This weekend I heard a quote attributed to Arnaud Desjardins:
"The unmet needs of the child become the desires of the adult."
That simple statement struck my heart and I realized that the most important, most basic thing we can do for our children is to meet their needs so that, as much as possible, they can grow into adults free from attachment to desire.
Desires based on our unmet childhood needs drive us relentlessly towards their fulfillment - to the detriment of our being. We lose the ability to make conscious, sane choices. We spin hopelessly down the spiral of addiction. We struggle, in varying degrees, with suffering and depression. Feelings of self-worth and self-hatred are tied to having our needs met as children. When we begin to doubt our worth, we look outside of ourselves for validation. We will never find it out there. Neither will our children.
Children will let us know what they need if we listen to them. They will insist on telling us if we let them. We need to be able to put our own preferences aside and attend to the child. Depending on the degree to which our own needs were met in childhood, this may or may not be easy to do. If we can break through our own mechanical resistance, to provide “what is needed and wanted in the moment”* we can be surprised to find we are recipients of a rush of unconditional love. Fulfilling children's needs is the most important thing we can do for them and for the future of human beings and the planet.
* a statement coined by Lee LozowickLast modified on