Tag Archives: needs

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Two Gifts Children Need

Children are human just like parents, except that they are younger. A great separation between the parent and the child, however, is that children neither know, nor have they experienced all that the parent has found out or been through. With that reality in mind, there are two great gifts parents can offer children—throughout their lives because they will always be younger, no matter how old they become. Parents can become really good about seeking forgiveness and living in confession. These two gifts are primary blessings for children. They teach and offer children blessings that are needed for their own

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Boundaries Start with Me

Boundaries in relationships are the markers that help differentiate you from someone else, or communicate where you “begin” and “end.” Using an analogy of land ownership with fences and gates, boundaries are the fences around your land. Gates are the passageways that allow others onto your land. You control the gates on your land. If anyone comes onto your land in any fashion except through the gates, without your permission, they are trespassing. Boundaries in relationships are the markers that help communicate where you “begin” and “end.”     You are responsible for your own fences that mark your land, and you are

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The Wheel of Functioning

A primary responsibility of a healthy family system is to help develop children into capable human beings. Two hallmark expressions of the emotionally and spiritually capable human being are the ability to work and to love, i.e., to be able to live fully in relationship with others and God. To work and love successfully requires the development of resilience and empathy, and the capacity to receive and give.    Though somewhat oversimplified, healthy development occurs when the child reaches out towards the parent(s) for relational connection with their primary needs of belonging and mattering, and the parent reaches back with affirmation

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What is Maturity?

As an external description, maturity is the evidence of reaching full natural growth or development. As an internal description, maturity is the emotional and relational capability of living fully and loving deeply while experiencing life on life’s terms. By being able to need well and truthfully, we grow up from the roots of getting our needs met first, into producing fruit as a natural outcome of having our needs met. We see who we are created to be, so we can do what we are created to do.     Concerning maturity as an internal experience and process, a person can reach

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Works in Progress

The best we will ever become is Works in Progress (WIPs). No matter what we do, we will always be like giraffes running on ice — clumsy. Our dreams really will always exceed our grasp, no matter how perfect our plans. I believe that God likes that we dream. We carry eternity in our hearts according to Ecclesiastes. God loves for us to rise up against gravity, so to speak, even though we are coming back down.  Even so, perfection—the idea that I can defeat gravity—seems so much better than the inevitable WIP status. The best we will ever become

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Mattering

The need to belong is met by having a place where you can be yourself, in all the struggles that entails. A place where you can be accepted as you share and deal with feelings, needs, desire, longings, and hope. You belong when you know that you can be celebrated in joyful times and grieved over in times of loss. Belonging affirms your worth as a person. The need to matter is met through being appreciated for your own individual giftedness—what is born into us, and is developed. The gifts are an active expression of what you naturally are drawn

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Belonging

A famous rock star said that she never felt more alone than after a performance in front of thousands of admirers. After the performance ended, she had no one to turn to who met her need to belong. Heroin became her closest companion and the counterfeit experience of belonging. Her companion eventually killed her. Belonging is the need to be accepted for who we are as emotional and spiritual creatures. The need to belong is one of our two most powerful needs. The other is our need to matter. Belonging is the need to be accepted for who we are

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Created to Need

What is a need? To put it as starkly as possible, needs are deficits that require biological, emotional and spiritual gratification for fulfillment. Deficit fulfillment keeps us fully alive. Needs have to be gratified to be alive. The specific needs we have are the tools we have been given that open us to healing, recovery, replenishment, and the capacity to give. Beyond food, water, shelter, and clothing, our needs are predominantly emotionally and spiritually oriented and fulfilled. In fact, the emotional and spiritual primary needs of belonging and mattering are practically equal to the need for food and water. A

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Listening to Your Lonely

When asked what makes loneliness hard to admit, people of all ages often say that they believe loneliness means they are messed up, defective, a loser, friendless, or unlovable. This condemning voice that calls us names is what Dr. Chip Dodd calls the voice of toxic shame in his book, The Voice of the Heart. Rather than lead us to acknowledge our neediness, toxic shame entangles our hearts, tightly binding them up, leaving us unable to experience full life because we can’t experience our natural place. We believe we should hide who we are, and we center our lives on doing it. (pg. 117-118)

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Wrestling with Hope

Written by Stephen James, MMFT, LPC-MHSP and Tennyson Dodd, MTS  Sage Hill Counseling has a latin phrase as its motto; Dum Spiro Spero. Translated it means, “While there is breath, there is hope.” When people first encounter this they often comment about how positive it makes them feel. Many imagine hope to be a profound feeling that things will work out for the best. When we really consider this phrase in connection to our everyday life, however, we run into something much deeper. For many of us, Hope is the biggest problem in our lives, not pain. The future is where the

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