Captain Needy and His Hierarchy

Thoughts on the privilege of meeting your “higher” needs.

The lockdowns and the pandemic: What a wild time to be alive! I just opened my last jar of Raconnto Marinara, which is my absolute favorite, for the meatballs I’ve meticulously been working on for the past hour.

They go with the marinara into the slow cooker that I realize I have no idea when I’ll be able to purchase again. I’m sure that, just like you, your grocery store shelves are empty.

Poor me. Poor us.

Woe to my present-day marinara issues. Oh sure, I wish I had hoarded it and planned better if I knew that would be the last of it for a while, but above all else, I am left with one overwhelming emotion—Gratitude.

I’m just so grateful I could buy that one jar of marinara. I know I’m going overboard with the emotional marinara, but let me explain.

Have you ever heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? Simplypsychology.org defines it as a “motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.”

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

You won’t move up the pyramid until each level is fulfilled. For example, if you are starving to death and can’t access the basic human need for food, then the last thing you are worried about is self-expression and concerns over living your best life. Your best life at that moment is a Big-Mac.

There was a time I didn’t have safety. I didn’t have shelter. I didn’t have food. A moment in my life stands out dramatically to me even to this day. Finding safety and protection became my priority. I finally went to a battered women’s shelter.

After I completed my intake, a woman accompanied me to a locked pantry, where I was allowed to choose several different food items. First, she gave me some Banquet frozen dinners. Do you know the ones that are still $.88 at most grocery stores?

She handed them to me, and all I could do was cry. I’ve never been so happy to see a .88 cent meal in my entire life. Suddenly, I had safety, shelter, and food. And I was grateful. That’s one of the best meals I’ve ever had because it came with a big heaping side of freedom.

Since then, I’ve never taken food for granted.

Now, as I celebrate ten years free of abuse, almost to the exact day, I am reminded once again of how blessed I am. I want for nothing, even in the middle of a pandemic. My “normal” life is lived at the top of the pyramid. Yet, I’m still so amazed.

Right now, I have all those first-level needs, but I also have ALL the others. I have love, friends, freedom, esteem, and I can spend my days trying to be the most I can be. I learned through my trials that one of my greatest strengths is being resourceful AF. I think that’s why, even though yes, I’m a little worried like all of us. I’m not THAT worried. I am blessed beyond measure, and I’m concentrating only on the things I can control.

Oh sure, I no longer have any more marinara. Still, damn, I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to climb the pyramid and that now the top level is my norm. My most significant concern now is living my highest purpose and doing my best to give back.

Thank you, God, for saving me. Thank you for all the people you sent to help me. (You all know who you are! Ten years! Can you believe it?)

God, please extend your grace to us all and allow us to always live at the top. Amen.

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