I once knew someone who asked me if I was normally attracted to people who were “needy”. I was absolutely shaken by his question of course because it was something which at the time was true and I wasn’t particularly fond of how weak it made me feel. With one question, sometimes our mind can open to so many more possibilities. At first the question hung around the back of my mind, and every time a person would approach me with some new dramatic crisis, his words would replay quietly jabbing at the place within me that needs to always know the truth even when it’s not pretty. The reason it was an “ugly” truth is because being attracted to people who are needy means I am avoiding my own personal inventory by entrenching myself in other people’s issues, which of course don’t hit as close to home for me so I don’t have time to face my own daunting issues. Your friends reflect who you are quite frankly – so if they were needy what did that make me??
I hated the thought of being “needy”- just the mere word played on my ego. It made me feel weak and somehow incapable of handling my life – which to tell you the truth was how I felt inside myself but that someone could see the chink in my armour that I didn’t even identify was a little unsettling.
It’s not as though I set out to change anything consciously, but once you know something..you can;t “unknow” it, and things changes naturally by the simple awareness of the matter. Since that time, not only have the number of needy people (including him) decreased to almost nothing in my life, but I am much more aware of when I am giving to give, or giving to avoid. It has become obvious that before I give of myself, I have to be very honest with my own inside self of what my true motivations are for helping. Understand that there is a clear difference between friends ho need a hand (this is our job as humans) and needy people who stay in pessimistic thinking and blame the world for their ills, never taking responsibility for themselves. Needy people seek their happiness through others and cannot find it within themselves. They are ego-bound individuals selfish and narcissistic in their concerns…and I was one of them.
This doesn’t mean I don’t help friends when I can. But I do it for the right reasons. The right reasons must always have the bigger picture in mind, since every act of giving is inherently selfish (we always get something back…a good feeling, an unspoken debt etc…) Recently we had friends living with us for a while. They were in a pretty tight spot, and we had extra room. Seemed to make sense, but before I said yes I had to really sit down and have a conversation with my soul about it. Was I inviting another life into my life where the problems were so huge and overwhelming that for a period I could avoid myself. I had to look myself sternly in the eye (metaphorically speaking) and ask if I was avoiding something. In this case no…I wasn’t. In fact, my intuition said that having these people around would greatly contribute to my self-awareness so off we went. It was a fantastic time and they have since gotten on their feet. Helping came at no price to me other than an exercise in conscientious self-awareness.
It wasn’t like this just a few years ago. I had a gazillion people in my life, drawn to me like magnets, all emotionally bleeding in some way. Each one of them I see today reflected my need to understand myself. But things change, and I have found that as I changed, so did the people I attracted into my life. I don’t have allot of needy faithless and terrified friends who are trying to solve their spiritual issues materially. I no longer entertain whiners or complainers or people who blame the world for all of their ills…they don’t last too long in my company. If I look at my friends and family today I am surrounded by people who are forward searching, kind, loving and compassionate beyond belief, unassuming and undemanding, supportive and available when friendship needs arise.
Helping people was a way to define myself to the world. “Oh look how NICE she is”. The motivation behind my actions had a great deal to do with the opinion I wanted you to have of me, because if you knew how terrified I was truly inside, then you wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me. I attracted people who would suck the energy out of me. If I was positive they would drag me down with their negative energy. If I was negative, they would commiserate with my misery and we would all complain together. One of the blogs I follow named these people “energy vampires” – and I had a whole crew of them.
I have changed since then. Just being aware of something can change everything about you. Not in a scary immediate way, but over time. Ultimately a positive change helps you to become more comfortable with you…and your divine aspect.
Once you begin to peel away the layers and dig at the truth of yourself, you will find things out about yourself which don’t make you very happy. First things first…loose judgement. Every time you have a negative thought about something you discover about yourself – stop and see it like information you are reading in a book. It’s just information, base don the past. Before you read it…you didn;t know about it. Now that you do, the future is different, so don’t sweat it.
Second thing – don’t try to change yourself al in one shot. Just observe how you use this information in your life. Observe…don’t interfere.
Third – make choices for yourself as if you are completely emotionally and spiritually balanced. If you, for example, find a needy person coming in, and you want to get involved, at least be honest with yourself as to why you’re doing it. Staying with yourself on things…and not getting caught up in your own self-created illusions based on what you want people around you to think of you..is nevert going to lead to happiness or contentedness. Conversely, NOT helping because you are worried about what the neighbours may think, is equally damaging.
We aren;t looking to be happy you know. We are looking for a way for life t make sense, and for us to make sense in the midst of it all. To have a place, a purpose and a feeling that what we do is important and has an impact on the world for the short time we;re in it. We want to be able to handle life on life’s terms. We are looking for something much bigger than happiness. We are looking for JOY.
The way to joy can be a long road. You have to make a decision to get very honest with yourself. Know yourself. Drop judgement. ACCEPT IT ALL. and just keep doing your best – which is what everyone is doing anyways.