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Needs not wants.

By Alan Davey

Well, it’s fair to say last year proved to be an “annus horribilis,” (Latin for ‘horrible year’).

In last February’s ‘Just a Thought’ article I talked about how the number 2020 had a good ring to it. None of us could have imagined what that sound would be hailing in as the year unfolded.

As we’ve become acutely aware, the Corona virus is very contagious, infecting in large numbers those it encounters. Without minimising the consequences of this, I would point out that we, through our words, actions, and attitudes, have always had the potential to significantly infect, for good or harm, those close to us. 

Over the last 12 months we’ve learned that our physical interactions have the potential to bring health or disease to folk we come in contact with.

As with the body, so with the soul. The way we interact relationally also has the potential to bring health or diss-ease to those close to us. I would add here that as relationships really are the substance of life, we need to be vigilant with monitoring the hygiene of these interactions.

One of the unwritten laws with relationships is, ‘we move towards those who value us and away from those who don’t.’ So, if you find you’re becoming disconnected from a loved one then this may be why.

We have little influence over a global pandemic, but when it comes to meeting our loved one’s relational needs, that’s a very different story. Think what 2021 could be like if we willingly sought to work on meeting each other’s legitimate needs. Needs like knowing you are wanted, valued, significant, and appreciated. 

It’s important to also understand that in regards to what you are needing from your loved one, you become their teacher and they, in that respect, become your student. It’s not helpful to just expect your loved one to know what you are needing from them and then get upset or shut down when they don’t deliver. It’s more helpful to be able to share clearly and respectfully what it is you need. You must also be willing for them to share what their needs are as well.

By the way, because needs like ‘being valued and appreciated, and feeling safe and significant’, are deep and genuine, if we don’t find them being met by those who should be meeting them, we will consciously or subconsciously seek out other ways to meet them.

If this is you, then perhaps it’s time to have the courageous conversations required to begin the journey back to each other. I encourage you to do what you can to build secure vibrant connections with your loved ones because, as I said earlier, when all is said and done healthy relationships are what living a significant fulfilling life is really all about. 

I think it’s reasonable to suggest that if we were living in secure loving relationships with those close to us, we could face just about anything this year might throw our way.

Alan Davey

Alan Davey

A former pastor, Alan has been counselling in the Waikato for over a decade. He enjoys seeing people find a permanent freedom from issues that may have been plaguing them for years. Alan is available for one-on-one counselling sessions, in person or via phone or Zoom etc.

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