Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Have you ever heard of the Pyramid of Basic human needs? Ok, imagine a triangle. This illustrates what human beings need to survive.

At the least, humans need food and water. We have to have energy to live day to day. So at the base of the pyramid, we have physiological needs.

Next up, we have to have somewhere to sleep at night. We need an environment. But more than just a roof, we need to feel stable. I wouldn't be very comfortable or at ease sleeping in a cardboard box everynight. This doesn't ensure very good rest.

Ok, then on the next level, humans need to feel love. We need to feel like we matter. That we have support and that someone cares about us.

Now, the fourth level from the bottom is purpose. We need to know that there is a reason we wake up everyday. Not just that people care we are alive, but that "we" care we are alive. We need to know that there is a reason we are here.

The fifth and top level of the pyramid of human needs is self-actualization. I would call this complete and total peace. Knowing who you are is everything you need to be at all times. Knowing and fulfilling your purpose, living with meaning.

I may have slaughtered the exact explanation, but that is what it means to me.

I learned about this Pyramid of Human Needs when I was in counseling. Eating disorders put all its victims at the very bottom of the pyramid. Fighting ED is just fighting to eat everyday. There is no chance of even approaching things like "love" or "purpose". People with ED are just trying to eat. When I first got to Cambodia, that is where I sat. Now I sit somewhere between pysiological needs and a stable environment. That is what I am working on. My apartment is small and crowded. So I am trying to find a safe environment elsewhere: the Scott's, an afternoon at a coffee shop, a walk, or just waking up before my roommates to pray. As I get more and more comfortable here in Cambodia, the days get easier. I caught myself singing the other day as I walked to class. It has been too long. I am slowly finding where I fit and it feels so good.

On Saturday I spotted white people walking into Khmer church. I was instantly curious. Afterwards I was told they are from Mission College in Thailand. They are the Tennyson's , an American couple with 4 daughters. They both work at the college and really like it. I immediately liked them. The teachers here who graduated from Mission College knew them. On Sunday night they were all headed out to eat and invited me to come along. It was so sweet of them to invite me because it was a Mission College get-together and I am definately not in that group. I jumped at the chance and I got back late. I promised my 8th graders homemade cookies for their good behavior last week. So Sunday night I was up at 11:30pm doing just that.

The next day, the we had big party at lunchtime complete with cookies, music, and indeed, dancing! Monday night, the Tennyson's invited me out again. It was so good to talk to them. They just sat there and listened to me talk about life in Cambodia. They even brainstormed ideas of how to feel better while I am here. It was so sweet and much needed.

Last week, I prayed 3 bold things of God. I prayed that God would help me to leave this eating disorder in Cambodia, that He would have someone care about me, and that I would see my purpose. I felt very cared for this weekend. My prayer was answered almost immediately and I am still in awe as to how He did it!

I am finding my place. I am moving up that darn pyramid. I am sick of hangin out at the bottom. There is so much more to me. I promised God a year of my life here in Cambodia. The devil is using any method he can to distract me from that promise. But still it remains.

"God help me. This year is yours."


Anonymous said...

all i can say is....
don't mess, don't mess, don't mess with the best cause the best don't mess. don't fool, don't fool, don't fool with the cool cause the cool don't fool don't bite my apple, don't shake my tree, i know Heather don't mess with me!
love you

barberboy said...

you are strong and brave and i'm proud of you.

ashley said...

You're one of the wisest, most aware, caring people I know. Keep praying boldly and sharing your answers with us, you're building our faith too!

Anonymous said...

Oh Heather---Now you sound familiar! I just thanked God that I know you and that He is taking such good care of YOU! I am still here praying for you and loving you---Sandy