The Death That Counts (Part 2): Why You Need Some Self Love


Are you living in an insatiable "need machine?" Perhaps you need more self-love in your life.

This is part 2 of the Death that Counts series about self love. I want to dig a little deeper into what drives our emotional need framework. Beliefs like, “I need to be recognized,” or “I need to be promoted,” or “I need to be seen driving a nicer car,” or “I need to lead a home group at my church,” etc. are all products of the Eros prison belief system.

The Eros prison deals with the level of self-preservation one tends to be controlled by. If the walls are too thick, it will create a prison of performance. There’s a huge difference between want and need and it’s about five million miles wide. For instance, if I want a great wife to share life with I may put appropriate energy into making sure I look in the right places, do my homework, or making suitable choices for myself. I may find a great wife in time because I’ve been appropriately cautious, optimistic, and authentic in my approach to women.

I’m respectful, helpful, careful, and delightful as I am at peace with who I am in general and how I believe they view and understand me. I’m not suspicious or convoluted. I’m not overly concerned about my appearance, talents, or my place in the universe. I can be altogether open and honest about myself without fear of rejection or ridicule. I embrace my perceived weaknesses and meet them with a kiss.

Conversely, if I believe I need a wife, I may settle for regrettable short cuts or pretend I’m someone or something I’m not and end up making incompetent decisions that reflect my unworthiness and fear of failure. Eventually, my inability to acquire the partner I likely deserve will play into my belief that I am not worthy of such a relationship and I will settle for less.

This cycle will continue until I stumble upon the realization or perhaps a faithful friend brings it to my attention. More often than not, many never come to these personal conclusions and thus will continue to suffer the high costs of low expectations throughout most their life. It is for this reason that need-based relationships can turn out to be a mirage—an illusion. And if you’re not prudent or self-correcting, a poorly placed decision made out of need can throw you over the event horizon  of the black hole of low expectation and unworthiness you created. It will stretch your insides for a million miles until you collapse in on yourself.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that wants and needs are part of being human. But we must open the package and separate the socks from the underwear. We have to make clear distinctions between the two in an effort to match the mechanics of our emotional framework. For instance, sometimes we need a job or perhaps we may be in need of a glass of water—that’s different.

Natural needs must be met and we all have to work. But needing to change my appearance—again, could be problematic seeing I have had four different hairstyles in the last six months.

Understanding where needs and wants fit properly within our lives is generally an essential part of personal well-being and satisfaction. Misunderstanding it can be confusing at best and emotionally terminal at worst. In other words, it’s not really an option. Needs and wants are so closely associated with being and doing that it can be difficult to separate them.

In other words, it’s possible to need a job while presently experiencing the joy of simply being. On the other hand, if one is busy doing instead of simply being, then looking for work can be a fulltime job in itself and tantamount to eating glass.

If you’re experiencing excessive turnover within your occupational life it could be a sign of low self-worth or a dysfunctional approach to being. Some don’t know who they are. They haven’t landed their plane in regards to a career. This isn’t out of line between the ages of eighteen and thirty, but if you are experiencing poor outcomes and feel like you are not “doing” your passion after age thirty it could be a sign that you’re not tapped into your authentic-self.

If your not enjoying your humanness in whatever you do and not apologizing for it to those around you who threaten you by appearing nobler or worthier, you may be living within the need machine. Because these needs are insatiable, employment enjoyment is hard to come by when in this frame of mind. 

Living outside of the need machine is all about joyfully experiencing the world around you and within you without the burden of misplaced expectations on yourself or the need to meet the unreasonable expectations of other people in work and life, especially if their expectations are unwarranted or unreasonable or based upon the misplaced ideas in others.

When we live in this place of contentment of being we no longer need constant affirmation from other people or from the gods we are told we have to serve. We don’t need the acceptance of others or quick credit for our accomplishments. Our emotional stomach is full of fine foodstuffs. We’re well fed and therefore we’re no longer begging for attention like a starving person in need of a food fix. A good way to measure where you are in regards to wholeheartedness is to do a little experiment.

Next time you are engaged in conversation with a group or a single person, watch yourself. Step out of yourself and watch and see whether you feel threatened by their accomplishments or whether you are tempted to one-up their story or circumstance. Watch and see how you compare what they are wearing to what you are wearing or the words they use in comparison to your own words.

Look to see if you are in quiet competition with them. Check to see if you’re competing for the applause or the blue ribbon that says, “#1 smart person” that you mentally award yourself with after the exchange. These are signs of insecurity, low self-worth, and misappropriation of the ego-self.

Experiencing the comfortableness of Being while interacting with others is therefore a fundamental part of wholeheartedness—it’s the authentic sign we are wholehearted at all. This includes being self-aware and comfortable with our true-self through the cultivation of those things that bolster our self-worth.

It includes personal enlightenment, which the Buddha described in simple terms as being “the end of suffering.” It’s when we enjoy our life “as is” instead of suffering through it in hopes of a better one. It’s enjoying your story rather than opting for a better one (although some stories need to be changed). There’s nothing supernatural or superhuman about being comfortable with yourself. It may take some time to get there, but once you arrive you will never leave.