On the 3 Fundamental Needs We All Have


There has been a lot of science lately – e.g. Rick Hanson, PhD – behind the development of the three brains that human beings have. That’s right: Not one brain but three!

The oldest and least evolved part of the brain is the reptilian brain. It is responsible for the fight/flight/freeze response and is about survival.

The second evolved brain is the mammalian brain, which is all about touch and relationship.

The last part of the brain to evolve is related to our sense of who we are in the grand scheme of things. It is about the unique contribution only we can make.

What these three brains tell us is that all people have three fundamental needs that have to be addressed:

  1. Security
  2. Connection
  3. Meaning

How are we fulfilling these needs in our own lives and the lives of those around us?


The Paradox of Relationships


On the commute into work this morning, I had a much-needed conversation with Andy. It gave us the opportunity to get present to the ways in which our growing friendship has been a contribution to each other’s lives. After that conversation, I got present to a paradox.

I think one of the functions of relationships is they serve as safe spaces to just be. Moreover, they are arguably spaces that we set up to protect us from the harsh cruelties of human existence.

Yet, relationships are also the places where we make ourselves the most vulnerable. They are the places where it is okay to be with our own messiness and insecurities. They are the spaces where we remove the veneer that we maintain to look good to the outside world, and we become real with ourselves. They are the spaces where we risk ourselves in the name of true intimacy.

How do we balance these two aspects of relationships? How do preserve the parts of relationships that keep us safe while expanding the Freedom that comes from taking that leap of faith in seeking our better selves with others?