I remember when I was around 10 years old, my daddy saying to me “only you can make you happy baby!” I didn’t fully understand what he meant, but I have thought about it many times growing up. When I started doing workshops on codependency and asked participants what their needs were, I was amazed to find out that they could not communicate or define any of their needs. I heard over and over again, “I just want to be happy.” When our needs are met, we are happy, but if we can’t even identify our needs or express them to others, how can they be met? We all have physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Our basic physical needs are food and water, but don’t most of us also want to have physical contact with others, at least with hugs? There is nothing better than a good hug when you’re having a bad day. Have you ever said to someone, “I need a hug?” Try it, it’s great and you are expressing a need. Our basic emotional needs are to love and to be loved. Who does not want to be loved? Learning how to communicate our feelings is extremely important and fear is usually the big reason for not doing so. Fear of rejection is the biggest fear, but if we don’t express our needs, the other person will never know what they are and they will never be met. I believe our spiritual needs are belief, faith and the need for inner peace. I also believe that our spiritual needs may vary from person to person, but I know that love is the center of all spirituality!
You have seen that love is part of all three needs-physical, emotional and spiritual. When we meet each other’s needs with love, our lives are fulfilled. By giving love, we empower others to believe in themselves, which brings happiness to everyone involved.
Toni True-Wills, Ph.D.