Do I Really Need This?

All afternoon, I consider the difference between perceived need and actual need.  If I live my life based on what I perceive I need, I sometimes end up harming myself.  I either indulge or deprive myself based on unreliable data.

For example, I realize today just how little water I actually drink.  The reason?  I never feel thirsty.  In fact, if I went by perceived need, I wouldn’t drink anything at all, ever.  I just don’t get thirsty.

On the other hand, I believe I’m hungry all the time.  I love to eat, and if I went by perceived need, I would eat my weight in chocolate.  I just don’t ever feel full. 

So I implement guidelines to help–external, expert sources–to govern the day.  I eat within my calorie limit, and I drink several glasses of water.  I take medicine I know I need.  I enact spiritual disciplines I know transform me.  But I often don’t feel as if I need these things. 

I wonder what else I actually need that I don’t perceive as a need.  Conversely, I wonder what I insist I need that isn’t actually a need. 

I don’t want to live by unreliable perceptions anymore. Some days, my feelings just aren’t the truth. 

Living with flair means applying reality checks to my perceived needs (or lack thereof).  Sometimes what we need most of all resides deeper in the heart beyond the reach of our emotional states.  So I press on, hydrating my soul with the things I know it needs, even when my emotions direct me towards toxic, dehydrating things.

Journal:  What do I need that I feel I don’t?  What don’t I need that I feel I do? 

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  1. I just heard a quote on the moody radio last week that said, “emotions are the caboose of the train, not the engine” Thinking on this has really made me think about how i plan my day as far as how much “me time” I
    “need” and what housework I get done and what projects I do with the kids and the amount of time i spend with my kids in general, even what I spend at the grocery store and elsewhere. I love how your writing fits right into this thinking today! Thanks Heather, I still love reading this every day, it really gives me something encouraging to think about!
    Brittany Hill

  2. I've read that thirst firsts manifests itself as hunger, so when you feel hungry, the first thing you should do is drink a glass of water as it will take the edge off and can help you eat less in the long run.

    My one resolution for this year is to try to drink 2 quarts of water everyday. I fill a pitcher with ice, then top it off with water and leave it on my counter. I often add lemon or lime slices for a little “flair”. Having it sitting out (as opposed to being in the fridge) makes it easier to reach my goal each day.