April 18

Our Desperate Need for Love

April 18, 2018

Personal Growth

Years ago we brought home a tiny dachshund puppy, shortly after he had been weaned. There’s no way to know what happened to this small creature in his first weeks of life, but we do know that from the moment we met him, Bubba was a neurotic, whining ball of need. If Bubba wasn’t lying on my stocking feet, he was crying to be picked up and held. Eventually, even touching my feet wasn’t enough. Only being held would do, and I found it difficult to answer emails, talk on the phone, and write books while holding a dog—much like holding a baby, another activity I’ve done on a great many occasions.

So Donna used a piece of cotton cloth to create a large sling, much as you might use to support a broken arm or injured shoulder. Bubba lay on his back in that sling all day long. Sometimes he slept, but mostly he watched me closely, making sure that I didn’t somehow sneak off and leave him alone in that sling—perhaps hanging from two hooks in a doorway. And at night he slept right next to me, touching me from his cold nose to his scratchy little feet. He must have slept lightly, because somehow he was never crushed when I rolled over.

Bubba was touching me and looking at me in that sling for nearly a year before he finally would allow me to put him down on the floor to spend time with the other two dogs.

Many of us are little different from Bubba. We are so wounded and so in need of love that for a while we need to be in constant touch with people who can love us. We need constant nourishment and no more wounding, which is one reason that I sometimes recommend that people stay completely away from anyone who can’t nurture them—much less spend time with people who are hurtful.

There’s nothing wrong with being needy. Just get your needs filled, like Bubba did, and enjoy it. Get what you need until you can be more independent. The temporary time of dependence is no cause for embarrassment or shame.

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