Have you ever experienced feeling guilty for having needs, wants, or desires? I have. In our society we are often taught to give until it hurts and then to give some more. I played that out for years, as did my mother and father before me, and it was painful for everyone involved.
Feeling guilty over having needs, wants, and desires is painful. Think about it. You have a body and that automatically means you have needs; you NEED food, water and shelter for survival. Once your basic needs are met, you open your desire for connection and love. I remember reading reports of babies in orphanages dying— they were fed and kept clean, but they did not receive human nurturing and interaction. This need for connection and love is not unique to babies. We all need nurturing.
In our society, we are quick to make ourselves and each other wrong for having needs, wants and desires. When in the corporate world, I watched myself and others wear denial of self and working obscene hours as a badge of honor. Our work environment promoted loss of self and workaholics. It was painful.
The Dalai Lama says it so well:
Denial of self is painful. After my 9 day old daughter Amy died I was a mess. I was diagnosed with situational depression. My doctor wanted me to do kind and loving things for myself once a day. I was so disconnected that I didn’t even know what I liked, let alone what I wanted. His invitation was exactly what I needed, and I am here to tell you it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Why? My default was to deny that I even had wants or needs; and I pretended I didn’t have them until I collapsed. The only way out for me was awareness. In awareness of myself I slowly learned to make a new choice.
I learned to accept that I had needs and wants, and allowed myself to ask for what I wanted or needed. It was irritating to me that this wasn’t a one time thing. Here, I want a mango and then I am done asking for what I want for life. I was bummed that this practice was essential to living authentically. How could I live authentically if I didn’t even have a connection with myself to know what I wanted or I needed? I couldn’t. Shit.
When something in your life doesn’t make sense, and you become aware it doesn’t make sense, shouldn’t you drop it? Yes, dropping guilt and shame for having wants, needs and desires is and was a good idea.
Please know shifting consciousness with your core patterns often requires being supported. I found out the hard way that ego is masterful at justifying choices that keep us in pain and limitation.