You lose more focus the less your needs resolve
Your intense emotions provide more than just focus. They include a matter of degree.
It’s one thing to quench your thirst as soon as you feel it. It’s quite another when you’re out hiking or somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and your throat runs dry after your water bottle ran dry.
Your focus on replenishing what’s lapsed and on removing excesses is often a matter of degree. The longer it takes to return to full functioning, the more intense you feel that burning need.
Intensity continuum: focal ranges
Nature-based anakelogy appreciates not all focal needs call for the same attention. Some whisper to get your ear. Others scream for your exclusive attention. This continuum covers four progressively louder modalities.
at-rest – resolved needs require no focus at all (nonfocal)
aware – resolve this need when you can get to it
alert – resolve this need as soon as possible
alarm – resolve this need now or else
Now let’s apply it to both directions, both for pain and desire.
Before diving into each one, notice how each range can be numerically quantified.
0 = at-rest
1-3 = aware
4-6 = alert
7-9 = alarm
We use this 0 to 9-point range in our wellness checks for each service.
When put together with the direction cycle, you can imagine it looking like this.
No pressing need. Calm. Nonfocal. Peace. Right there in the green zone at center.
Since life flows with needs, this can only be a fleeting moment. Soon enough, some need of yours will be triggered.
As soon as you feel thirst, you quench it. As soon as you your bladder fills, you empty it. When resources to resolve your needs remain accessible, resolving them can be fast and easy.
You can then freely focus on other matters all along. Your thirst emerged as modest wish. Easy to fulfill with water in hand. You emptied your filled bladder while still a modest discomfort. No waiting to use the restroom.
You cycle through your emotions promptly. You swing not far from balance. You quickly bounce back to equilibrium. You return to optimal functioning, as soon as you became aware of each need.
What if you can’t stop and take a drink? What if you’re stuck waiting in along line at a public restroom? When resources remain inaccessible, pain persists—and unfilled desire itself turns to pain.
Your thirst turns into obsessive desire. You can’t focus much on anything but quenching your burning thirst. Your urgency to empty your bladder slips into disruptive pain. You can’t focus on much else.
You cycle through your emotions more slowly. You can’t get back to equilibrium so easily. Your full functioning remains limited, as your unmet need keeps you on constant alert.
Your body can only wait for so long until your needs must resolve. Your ability to function soon collapses. Until you access those vital resources, you can only think of relieving that need. Nothing else matters.
Your thirst now shifts into desperate craving. Your bursting bladder leaves you in consuming agony. Not only can’t you fully function, long-term or permanent damage soon besets you.
You don’t cycle through your agonizing emotions without sufficiently resolving your urgent needs. Stress pushes you overboard, into what’s called a general adaption syndrome. Full functioning stops, as your body now goes into full alarm.
Resolving needs removes suffering
Trauma has a way of taking over our responses to painful reminders. We can choose to learn from our conscious mistake, but our body takes over to avoid repeating past alarms.
You understandably avoid painful situations. Especially those where you previously lacked access to the necessary resources to fully resolve.
If unavoidable, you may find yourself in a freeze-fight-or-flight stance. You understandably oppose others who appear insensitive to your risks. You may become adversarial to protect yourself.
About the surest way to remove all painful threats and promptly replenish all depleted resources is to vigilantly resolve each need promptly as possible. Which typically requires help from others.
Value Relating specializes in fully removing sources of pain, including your need to speak your truth to power. Your most intense emotions have something vitally important to tell you. Together, we honor those emotions by resolving their underlying needs. One loving step at a time.
Steph Turner is the founder of anakelogy, the study of need. Also the founder of Value Relating to apply anakelogy to your painful needs, offering a viable alternative to stigmatizing psychotherapy, by inviting you to speak your truth to power.