Acknowledging human needs

One aim of these Grief Walks is to change attitudes around grief and grieving, broadening it out to include losses of all kinds.  In Nonviolent communication (NVC) on which my work is based, ‘Mourning’ is considered a human need, and if this need isn’t met in our lives, wellbeing suffers.

Acknowledging all human needs is a way to create greater connection to ourselves and others.  In order to create more space for grief and mourning, we can learn to guess that if someone is very upset about losing a job or the threat of losing a job, that the need for safety or meaning or sustainability is very important to them. This will help to keep the attention on the person you are listening to and his/her grief, so they don’t slip back too quickly into ‘I’ll be alright … life goes on’.

When said with resonance and warmth, something like “It’s so important for you to feel you are secure” or “Having a job really gives some meaning to your life” can support someone to connect more fully to what’s going on for them.

Sometimes we have a vague sense that something is missing in our lives; when having a look at the following list of human needs, something might resonate and give you a clue of what your system is longing for, and mourning. Some awareness of what is happening to you, may begin to shift things.

Subsistence and Security

Air

Food

Health

Movement

Rest

Shelter

Touch

Water

Security

Order/structure

Peace (external)

Peace of mind

Protection

Safety (emotional)

Stability

Freedom

Autonomy

Choice

Ease

Independence

Power

Self-responsibility

Space

Spontaneity

Leisure / Relaxation

Humour

Joy

Play

Pleasure

Rejuvenation

Understanding

Awareness

Clarity

Discovery

Learning

Stimulation

Connection

Affection

Appreciation

Attention

Closeness

Companionship

Harmony

Intimacy

Love

Nurturing

Sexual expression

Support

Tenderness

Warmth

To matter

Acceptance

Care

Compassion

Empathy

Kindness

Nurturance

Mutual recognition

To be heard

To be seen

Transcendence

Beauty

Celebration of life

Faith

Flow

Hope

Inspiration

Mourning

Peace (internal)

Presence

Meaning

Authenticity

Competence

Creativity

Dignity

Growth

Healing

Honesty

Integrity

Self-acceptance

Self-care

Self-connection

Self-knowledge

Meaning

Aliveness

Challenge

Contribution

Effectiveness

Exploration

Integration

Purpose

Community

Belonging

Communication

Cooperation

Equality

Inclusion

Mutuality

Participation

Partnership

Self-expression

Sharing

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