What Do You Need Just Now?

When we get honest, all we want is the feeling of our self, and the inspiration from a parent last night, to ask this question that’s in the title, was the reminder that our simple, childlike requests are in fact the direct asking for the feeling that we want.

I was thinking of one of the Wild Fig Community members as I wrote that title because the question reminded me of conversations we’ve had in the community about want vs need.

I’ve usually held that ‘wants’ are pure. Those desires that come straight from upstream, so unencumbered by ideas that they flow straight into the created world.

And that needs are the idea of a mind that thinks it needs something or someone in the world to be a certain way in order to feel ok.

But someone on the Conscious Parenting taster call last night said that, when they’ve noticed they’ve lost compassion for their son, they have started asking *of themselves* ‘what do you need just now?’

Giving to themselves what they are trying to find by controlling their son’s behaviour.

And it struck me how much sense that makes.

Because when she said it, there was a feeling of the child. Not the feeling of an over-developed ego that thinks it needs certain things to be a certain way to be ok. Rather the need of a small child asking for the unconditional love that it more closely remembers –

Can I have a hug please?

Can you listen to me? I want to tell you this.

Can you take care of me? I’m hurt.

Can you reassure me? I’m scared.

In truth, what’s happening here is still who we really are imagining we’re a person and then trying to find our way back to the feeling of who we really are. But the closeness of the child to our nature brings a different resonance with it. The simplicity of the requests means the child is asking directly for the feeling of ourself. The child really asks, please can I feel:

Warmth and connection.


Unconditional love.


The child doesn’t go very far into the outside world of people and things to try and find these feelings. It just asks for its mum, dad or carer to remind them of them. To remind them of the feeling of their self.

Whereas, as adults, we go scrambling around in the world making all sorts of demands on the circumstances of life to make us feel warmth and connection, presence, unconditional love, and safety. Here’s how that goes…

It starts when we feel the seeming loss of the feeling of ourself.

Let’s say in this instance we feel a loss of the feeling of connection…we feel afraid….we see a child in front of us behaving in the ‘wrong’ way…we think this is the cause of the absence of feeling connection (the feeling of ourself)…so we try to get them to behave a certain way so we can feel a certain way — in this instance — that feeling of connection….they might do it…but now we’re on edge for the next time they behave that way again. And if they don’t do it…the feeling of fear in us grows and we get more angry. The feeling of connection even more hidden.

All of this in a desperate attempt to feel ok again. All in a desperate attempt to feel the good feelings of ourselves again.

When all we needed was to see that feeling a loss of connection was the covering over of the feeling of ourself, when ideas were taken as truths. It was the obscuring of the feeling of ourself by identifying with something in the content of life.

And so instead, we can see that our simple, childlike need was ‘Can I have a hug please?’ — purely asked so that we could remember the feeling of warmth, love and connection of our own self.

And now, as adults, knowing that even the hug was just a reminder of the feeling of ourself, we can recognise that what we REALLY want (what we always really want) is who we are. And we can give that to ourselves — because it is, and always has been, the feeling of ourselves.

And then…then the outside world becomes a bonus.

So what do you need just now?

With peace, love and joy; Helen

The Conscious Parenting Programme starts September 23. It’s for parents who are ready to change the paradigm of their family’s dynamics. For parents who are ready to break the chain of passing unhealthy patterns on through the generations. Parents who know that what’s really wanted is the feeling of their self — and they are the ones to remember it.

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