The Need to Feel Valued
Most of us at some point or another have noticed that place inside us that longs for belonging. We want to feel that our existence matters to someone.
This is why we long to find that special someone or why we choose to have children or pets. We want someone to miss us when we are, for whatever reason, not around.
Unintentional slights from our loved ones pokes the wound that, most likely, was birthed inside of us long before we embarked upon any of our current relationships. A parent who was absent, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. Not receiving healthy doses of nurturing as a child. For those of us who believe our soul is much older than our current incarnation, the need may have followed us here from some other place in time, or we may even have inherited it from our ancestors.
What to do…
No matter what our relationship status, there will be times when we begin to feel the lack of belonging, the absence of someone we love and who makes us feel wanted and important.
One of the principles of Buddhism states that suffering arises from desire. When we desire something that we perceive we are lacking, suffering is born. The way to eliminate the suffering is to eliminate the desire. Thus, the principle of detachment from a specific outcome is the remedy.
That is easier said than done.
In “The Four Agreements” author Miguel Ruiz states that one of the keys to happiness is to not take anything personally. In other words, if an important person in your life behaves in such a way that results in a feeling of being marginalized or unimportant, choose to believe that that person was telling their own story at the time that had nothing to do with you.
For me, the need to make others feel important, other than a desire to see the happiness of others, seems to point back to my childhood when, as a bashful, quiet, plain looking and often overlooked little girl, I stood in the background and longed to be included in whatever was happening at the moment, but often found myself on the outside looking in. I didn’t quite fit in with other children, and the adults forced me to spend time with them anyway.
I can’t point to abuse or neglect as the source of my pain, so it must have come from some other place and time.
Fast forward to adulthood, I always seem to notice the outsider, and particularly when someone I love was not included or made to feel important. I always want the primary people in my life to feel valued, but I often fail, and they often fail me.
The truth is, whenever our happiness is dependent on another person, we will always be disappointed. People we love will always, at some time or another, fail to live up to our expectations.
Here are some tidbits of wisdom that I have picked up over the years to help combat the wound of exclusion.
1. Feel important to yourself! I love positive affirmations! They make me feel good. They don’t work for everyone, but here are a few to get you started:
· I love and approve of myself.
· I am important
· My life has value
2. Schedule a session with a therapist, energy healer or wellness practitioner. There may be old wounds that need to be healed. An intuitive healer like myself may be able to uncover the source of your pain and assist you in healing or resolving it.
3. Forgive those who have hurt or disappointed you. This may be obvious people like lovers, parents or authority figures, but it could be more elusive like religious figures, political or social groups, or even racial, gender or sexually biased groups of people.