Need. How does that word strike you?
Do you recoil from it?
Lean into it?
Maybe it brings you relief, an exhale… Maybe it brings a tightening, tension in your body.
On Sunday I was overwhelmed with a sense of my need. Need for help, need to be known, need for support, need for comfort and validation. As I sat with those around me at church, singing words that speak of need and of a God that meets them, I realized there is beauty in my need. A beauty that has led to pain and woundedness when those needs have not been met. What a tension to hold.
Admittedly, my needs are not often in the forefront of my mind or experience. I’ve developed a style of living and relating to others that tends to distance me from an awareness of my needs. Self sufficiency has felt safer. I’ve felt a sense of control, albeit false, in not acknowledging my needs. There’s less room for disappointment and hurt if my needs are not “put out there.”
But on Sunday, I was reminded that needs are good. They are natural. They draw us closer to others. To God, friends, even to self. My resistance to acknowledge need has more often led me to toe the line of burnout and loneliness, than it has improved or enhanced my life.
And as I enter this week, I’m wondering… what it would be like to live with more honesty and openness, with a willingness to accept my humanity. What if this became a lifestyle, and not something I only came into contact with in seasons of transition and change, where needs seems to rise more easily to the surface. What if I acknowledged that in my own strength, I don’t really have what it takes to meet my needs, to support myself as I long to be. Isn’t this what our needs show us? That, in ourselves, we don’t have all we need. We were designed to be in relationship, to lean on others, to be connected to people that care for us. We were not meant to be self-sufficient loners, separate and distanced.
It reminded me of the the first two principles in addiction, or really any kind of recovery:
It takes vulnerability to voice this. It takes courage and strength to say “I need help.” To admit that we don’t have it all together. That under our shiny facade lies a lonely, weary soul in need of help. If you’ve been turned away in your time of need, told, explicitly or implicitly that needs, emotional or physical, are “bad” or “not welcome,” this may be even more difficult to acknowledge. But in this acknowledgment, there is an invitation to rest. An opportunity for connectedness; no longer running, hiding or striving, your energy is free to be spent on what you actually care about, what you value and where you have been called and sent.
Wherever you find yourself today, aware of your need or distanced from it, you can be met there. There is an invitation to return and rest. To acknowledge and accept; to lean into the everlasting arms that rise up to meet you in your place of need.
At Pinnacle we seek to be a place that invites acknowledgment and acceptance of need. Where you can begin to name and replace damaging patterns and be met with a warm welcome to honesty and hope.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.
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