What’s your unfinished business? You know, what is it that thing, when you look back over your life, you feel you never ticked off, achieved or completed?
It’s interesting just how many times I find people still have that unfinished ‘thing’ manifesting itself in their behaviour, many years later, just in a different form. I often get a wee picture in my mind of the hungry chicks in the nest desperate to be fed, mouths open crying for sustenance. Often these pieces of life’s unfinished business are just like that.
We crave significance, power, love, connection, stability, adventure or control because when we were younger it was the very thing we wanted and could not have. Now as an adult we’ve learned ways to get it. But like a hungry chick, this need can get greedy and if we allow that greed to get a hold on us, problems arise. The need begins to need fed again and again until we are blinded to our other needs and wants which, ignored and unnourished, just fall by the wayside.
Here’s an example, think of the people who find their work addictive. It has become their hungry chick. In the office their old need is now being met and is being met regularly, like a hit from a drug, and it feels good, man, it feels good (that sentence is helped if you read the last bit in a voice a little like a stoned Jim Morrison. That’s how it sounded in my head anyway). You get what I mean? From their lofty senior middle management position they get their control, significance, power met, the very things they craved earlier in life but could not get, and so work becomes like an addiction. They would rather be in the office than with their partner or their friends because the high isn’t as high, the need just isn’t fed in the same way and the need has gotten greedy! It happens the same way with drink, food, sex, violence, drugs and even cigarettes. In fact in many cases it happens with all of the above!
I personally think all of us have these ‘needs’ inside us but not every need gets greedy and, for me, it’s really only the greedy needs that are a problem. So are you brave enough to see if you have a greedy chick…
OK, first ask yourself, what’s the thing you can’t get enough of? What’s the thing that, despite all the times you or someone else has told you to stop or cut back, all the times it’s caused you hurt, pain, sadness or arguments, all the moments you’ve woken up feeling guilty because of it, you still do? Got it? Be honest with yourself now…
Once you’ve got it ask yourself, what is the unfinished business that this thing is feeding? Which particular younger version of you is chasing the high, cherishing the control or relishing the power? Wee powerless kid you? Bullied teenage you? Heartbroken any age you? Look back, I bet they are in there!
Now finally, realise how badly this isn’t working! Notice that your constant feeding isn’t helping, its just making it worse. If you’re honest this constant feeding isn’t getting you anywhere, in fact the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets. So what do you do about it?
Before I tell you can I just point out that many, many people have a largely silent nest, a healthy balanced mind where their needs are met with such nourishment that they don’t have to get greedy. They realise that their needs can be met from within, that they are surrounded by healthy ways to be emotionally fed. You can have that too. It just takes the courage to realise what that hungry chick really wants. It doesn’t want sex, it wants love. It doesn’t want power, it wants to have purpose. It doesn’t want control, it wants to have peace. Whatever your chick craves, feed it the right things, it stops being greedy.
Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep.