Do You Need It or Want It?
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I have many weaknesses for good food, but one of the biggest ones is for ice cream.
"I scream! You scream! We all scream for ICE CREAM!"
I LOVE ice cream. I believe that I could live on ice cream for days. Breakfast. Lunch. And Dinner.
But I must confess that until about ten years ago, I had a really bad problem with ice cream. I believed in my heart of hearts that I NEEDED ice cream. If you had asked me on any given day, but especially on those stressful days, "What do you need?" Hands-down without hesitation I would have said, "I NEED ice cream!"
This was until I was confronted one day by the concept that we actually NEED very little.
Oxygen, water, caloric intake to sustain bodily functions, and protection from the elements of nature. These are definite physical needs. Without any one of these, you will not survive very long.
That is just about it. Of course, some will argue that there are emotional and psychological needs that must be met to become an healthy individual. But the truth of the matter is that you can physically survive without love, security, and safety. In fact, many of the hurting people in the world are scarred from missing these things. Yet, they are alive. Still breathing. Still living.
What does this have to do with my "need" for ice cream?
After coming to the realization that we need very little, I began observing my own language patterns around "I want..." and "I need..." I found something surprising. I was using the word "need" as a perfect substitute for "want."
"I need some ice cream."
No, not really. This minor language slip-up may seem like no big deal on first glance. But let me propose to you that this is a BIG problem.
Confusing our wants with our needs and subsequently stating wants as needs is a really BIG problem. Why?
I propose to you that consistently repeating "I need..." creates in our minds a concept that we are lacking in something essential. And that, beloveds, will drive a craving for what you believe that you need. It places you in a position of neediness.
Is it any wonder we feel unfulfilled?
After repeating "I need..." so many times, we begin thinking and believing that we actually NEED whatever it is. And having a need is a big deal.
1. require (something) because it is essential or very important.
When we keep repeating to ourselves that we "need" so many things, it subconsciously creates a feeling of emptiness. We start believing that we are missing something essential.
When the truth of the matter is we don't NEED it. We WANT it.
have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for
Notice that "wanting" puts us in a state of action or desire to possess. Now we are getting somewhere.
Do you see the difference?
When I desire to possess or do something, when I wish for it, I have put myself into a state of action. My mindset shifts from feeling like I must have it, to believing I can do without it if I curb my desire or wishes. I am in the driver's seat.
Water, not so much. If I deny myself water, eventually I will suffer and put myself at risk of death. I NEED water.
I WANT ice cream.
Making this adjustment helped me curb my one-bowl a night addiction. I don't need it. I want it. And if I so wish, I can pass it up.
What are you telling yourself you "need"? Do you really need it?
Sorting out my wants from my needs has given me so much freedom. Some people say it is "discipline." I say it is giving myself the power of choice. And learning how to exercise it.
Have you sorted out your needs from your wants?
I encourage you to try it. What are you telling yourself you need? How does that make you feel?
Reprogram what you are telling yourself. "I don't NEED this. I WANT it."
And settle into the peace that you have all you NEED.
I am cheering for you.