Manifesting Needs vs Wants
I was trained from an early age by Christian parents and Southern culture to be more than satisfied with having my needs met. With having the bare minimum. With having “enough.” And to have more…to have any of my wants met…was pure greed on my part.
Even as an adult, there have been things I’ve desperately wanted–needed–for my own personal and spiritual growth but as the people-pleasing daughter of a borderline personality father, I learned quite well to sacrifice my own happiness for the happiness of others. Not only that, but to see my sacrifice as a virtue. I have often prided myself on wanting much but needing little, and patted myself on the back for my independence, my self-sufficiency.
In 2008, I got called out on that belief by my 23-year-old then-boyfriend. We’d been together for only a few weeks when, while out for an evening walk, he spouted some wisdom that defied his age and lack of both education and worldliness. He laced his fingers through mine and pulled me to a stop in front of Chantilly Lake. Moments before, we’d been talking about the North Carolina mountains and wading through streams. Then I’d grown silent, lost in thought I didn’t care to share.
“You know,” he said, “I wasn’t lying when I said I’m psychic. You’re a very strong woman, independent. You don’t need a man for anything. But you want one. You want someone who’ll be a partner for you in every way.”
I didn’t have to confirm or deny. He must’ve seen the panic in my eyes.
His fingers tightened around mine as he continued. “You don’t need anyone or anything. You can live the rest of your life without a partner or even a best friend because you really don’t need anybody. You already have everything you need inside of you to be happy, and you are. You’re more comfortable being the one who’s needed rather than the one who needs. You deny yourself the things you want because you already have everything you need.”
I pulled my hand out of his and walked away, convinced that he must have been channelling because I’d been so careful to keep my shields up with him and not let him know what was really going on in my head and heart.
When he caught up with me, I said gruffly, “You’re right. I don’t need a man.”
Wanting, I realized that day, is a luxury. At least, that’s how I thought. Needs are the things you must have to exist–air, water, food, shelter. Wants? Those are gravy, excess. I’ve always been pretty good at manifesting my needs. I have the basics of life, and I have them by the sweat of my brow. Nobody gave them to me. I worked hard for every one of them, and I have enough 100-hour-work weeks in my past to stare down anyone who wants to argue with me. My wants, however, have been difficult to impossible to manifest.
When I opened my news feed today and saw that Kelley Harrell’s The Weekly Rune was nauthiz–yet again!–I knew it was time to address my interpretation of need. I first studied runes around 2001, with two different teachers, but what I’ve learned in the past year from two dear friends has eclipsed everything that has gone before. I’ve followed since its inception, and what distinguishes it from other weekly divination blogs is Kelley’s insight and awareness. I don’t know what the stats are, but it seems to me that Kelley draws nauthiz from her bag of runes more than any other.
I’m listening. I am.
The word need has arisen too many times this year for me to keep ignoring its call. Between Kelley’s blog and hearing REM’s “Country Feedback” too many times today, I have to face it. Now.
Several months ago, I came up with a unique way to manifest information I needed. It’s a little trick I use almost daily now, and the funny thing is, the information I need now manifests within 24 hours. I don’t tell the Universe, “This is what I want to know.” I don’t pray, “Please send me this thing I want.” I don’t work magick to bring me the things I want. I don’t demand. I don’t beg. I don’t plead. I don’t ask. I simply state, “Dear Universe, I need to know _______,” and that information turns up quickly, often through obscure sources.
Oh, who am I kidding? Sometimes the way the information comes to me is downright hilarious.
I’ve expanded on this technique in the last few weeks to manifest needs beyond information. “Dear Universe, I need _____.” So far, I’m only dipping my toe in the water, but I’ve been surprised at how quickly non-information needs are manifesting for me.
“Dear Universe, I need $6000 more to pay to replace the HVAC unit in my home” didn’t result in a sack of cash being dropped at my front door, but it did result in a new project being dropped in my lap that, if I follow through, could easily earn me that much by the end of the year.
So how is it that I’m able to manifest needs so quickly using this method when manifesting wants eludes me more often than not? I think it comes down to my interpretation of need versus want. The biggest difference between need and want is whether it’s your point of view or mine.
“Dear Universe,” I said earlier today, “I need to know that my daughters are okay and I need to hear from them.” A few hours later, I was Face-timing with two yawning college girls, tired and happy, somewhere in the Swiss Alps, after several days without an internet connection.
Did I really need to hear from them? Or did I just want to hear from them? From my point of view, I needed to hear from them. Instinctively, I knew that they were okay, but still…a mom wants to hear from her babies. Needs. I didn’t need to hear from them so I could survive the next 24 hours, but I did need to hear from them for my own peace of mind. I could almost hear my dad or my ex or any number of other people in my life telling me I didn’t need to be Face-timing with the girls but I needed to be working instead or I needed to be doing any number of things that someone else interpreted as a need.
“Dear Universe,” I said recently, “I need to know if ____ is planning to cause me trouble at work.” And bam! Less than 24 hours later, a mutual acquaintance called me on an unrelated matter and, without my asking, gave me blow by blow what that person had planned. I certainly wanted to know what this person was plotting, but did I need to know? Surely, I could have handled matters as they presented themselves, but no, I did need to know this information. More than a want. A need. I needed this information because it put me in a better situation. Rather than dealing with fall out of this person’s actions after the fact, I was able to nip trouble in the bud before it started. So to me, it was a need, not a want, but anyone else–even my closest friends–would have chided me for wanting to know something that they didn’t deem worthy of my attention.
Perhaps all these wants that I’ve been equating with luxuries aren’t really luxuries at all but needs that, when answers are manifested, put me in a better position where there’s more peace of mind, more security, higher self-actualization, whatever. I’ve denied myself my wants long enough, not realizing that many of them are needs. I know now what things I need to be my best self and live my fullest, richest life, and I know a few superfluous wants that would be nice to have, too. The difference between those wants and needs are mine–and mine alone–to determine.