Feeling In 1: Knowing my needs, wants and feelings

We’re at heart social animals. We’ve evolved to be part of a family, a group of friends, or a community. Together we can be happier, more productive, and overcome challenges more easily than we can alone.

With the challenges you and I are facing today, challenges that we’ve never before faced, we need to get even better at being fully with other people. This pattern will help you get better at your half of being with others by understanding yourself.

As an example of understanding herself, did you notice how, in Sophie’s story, at one point she said “I’m feeling helpless, because all reasons to hope for a good future are impossible?”

When you feel something, you have a choice. But you only have this choice if you recognise the feeling, name the feeling, and recognise which need is triggering this feeling. Either because your need is being met, or is not being met, by what you’re experiencing.

In Sophie’s example, that need was hope. We all have a need for hope; it’s what keeps us going when the going gets tough! (A friend of mine often said, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping 😉

So what do you do with the feeling? You can stop at the feeling. You are your feeling. The feeling swamps you, it drives you. You are at the mercy of whatever is triggering this feeling in you.

Or you can realise that you have a feeling, but you are not the feeling itself. Instead of being subject to the feeling, at its mercy, you make the feeling a thing, different to who you are, to work with.

What Sophie realised is “I have this thing, called feeling helpless. I have it, because my need for hope for the future is not met in anything I see around me.”

Sophie, by making her feeling a thing that she owns, is able to use it as the voice of her inner protector, telling her “what you’re doing is not enough to satisfy your needs.”

Now she says, “OK, thanks, darling protector, for giving me this present. You’re right, everything that I’m seeing right now, from here, fails to satisfy my need for hope. But, I know what to do about this! I just need to open my eyes once, and then open them again, to see everything that really is. I just need to ask myself again, and again, and again, what else is there now? What else might there be tomorrow? And what else can I do now to make that happen?”

Most importantly she says “Who else is there that I can do something with, learn from, or give to?” Soon she finds someone, or something. This gives her something that does satisfy her need for hope. Because she begins to see other parts to everything that is, or can be, part of her life.

Here’s the pattern:

  1. I have a feeling. (But, this feeling-thing is not me, it is a message from from my intuition.)
  2. I hold this feeling in my hands, and interrogate it until I’ve understood what it is telling me. Especially what it’s telling me about which need(s) are / are not satisfied by what I am looking at in my world.

  3. I use pattern 1 to ask “what else can I see?”

  4. I ask myself “what new feelings might I have, if I take this new thing I can see really really seriously?”

  5. Go back to step 1, and repeat, until I have found something I can see that meets the need(s) I have.

Once you’re really good at this pattern, you’re ready to be a strong individual, a member of  a group of other strong people.