Down By Maslow

I think I have pinpointed why I am feeling so Scroogey lately about Christmas, so Status Quo lately about my personal relationships, so ambivalent lately toward my many creative, spiritual, and intellectual projects (like this site, for example) — Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs.

I’m lower on the hierarchy as of late, so the higher things in life are getting short shrift:
We have a newborn around and I’m not getting much more than four hours of sleep a night. A blow to my Physiological Needs.
I have had one important deadline after another at work, which represents a threat to my Esteem and Belonging Needs.
And I’ve been concerned about money lately, which touches those Security Needs.

No wonder I have a dearth of inspiration for Aesthetics, Self-actualization, and Transcendence lately. I’m busy shoring up the bottom of my heirarchy. I know it’s not a normal state when sleep time dominates my calculations about what to do with my evening and cuts into time with my wife. My brain cannot contemplate higher things when it is taxed into worrying about preparing for this meeting or paying that bill.

So faced with a long To Do List, a Stack of Bills, a crammed Schedule, and a running Sleep Deficit, I am paralyzed into a less than actualized state. I’m not an Actualized Person lately. I’m not feeling like an Actual Person.

Of course, I know exactly what I must do. Surrender all those Needs and take the next right step, taking this advice from the Gospel of Matthew:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [7] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” — Matthew 6:25-33

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