Tag Archives: hierarchy of needs

Letting Go (Part 2)

by Kassandra Lamb (see Part 1, Pulling Up Roots here)

The Maryland house today

So my little summer cottage/writer’s retreat is sold. A nice young man now owns it, and I don’t. I’m having very mixed emotions about that.

I put a lot of effort into fixing that little house up, making it cute and cozy. And I wrote a lot of good words in my writer’s cave there. Also, letting the house go means one less link with my home state of Maryland. But I’m very, very relieved to be rid of the maintenance headaches that had gotten worse as the house aged.

This has gotten me thinking about why it is hard sometimes to let go… of people, but also of the places we have called home.

Herd of wild horses

 

We humans are innately social beings.
We are herd animals. Like horses and
wolves, we instinctively know that we
need to band together in order to
survive.

 

The need for connection to others is so important that the humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow made belongingness and love the third tier in his well-known hierarchy of needs. We need what he referred to as the three A’s of belongingness–affiliation, acceptance and affection. These needs take a backseat only to basic physical and safety needs.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

image by Anthony Beck (CC-BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I’m realizing as I’m writing this that the need for connection to others is the reason people read fiction. We so strongly want to feel connected that we don’t even mind if the people we’re connecting with are figments of an author’s imagination! And many readers, myself included, particularly like series, so we can stay connected to the same characters book after book.

Woman reading in a library or bookstore

photo by Onderwijsgk, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

But why do we connect with a place?

Most humans also feel a need/desire to have a “home.” This is not just a female thing. I know plenty of men who have a strong sense of home. We are not so different from the fox, burrowing into his den at night, snug and safe (Maslow’s second tier).

Now I have to let go of my little “den” up north. I will focus on my home here in Florida and on my friends and family scattered around the country. I have plenty of connections to replace the ones I’m losing. But still it isn’t easy, this letting go.

How about you? How strongly do you feel the need for connection? Are you a homebody who becomes attached to places as well as people?

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

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