The Insanity of “Need” and Why To Eradicate It Completely

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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.

Love,

Aaron

Surfing On An Emotional Wave

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Until you understand your emotions, you’re really missing out. You’ll never be as mature as you could be, you won’t enjoy life as much as you could.

Here are a few basic concepts to help you understand emotions, and a couple easy-to-implement techniques to “deal with” your emotions.

First of all, this is a GARGANTUAN topic, and this article is not even going to scratch the surface. However, if you read through it, I think you’ll get some awesome value and a new perspective that may lead to profound growth for you.

So, emotions come in WAVES. They come and they go. They are similar to waves in many ways because they are undulating and often they silently creep up on you and then crash down suddenly before dissipating, often leaving not even a single trace.

Most of us may be ok with little waves of emotions, but what about the bigger things that really can tear at us, like a break-up or stress from moving, or a job change, or a death of a loved one.

The bigger the wave, the more skill it takes to maneuver it without it killing you.

Think of your consciousness (your awareness) like a surfer. And let’s say the goal is to surf  (feel) these waves (emotions) in a way that allows you to enjoy your activity (life). Ideally, you see the wave coming, you prepare for it, you start paddling and enjoy the ride to the beach.

Now, what would happen if you were to RESIST the oncoming wave? Well, you could possibly be skilled enough to paddle towards it and escape before it crashes all over you. That’s not really resisting though, is it? That’s taking action and going TOWARDS the emotion.

What if you were to IGNORE the wave and hope that it would go away? Well, we all know that’s not going to work. Emotions are like that, too. They don’t just go away. They’re just as real as the waves, and we have to deal with them in one way or another.

One option is actually to be crashed into pieces by the wave. I’ve encountered a few situations in my life where I personally have thought an emotion would kill me, and I’ve held people in my arms who have thought they were going to die from the feelings they had. In some cases, these people have expressed clearly, “I want to die,” as they were feeling these emotions mercilessly rip through their bodies.

In 100% of the cases I’ve seen so far, when an emotion has been so strong as to crash that person down and make them feel as if they are being destroyed, they have come out later as stronger people with more gratitude and more value to offer to the people around them.

Still, those stories don’t always help when we’re in the middle of the emotion. In that moment, all we feel is what we feel and nothing else really matters.

As we mature (aka gain perspective and wisdom in life), we can become aware that these waves are such a gift. Sometimes the waves seem so big and scary that we just want to ignore them, hoping that they will go away. We are so afraid of the death and hurt that may occur to us if we were to allow ourselves to feel those emotions. Little do we know that once we free ourselves and give ourselves permission to start taking the waves as they come, we will be riding them like a surfer on a dangerous wave–full of gratitude, excitement, respect and awe for the beauty of what is happening in the moment.

Using your breath in these moments can be one of the most powerful tools for tapping into these waves and allowing them to do their work. If you accept the wave of emotion as everything that is and ever will be in that moment, you will be able to ride it out, and you may be surprised to find that the emotion fades and is replaced with peace.

As we learn to accept the waves for what they are, POWERFUL FORCES that actually exist no matter how much we want to pretend they don’t exist sometimes, we can become increasingly skilled at riding these waves. Life becomes a meditation. Breath becomes deeper. Love and gratitude expand.

It doesn’t mean that it will always feel pleasant. But it does mean that we allow for these waves to do their work and to make us into better, stronger, more loving surfers.

And who doesn’t love to watch an expert surfer embracing an awesome wave?

I know I do.

Love,

Aaron

The Truth About Why People Pretend To Be Socially Awkward

Why do people so often act  socially inhibited and stilted at the beginning of the night in the club?

It’s because they’re afraid of two things: success and failure.

If they allow themselves to feel all of the excitement and/or nervousness that they feel in the moment, they may be ridiculed.

On the other hand, if they allow themselves to feel their own excitement and/or nervousness, they may discover a massive energy that propels them into an ecstatic state. Then what will they do with all this attention? If they attract attention to themselves, they have a bigger risk of looking weird or looking cool.

Looking weird is scary because no one wants to NOT be accepted for who they are. Also, they don’t want to have to put in the energy to change, if they aren’t who they thought they were. They don’t want to let themselves down for not being as cool as their ego wants to think that they are.

Looking cool is scary because then after gaining attention they might lose it all and fail even harder by screwing it up somehow.

Did you know that your brain is thinking all of this and way more every time you go into an unfamiliar social gathering?

It all comes down to responsibility and fear of discovering that we are imperfect.

Most people do not want more responsibility. They are unwilling to take leadership, accepting and owning the consequences of their actions. Small, socially acceptable actions are “safe” because then they can take small responsibility. They don’t have to face possible ridicule or more attention than they’re used to having.

What happens if you start to do what you want though? To really be excited and talk as much as you want and allow your life energy to permeate your being and influence those around you?

Well, first of all, in order to do this, you must be open. You must be honest about the way that you are feeling in general. Whatever your emotions are, you’ve got to stop resisting them and whether or not you like them, you must accept them. Otherwise, people will see right through you.

Most people aren’t skilled enough to lie about their emotions for more than a few seconds. It takes too damn much energy.

What do I mean by this? What does it mean to “lie” about your emotions?

It means that you know you feel a certain way, but you are unwilling to accept that feeling. You do not acknowledge that feeling. You resist it.

However, as the Taoists say, “What you resist, persists.”

Proportionately to how much you are resisting an emotion, you will attract that energy. People hate to be lied to, and people can see right through your bullshit. YOU are the only one who is choosing to accept your own lies.

Other people will rarely accept you when you are lying to them, and only the people who are attempting to believe the same lies as you will be your truest friends. But these relationships are unstable since they are based on lies. Relationships founded on shared TRUTHS will last much longer.

In some rare cases, someone may feel sorry for you and try to help you because they see the truth about you even when you don’t. They believe that you are a good person who is confused. That kind of person is rare and is taking a huge risk to be your friend since most people will push others away when their beliefs are fucked with. It is possible that your belief in your own lies may be so strong that you may end up pushing away the person who is trying to help you.

People of about the same self-esteem level will feel the most comfortable with each other. How honest you are in every area of your life is often a good reflection of your self-esteem.

So what do you do with all this information? Can it even possibly apply to you?

Probably.

Even the most “honest” among us can stand to be more honest about our deepest beliefs, our habits, our loves and hates. Have we ever even taken an explicit look at what those are?

I hope so.

The truth really will set you free.

But first you have to realize that you’re trapped. You have to be humble enough to examine your beliefs and courageous enough to feel your emotions.

When you know who you are, you accept who you are, you take responsibility for who you are, you are assertive about who you are and what you stand for, what you purpose is, and you live with integrity, this is when you are free.

It takes courage to live free.

And all of it takes practice.

So practice!

And enjoy the process. You’re going to be doing this for the rest of your life.