Maslow was pretty cool – I like his theories and of course, he’s most famous (I think) for his hierarchy of needs pyramid. It’s taught in just about every psych course imaginable and a whole number of business courses. We need to know where we stand and what our desires are all about.
We all oscillate between the different levels, needing security and comfort or bursting with passion to perform all sorts of altruistic acts. My problem is that my pyramid seems to be upside down a lot of the time.
I blame Brownies really. When I was a kid, I was taught, definitively, to think of others before myself. Sounds good on the surface, but you have no idea how much that messes up your psyche.
I’m trying, like many of us, to be more myself. Not so much to find myself, as to be the me I know I am. Gosh, try saying that quickly!
But, with the Brownie motto etched into my brain and heart, I tend to put myself aside too much of the time. I spend far more time on altruistic shenanigans than on getting the base right – the food, clothing and security needs.
And that’s simply not right. You see, when I don’t have enough myself, I’m probably no use to anyone at all. Well, I can be for a while, but then the burn out begins and I run out of altruism. I begin to get cranky and tend to slip inside myself (metaphorical protection, perhaps?).
I stop talking because my words stay inside. So my head fills up with dialogue – sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes purely fantastical. I live for a while in my head filled with all the things I’d really like to say, but that I can’t because then I wouldn’t be living up to the Brownie code.
And then I stop.
I’m not one for long, slow goodbyes. A curt ciao is more than enough because when the words in my head get too loud, I have to stop. And then go immediately, somewhere else, in some other direction.
So, right now, I’m trying to turn my pyramid the right side up so that I can remedy what I think is a flaw in my character. I’m trying to believe so I can learn to get the balance right.