The above picture was taken of the left side of the room during my workshop last Friday. I had such a great time teaching at Care Net!

Also, every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Let’s go back to the basics. Emptiness is easy. It’s preventable.

I was reminded, again, when briefly sharing about the five core needs at the Care Net convention last Friday, that they’re powerfully important with much explanatory power. Of course, I know that – it’s why I’ve written a book on this topic and blog about it every Monday. It was just fun to be reminded in the way I was.

Those of you who are new readers may especially appreciate this overview. Everyone – all adults and all children – have five core needs that must be met. Ideally they’re met in healthy ways. If they’re not, unhealthy decisions follow. Think about the people you know and love. Any changes you could help them make?

The needs and questions are:

Security: Who can I trust?

Identity: Who am I?

Belonging: Who wants me?

Purpose: Why am I alive?

Competence: What do I do well?

Unhealthy examples:

  • I can trust that I’m beautiful (security), I am beautiful (identity), boys want me because I’m beautiful (belonging), I’m alive to make sure you know I’m beautiful (purpose), and I do beautiful well (competence). Oh, my! Do you know girls like this? When all five core needs are met in any one thing, and that thing fails them, an emptiness results. It won’t take much: a bad hair day, thinking an outfit isn’t cute enough, a new girl in school who appears to be more beautiful, and the like.
  • I trust myself to earn A’s, I earn A’s, my parents want me when I earn A’s, I’m alive to make my parents proud by earning A’s, and I earn A’s. Sound familiar? I meet so many people who felt this pressure at one point or another. It’s so damaging. One lower grade, even a B+, destroys all five needs. Emptiness.
  • I can trust James, I am James’ girl, James wants me, I’m alive to love James well, and I love James well. … OR … I can trust Julie, I am Julie’s guy, Julie wants me, I’m alive to make Julie happy, and I love Julie well. Although these two people have placed their security in a person, which is better than in a thing, it’s dangerous to place all five core needs in the same person. When (not if) this one person disappoints, emptiness results.

Sadly, I could list hundreds of these scenarios. I’ve heard so many stories filled with grief and questions. I’m grateful to God that my Model of these five core needs has helped many make changes.

We’re healthiest when we can have many good answers to all five questions. Today, I’ll suggest what I call the A+ answers. Next Monday, I’ll share other healthy answers.

  • Security: Who can I trust? God who created me and He didn’t have to, Jesus Christ who willingly died for me and He didn’t have to, the Holy Spirit who is my comforter, guide, and teacher.
  • Identity: Who am I? I’m a totally forgiven, deeply loved, created-in-the-image-of-God, grace child. (There are many A+ ways to answer this question.)
  • Belonging: Who wants me? God wants me because of Who He is, not because of who I am or what I’ve done.
  • Purpose: Why am I alive? I’m alive to give God glory through all I am and all  I do.
  • Competence: What do I do well? I can do anything well God asks me to do because He promises to fully equip me.

What grade would you give yourself? Is it the grade you want to earn?

Emptiness doesn’t need to be anyone’s reality.