Connect to your Feelings and Needs
I pointed to the card on the table and asked him to see it. We shared a few moments of silence; he settled down and stared intently at the feelings mentioned on the card. He then sighed to indicate it won’t work but I stuck to my task and waited patiently.
He acquiesced after some time. Initially, he pointed to more than ten feelings. After he finished, I said let’s take one at a time, and he picked up ‘Loneliness.’ I explained to him that our feelings are a result of some needs that are either met or unmet. I then turned the card and pointed to the needs words and asked him which of his needs were unfulfilled. The words seemed to make a lot of sense to him now; again he pointed to many needs, and it appeared we’d again get lost in the forest of his mind. I reminded him he feels lonely, and he concurred.
“You feel lonely because you need what?” I probed him.
After some time with his eyes still on the card, he said, “Respect – to be heard is my biggest need now.”
I nodded, and he fell silent.
Slowly he eased; the relief look on his face spoke a thousand words. He had just experienced Awareness. To remain lonely is different from ‘knowing’ I am lonely or ‘I need respect.’ Some people act irritable because they are not respected but unfortunately, they don’t know what’s bugging them so much. And if you know you need respect, there is a better chance you’d meet that need, and consequently feel less irritated or lonely.
Awareness, therefore, helps us take proper action.
I then confessed to Sanjay that if he wrote down an action plan that would help him meet his needs, he’d move forward happily in his life’s journey.
He thanked me as he left, and strangely I felt thrilled. I looked at the card and realized I was ecstatic because I just fulfilled my need to make a difference and contribute. But then I had another pressing need- rest and peace, and Sanjay’s positive response ensured my happy rest that evening.