Day 48 - A Pileup of Needs
August 1 is 45 days away--the end of 93 days.
I started this project May 1. Now it’s June 16th. Yesterday was Janie (Mitchell) Quinn’s birthday. I have known her since I was 10 months old. I saw that her husband posted a picture of the two of them at a concert at Fenway last night to celebrate the big day. He wrote they were celebrating her 39thbirthday, again. So, my dear friend whom I have known since before I was 1 year old is now 14 years younger than I am. I had to do the last one on my fingers and I also had to figure out how old I am.
I am running numbers to try to stabilize myself.
How do you let the energy of your life take you where you are meant to go when all you want to do is thrash around and pretend you are in charge? Everyone knows all I have to do is read The Secretand envision the car and home I want and then I’ll turn around and voila. Dreams realized.
The problem is that I don’t really want a fancy car or home. I mean, I don’t notwant those things, but I’ve had them and then I didn’t and my life was not all that different. There was just less time spent on maintenance. I want something, I just don’t know exactly what it is. Or maybe I don’t want anything and that’s the problem.
Curiousity gets you out of bed in the morning. If you don’t have a curiosity to see the day, coffee also gets you out of bed in the morning, but I cut that out because I want to see what my life is like stripped of artificial stimulants. I want to see the Anne of Anne, hear her.
It’s easy to write what you hear other people say, to write what you think other people want to hear, to write what you have read before, to write what you think may earn you love. That’s writing, but there is a hollowness to it, no guts, no blood.
I talked to someone the other day who teaches people to fall in love with their needs. I thought that was an interesting concept. I thought needs in general were like pimples. You try to cover them up, pretend they aren’t there, do whatever you can to get rid of them. In coaching people to write, I have noticed their real self is right there in front of me, and then this thing happens in the space between their heart and their hand and the energy gets bent.
What if we are little tubes of light? What if everything about brain and bones and toenails is all story and when it comes down to it we are tubes of energy, and our lifetime job is to allow the energy its full run? What if all we are meant to do is exist fully? Like a dandelion? Or a firefly? About ten tears ago, Mihaly Csikszentmaihalyi wrote a popular book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.To grow, to open to the sun, to eat, all of this is mindful challenge. I’m not calling for a world of well-illuminated slugs, I’m saying that maybe so much of what we focus on is not the point.
I think I’ll never be good enough to merit my existence on this planet. It’s a problem I struggle with probably on a daily level. It’s like I’m trying to scale a mountain of See I’m Worth It, only the mountain grows with every step I take. It’s exhausting but there doesn’t seem to be worthy options. Quit? Walk back down to the bottom? But then I’ll never be able to say I scaled to the glory of the top.
But the top of what?
The other day someone asked me what I was trying to do with this 93-day project, and I said I was trying to be perfect. It’s funny what you find out about yourself when you let yourself shoot off at the mouth.
If I am perfect, if I finally get all the pieces in the right place, I will no longer be the baby who was not good enough for her mother to keep. The world will erase the etch-a-sketch of me, and I will be able to rest in my soul. I will be home. I won’t be in transit between two worlds. I will be one, illuminated.
What needs do I have? I have the need for food and shelter. The need to clothe myself. The need for companionship. For love. For satisfying and challenging work. For praise. I have the need to feel I helped others. I have the need to feel surprised, educated, respected, heard.
Boy, these needs sure are piling up. I’m starting to feel like the hog on the cruise ship who piles her plate at the buffet, but still there are more. I have the need to feel healthy. I know I am forgetting so many. It’s easy to think of the things I’m supposed to say—what does the world, the people I know in it, want me to need? They want me to need them. To need to be there for them, to help them, to listen to them.
Like bringing a dog back to heel, what do I need?
I need to feel safe. I need to feel at home in my body.
I have the feeling this could go on for pages. What if I wrote down every need I have that I could think of, and what if I promptly went and fell in love with the list in its entirety? I wonder what that would feel like.
I need to try it. What if we all printed up t-shirts with our needs on them and then people could see straight out how they could best be in service to us, and we could easily see who we could best be in service to them.
That could be so fun. I think I would put I need to be hugged. That could get weird, but it might be really fun.
I’ll think about it.
See you tomorrow.