Updated: Jul 13, 2019
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The other day my cat laid on my leg and kneaded away. Purrr, push the blanket over. Purrr, pull the blanket close. Purrr, squish human's leg. Purrrrrr....
It's really annoying and ouch-the claws get me everytime. I don't like the kneading.
For some odd reason, this has been stuck in my mind all week. Why would I write about this? It's such an odd topic that's for sure. Then today, it dawned on me: We are ALL kneading our way into needs. Let me try to explain. Wikipedia says: "needs are distinguished from wants in that, in the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death." Webster says: knead /nēd/
verb gerund or present participle: kneading work (moistened flour or clay) into dough or paste with the hands. make (bread or pottery) by kneading flour or clay. synonyms: pummel, work, pound, squeeze, wring, twist, crush, form, shape, mold, mix, blend; "turn the dough onto a floured board and knead"massage or squeeze with the hands
Kneading isn't a gentle experience. Twisting, pulling, pounding, and squeezing is all taking place. However, it's done to create something. Belonging. My cat tells me I BELONG to him and shows me by kneading my skin, marking me as his own.
We are all kneading as well. We are kneading our needs meaning, we are shaping the ground we walk on, creating lives that will ensure we don't meet adverse outcomes or even death. Go with me on this.
Did you choose to say no more to an abusive relationship? It hurt even though it was needed, didn't it? Did you choose to go back to school? It hurt even though it was needed, didn't it? Did you ask for a raise at work? It hurt even though it was needed, didn't it? Did you fully commit to caring for your physical body? It hurt even though it was needed, didn't it? Did you turn away from something good, knowing something better was on it's way? It hurt even though it was needed, didn't it? Did you say goodbye to your last child going off to college? It hurt even though it was needed, didn't it? We all make choices that mold and determine our lives. ALL of our choices come with discomfort. However, when we search out those experiences to grow ourselves we find belonging and strength. We are marking our path as our own. New confidence, new experiences, new adventures, new trusts, new goodbyes.
So, I leave you with this: Where can you knead your needs? It takes discomfort: pushing, pulling, grappling, and tussling with many things, but how else with you have YOUR needs met? What happens if those needs aren't met? How can you lean into the fear of the discomfort and experience the growth, strength, and belonging you deserve? I'm still marking my path. It hurts. It also excites. What is coming? We don't know. What are the possibilities? Endless. ~P