Responding to unmet needs

If you’re losing hope or feeling hopeless, the worst you can do is to act like a ram furiously head-butting a closed door by relentlessly thinking about and wishing for your dream to come true. It’ll be more nourishing and helpful, perhaps, to focus your attention on those areas of your life where things are going well, so that you can refuel energetically and access a sense of positivity. This doesn’t mean repressing your unmet need. Rather, you can recognise that a need in one area of your life is not being met but you take responsibility for your psychological wellbeing by bringing your awareness to another area – or areas – that inspire you and, in so doing, you keep your sense of hope alive. For example, if your love life isn’t as you would wish it to be, your unmet need may be for touch, emotional closeness and intimacy. Some part of that need can, perhaps, be met through relations with close friends or pets. The giving and receiving experienced in caring for animals and/or platonic friendships can engender a sense of love and care that although not a replacement for a relationship with an intimate partner can, minimally, help to lessen the feeling of lack, and at best bring a deep sense of fulfilment. John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus coined the term “love vitamins” to refer to a similar idea of getting your emotional nutrients from various sources.

Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”

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