Question: You speak of a hierarchy of repressed
emotions as follows: anger, hurt, need, and fear. I gather from what
you say that our needs, other than for survival, are an illusion. Is
awareness of these needs all that is necessary for them to be met and to
move beyond them? Is there some action we must take?
Answer: The only true need is the need for others to be
present with us. All other needs are substitute needs. When we came
into this world as tiny and vulnerable babies, we had a need for our
parents to be truly present with us. But to varying degrees, they were
not, and so we did not feel safe. In order to feel safe, we began our
pursuit of substitute needs.
“Well, if you will not be
present with me, then will you at least love me?”
It soon became
obvious that we would not receive the level of unconditional love that
we needed to feel safe, so we went after the next substitute need.
if you will not love me, then will you at least accept me
That substitute need was not met.
if you will not love and accept me unconditionally, will you at least
approve of me, or acknowledge me, or make me feel special.”
each step we take in pursuit of these substitute needs, we are moving
away from ourselves and becoming lost in others.
Most of us spend
our entire lives in pursuit of these substitute needs, completely
unaware that all we really need is for others to be truly present with
us. One who is fully present is loving, accepting and acknowledging.
When another is truly present with you, you get it all.