The Lost Sheep and the Shepherd

“Loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence. The lost sheep is lonely; the shepherd is not lonely.” ~ William Deresiewicz

white sheep on farm

Photo by kailash kumar on Pexels.com

When we feel lonely, we grieve the absence of company, yet overlook our own. Perhaps we haven’t learned to like or appreciate our own company…
Many of us have relied on others to meet our needs, validate and stimulate us. The desire for the external however, prevents us from seeing and learning to appreciate what is already here within us.

Being content with our own company is a lesson that many of us only learn as we get older. As we learn more about ourselves,  we let go of conditioning and become more authentic and express ourselves in our own way. We like ourselves for who we are and how far we have come.

If we don’t like ourselves, or are afraid of what we might discover when we are alone with our thoughts, then we won’t want to spend time alone. When we do find ourselves alone, we create distraction with the TV or media, reach out for others or numb ourselves with substances.

Take a few moments to reflect on this and how it sits with you.

The second half of the quote shines a different light on loneliness. The lost sheep is missing others, while the shepherd is not lonely. The sheep is a follower of others and is dependent on their company. The shepherd is taking care of his sheep and this is his purpose. There is meaning in his life.

Take a few moments to reflect on what meaning and sense of purpose there is in your life.

Journalling is a great way to uncover our inner thoughts and desires.  Why not make this a time for reflection and self exploration.

Namaste

 

* I’m Not Needy – I Just Have Needs

Every human being has needs. It is part of the human condition. We were born with them and will go through most of our lives trying to get them met.

Over the years as a life coach, I have taken several courses in Non Violent Communication. In NVC, needs are acknowledged and embraced. There is a vulnerable beauty behind our needs. The essence of who we are as human beings.

When our needs are met we can fully access our humanity. Bringing compassion and kindness to ourselves and others.

There is a beauty of being human and honoring our core needs of  well being, expressing ourselves and connection with others.

Needs get a bad wrap…. and they shouldn’t.

We often aren’t aware of our own needs, and it can be a powerful self-discovery to identify the ones that are most important to each of us. The needs below are grouped into categories of three core needs. Take a moment and identify what needs resonate with you personally.

WELL BEING
Health and Sustenanceman deep relaxed breathing
Thriving
Vitality
Safety and Security
Stability
Rest
Peace
Acceptance
Gratitude
Balance
Celebration of life

SELF EXPRESSION
Autonomy/Freedomjoyful girlChoice
Authenticity
Inspiration
Passion
Meaning
Contribution
Learning
Growth
Skill/Mastery
Self actualization

CONNECTION
Love/caringLoving Connection
Compassion
Empathy/Understanding
Communication
Respect
Acceptance
Recognition
Community
Belonging
Relationship
Trust

Here is an exercise to explore your needs more. Take a moment and ask yourself:

What am I grateful for?

Then …

What needs are being met when I feel grateful?

Now think of a time when you were upset, possibly at work.

Then …

What needs were not being met?

In all likelihood it would be about recognition, respect and a sense of belonging.

Needs drive us and are essential for our well being. When our needs are being met it opens the door to be in connection with ourselves and with others.

We come to see there is no need to judge ourselves or others any more.

We are more able to center ourselves in our Middle Ground and handle the the highs and lows of life.

Its allows us to be our authentic loving selves, instead of being guarded and defensive.

We become free to evolve into all we can be.

 

* Water Those Roots

Here we go … with more gardening metaphors for life. Lets face it,  you can’t keep a grateful gardener down 🙂

water those rootsAs I watered my pots yesterday I realized that we take the blooms for granted and sometimes forget that its important to pay attention and water those roots. Plants need their roots watered so they can be their best. The strongest trees and the best flowers come from the strongest roots.

Just like our plants, we have needs that have to to be taken care of first if we are to grow strong and be our best selves.
Once our basic survival needs* are met, we have higher needs that are important for us to grow into being our best. These needs can take the shape of feeling loved in our closest relationships. Being counted on by our dearest ones. Being respected by colleagues. Being recognized at work. Being encouraged by friends. Belonging to a great community.  Being free to make our own choices. Making time for rest and relaxation. Being able to express our thoughts and share our talents.

We rarely stop and look at our needs. There is a bit of a stigma there. After all … we don’t want to be seen as needy … right?

We may also judge others who are needy. Which often reflects on how out of touch we are with our own needs….

It can be a touchy subject, as acknowledging our needs makes us feel vulnerable.

Human needsBut needs are at our very roots. From the basic needs to survive with food and water, to feeling loved, to expressing our authentic voice in the world. We all have needs. They are part of being human.
We need these roots watered in order to grow and bloom fully. When those roots aren’t being watered, we become driven by the needs that aren’t being met. Just like plants, we can become weak and over extended…. or invasive into others’ space to take what we need from them.

Needs are part of a human condition. When we get them met, we can embrace our humanity and be fully authentic in the world. We can relax and get on with living fully 🙂

So take a moment here and consider how you can water those roots of yours.

I’ll be exploring more about our needs and getting them met in future posts.

 

* Survival needs include air, water, food, shelter, sleep and security.