The 19th century French Physiologist Claude Bernard noted that any living organism must continually be able to satisfy a number of needs in order to maintain an independent life and survive.
We know that as animals there are some basics we need to survive. Things like water, food, air, protection/shelter, safety from harm, etc. Many animals also have psychological needs required to survive like community, family, love, purpose, satisfaction, courage, confidence and so on. Having these things satisfies us and when one or several are lacking we become unhappy and unsettled until we can fulfill our needs once again.
In our abundant Western world, food is a common ‘filler’ we use to find comfort when something is lacking in life. As I write this I am in a 6 month long plateau so close to my health goals and I know what is holding me back is that I still regularly indulge in food as a way to feel good. So for the past 6 months I’ve been all about food, trying to fix a symptom because it is psychologically safer than addressing the real problem.
Avoiding the real problem is the reason so many people never reach their potential. We avoid facing the demons because they are scary. We avoid searching for what makes us hunger because we are afraid we will never find it. We aren’t worthy of it. We don’t deserve it.
My hunger is for people, community, connection. Since the day I started this blog I’ve want to say that, but even to say it now is terrifying. Sometimes having your family on the other side of the planet and being a foreigner in a different place is a challenge I don’t feel up to. Sometimes my anxiety about people’s acceptance of me is too much for me to brave new social situations or touch base with someone I really like. I fear my connections because I still struggle to see myself as worthy and lovable and not-flawed.
I just turned 29. This year as I continue on my mission of wellness I know where my development needs to be. It is not food and it is not exercise, these things are not what is holding me back. It’s loving myself and finding people to love too. I am going to keep challenging myself and my self-esteem so I can foster my existing relationships and create new ones. I am going to create a community of friends one interaction at a time despite my fears. I am going to keep working on me.
What are you hungry for?