I am not an expert in psychology! but I do have an opinion and I want to share with you, my thoughts on Maslow's Theory and what is has to do with us!
I firmly believe that no matter where we are in life, we do not have to accept the situation we are in and be stuck in limbo forever. I know that life is not always easy. I too have been on my own journey. I have also been impatient for circumstances to change so that I could move from difficult situations to better situations. Sometimes a change of situation takes a long, long time. I want to talk about what my interpretation of the 5 levels of Maslow's theory mean to me and my thoughts on moving through these levels, to help move beyond the situation you may be in now.
First things first, the levels from the bottom up:
- PHYSICAL NEEDS: Basic needs need to be met. Water, Food, Sleep, Breathing
- SAFETY NEEDS: Security of Resources, Employment, Family, Health
- LOVE/BELONGING NEEDS:Friendship, Love, Intimacy, Affection
- ESTEEM NEEDS: Independence, Self-respect, Confidence, Achievement
- SELF-ACTUALIZATION:Morality, Problem-solving, Acceptance of Facts, Creativity
Basically if you don't have the essential needs being met, it is difficult to think of anything else, apart from getting what you need to stay alive. It consumes every thought you have.
I have experienced my basic needs not being met. I am sure all of us have experienced this to some degree. Some more than others. It is very real and mind consuming. Having a need that is not met is not good. I survived and moved through the situations eventually. I am thankful for that. I also learnt so much during those experiences that has made me who I am today. Difficult times do develop you and grow you. That's life!
During these difficult times I did develop coping mechanisms that helped me focus on the future when the present was not so much fun!
My joy is thinking about wardrobes and dressing simply and easily. I felt that if I "looked like I wasn't getting my needs met" I would be treated as a second class citizen. I hate pity and being described as someone who has "fallen on hard times." It makes me cringe. No one is better or less than you or me. We are equal no matter what level we are on. Dressing to camouflage my situation made me feel better about me. People who knew my situation were unable to feel too superior because I actually didn't look like the story they had heard. It gave me the ability to hold my ground.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I believe that we need to be able to last the distance. That "Somewhere over the rainbow" we will see the dreams come true. Get ready. Get dressed. Don't think you can't do something while you are waiting. When you start looking to the horizon instead of looking back on what has been, you too can move forward. It takes courage and determination. You can do it. Come on climb over the fence with me!
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