Thus far, in exploring the “six core human necessities”, we have examined the needs for certainty, uncertainty, significance, growth, and contribution.
These core human needs, as mentioned prior, are borrowed from Tony Robbins, but all tie into Pathwalking rather well. So far, we have taken a look at those that are almost entirely from within. Now, I want to examine the one that must ALSO be about the world outside of us. I am talking about, of course, love and connection.
Let’s begin with a VERY important fact – love must begin from WITHIN. It is almost impossible to love others if you do not love yourself.
No matter whom you study, no matter what religion/philosophy/ideal you subscribe to – all of them tell you that it is essential you love yourself. And not in a selfish, egotistical manner – but in a healthy, self-aware manner.
It took me a long time to learn to love myself. I, like many other people, was a champion of punishing myself for my mistakes, holding on to my errors, and believing myself to be unworthy of love. I have, after long years of research, study, and growth, come to love myself, despite perceived imperfections.
Certainly I still find flaws along the way. There are things about myself I am less fond of than others – but I am always at work to fix these, and improve them. Part of why I have been bringing you along on my Pathwalk is in order to do just that.
Love is the most powerful emotion you can pass outward. It is a completely positive, completely good emotion. Yes, it can take an incredible number of different forms, but no matter which you ascribe to, it is a good thing.
I am sure some people will argue that love is NOT always a good thing. The problem is a lot of people mistake other things for love. Obsession, lust, infatuation for example. These are not love – love in its many forms is not possessive, it is expansive.
Once we learn to love ourselves, it becomes easier to give love to others. Once again, this takes on a multitude of forms – platonic, romantic, and I would argue for what I will call universal.
Universal love is when you give love freely to anyone and everyone you meet. This does not mean free hugs, kisses and sex acts to anyone you meet – this is holding a door open, offering change to the person in front of you in line at Starbucks, giving a granola bar to a homeless person on the street. Yes, random acts of kindness fall into what I am calling here universal love. This serves as an example of how love should be shared outside of the self.
Connection, the other half of this core human need, also begins within. I have regularly said that the head and the heart speak utterly different languages – and more often than not conflict with one another. Bridging the connection between the head (analysis and logic) and the heart (emotion and spontaneity) is how we chart our course, find and walk our path. It is making this connection that is the difference between indecisively taking life as it happens and choosing life how you want it.
Once we are able to make the connection within, like love, we can make connections without. We connect with people every day, in so many different ways. Family, friends, lovers, random people we encounter on the street. How we connect with each is a different matter, but making connection is necessary.
When you pass a random person on the street, how does it make you feel when they look at you with disdain? Or if they go seemingly out-of-their-way to ignore your presence? Because we NEED connection, it will have an effect on us. As such, it matters how WE are towards the random people we encounter. Do you smile at a stranger? Nod and/or wave as you pass them by? Do you avoid unfamiliar people?
And while having love of the self, and connection for the self are important – both of these NEED to also be without. We need to give love to others, and we need to connect with others. Keeping these to ourselves is insufficient to provide us with what we need to be happy. As such, not making connections and giving love will prevent us from walking our path.
Pathwalking, I could argue, is love. Pathwalking is choosing to love yourself, to love your choices, and to go into the world and be happy. Because ultimately, happiness is not measured by things as much as it is measured by emotion – and the most powerful emotion there is is love.
We have now explored how everyone needs certainty, uncertainty, significance, growth and contribution from within, and love and connection from both within and without to be satisfied in our choice of path to walk. As such, these core needs allow us to be satisfied and ultimately happy with our life.
A special thank you to Tony Robbins for sharing these core beliefs with the world. I hope he will not mind my using them to further explore the underlying philosophy of Pathwalking.
How do you show your love? How do you connect with the people both in and outside of your life?
This is the sixty-first entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Thank you for joining me.