It is the most natural thing in the world to need, it is hard wired into us. We are driven to connect to others by reaching out for care, concern, support, and love.

When Dog has a need, he doesn’t ask permission to ask me for it or apologize for burdening me, mostly he just sits by my feet, wagging his tail, and staring at me with big doleful eyes that let me know he needs something.

Life can often interfere with our innate ability to do this with others. We reach out and somebody rejects us. We learn that reaching out isn’t safe. We come to believe needing is a bad thing.

These are lessons I’ve experienced the hard way myself, but I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t mean we should defer our needs and try and be a self sustaining entity. Not only is this incredibly lonely, but it shuts out the people in our lives who want to be there for us.

Perhaps as we grow older and wiser we are better able to make choices about the kind of people we want in our lives and choose the kinds of people who are able to reciprocate care. At times we may need to recognize certain people are not there for us the way we need and learn to let them go. Sometimes though, we just have to give someone a chance to express care by reaching out.

It could be a need to talk. A need for a hug. A need to spend quality time together. A need to do something fun. A need to simply know someone is there. Whatever it is, it’s okay. There is nothing wrong with any of us when we need another’s care, it is the most natural thing in the world.

Part of having the courage to keep becoming fully human is finding the courage to acknowledge, address, and meet our needs. Sometimes this simply means asking another when we need an assist and being willing to receive.