The reason most people are afraid to say, “I love you,” is because to them it means, “I need you.”
And in that case, they absolutely should be afraid of saying it.
“Need” is a negative, creeping black hole that puts an insidious and intolerable pressure on those around it to be satisfied. However, need is arbitrary and, as such, can NEVER be satisfied.
When you believe that you “need” something, that means that you are lacking, inadequate, imperfect, not whole. It means that something outside of yourself is supposed to make you whole and perfect.
The tragedy is that we so often allow ourselves to believe that we need things. But when we allow ourselves to believe this, we miss out on knowing the truth, which is that we already have everything we need. EVERYTHING.
I repeat. YOU. HAVE. EVERYTHING. YOU. NEED.
It is often said that humans have basic needs like clothes, shelter, food and water. However, this may be the most insidious of all the false beliefs surrounding the idea of “need” because by having a belief that ANY need is reasonable, all need becomes reasonable.
Now, you might respond here, “Obviously you need basic human needs or you will die! That’s why they call them ‘BASIC HUMAN NEEDS!!'”
Not so fast, my friend. Check your premises.
One of the false premises here is that dying is out of the question, when ultimately, we will all die a physical death. You are going to die. That’s not a question.
The question is: Will you consciously choose to live your best life while you are alive?
Of course, if you choose to neglect food, water and shelter, you probably won’t live for long. But recognizing that you have a choice either to believe you NEED these things or to believe you WANT these things is the difference between empowerment and victim-hood. Desire (WANT) originates from a context of power, need originates from the context of victim-hood. You get to choose the belief.
Are you starting to see why this is so powerful?
Let’s come back to the subject of love and need.
“I need love.”
—Yikes!! I cringe a little whenever I hear these words.
To “need” love would mean that you are missing love. A big part of the problem here is a misunderstanding of what love really is.
First, a few definitions of what love IS and is NOT:
-Love is an emotion (a feeling)
-Love is different from attraction, compassion, fondness, care or obsession, even though sometimes they can happen together.
-Love is not NEED
-Love cannot be given or taken, only offered
-Love comes from within oneself, and can only be received and shared to the extent one loves himself/herself (As Ayn Rand says, “In order to say ‘I love you’ you must first say ‘I'”)
-Engaging in the experience of love is a personal choice, you can opt in or out
The fact that Love does not originate from outside oneself can be confusing because of the phenomenon wherein the feeling of love is exponentially increased by the sharing of it. So even though it may seem as though love originates from outside oneself, it is simply not true. It is inside you and I and everything that exists, but can only be felt when we purposely connect to it and offer it first to ourselves and then, and only then, outwards.
Choosing your beliefs about Need boils down to the question of whether or not you want to be a victim or a leader.
Even if you are leading no one but yourself, you can still choose to forsake the drama of a victim mentality and begin to sort out what you can and cannot control.
Since the words we use influence how we think and therefore what we believe, make a commitment to take the word “NEED” out of your vocabulary when referring to the truth about yourself or others.
Don’t say “I need to eat,” say “I want to eat.” It’s a matter of speaking the truth and reinforcing the beliefs that you want to have. Don’t say “I need more money,” say, “I want more money.” This choice of words expresses the underlying beliefs, as words always do.
Remember that you have a choice.
In this moment, as in every moment, you will always have absolutely everything you need. Anything else is a desire, and you are entitled to pursue it. Getting it is a bonus.