoming more in alignment to my own sense of integrity for me. 

I want to let my light shine. 

We learn about ourselves through others. The sameness and the differences. It’s all teaching us about ourselves.

Think of someone you admire or anyone in your life right now and jot down some pro’s & con’s about them. The Pro’s will help you notice what you value about them (what you aspire to). The Con’s will help you notice the space you hold open for them to aspire to – their better version as well as your better version. It shows you where you are aligned. It shows you your boundaries. It shows you where you are at and where you wish you were at. It shows you a pathway.

I’ll create a new blog post now of various people in my life so you can see a working-example.

Penny (PennyButler.com)
Penny (PennyButler.com)

Who are we? What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life? Penny is a truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper down the rabbit hole. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, whilst providing a searchable archive to easily lookup and reference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *