We are born knowing what we want. As babies, those wants are pretty simple: food, comfort, clean butts and sleep. As we grow up, we learn about the difference between wants and needs. Our ‘needs’ stay pretty much the same but our wants get more complicated. Social mores come in and tell us what we should and should not want. Parents, religious organizations, media, social networks… They all have something to say.
Somewhere along the line, we lose touch with who we really are because it becomes clouded by the voices of others. Getting what we want becomes more complicated than learning how to emotionally manipulate the people around us with a good tantrum. Few parents know how to turn that tantrum into a emotional processing learning experience and instead teach us to shut it down.
I distinctly remember knowing at 5 years of age exactly what I wanted and how the world worked (Robert Fulghum nailed it with “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindgergarden”). At 25, I hadn’t a clue.
Now in my mid thirties, beyond anything I do or say, I aim to be true to myself and encourage everyone around me to do the same. The most common response when I ask “What do you want to do?” is “I don’t know what I want” but THAT IS A LIE. Not a malicious, intentional lie, but no more true than a lie.
The truth is, somewhere, sometime along the line, it was decided (consciously or unconsciously) that what they wanted was not possible. “You shouldn’t want that”, “you can’t have that”, “forget about it”… And they did. It was determined that pretending they don’t know what they want and coping with mediocrity was preferred to the anguish of knowing what they want but not having it yet. Anyone can bring it back though, if they’ve got the guts.
The road to your heart’s purest desire is not without a few rocks and pointy objects but it’s worth traveling. Please hear me, it’s WORTH TRAVELING.
Trying to figure out what I want to do “for the rest of my life” is too big of a chunk to process. So I start with what I want to do this year, this month, this week and if that still seems to big, I start with this day, this hour, this minute, this second. I found a safe place where I can just ‘be’ without judgment. If judgment comes in, I don’t judge the judgment, I just let it be. Observe it, acknowledge it, but detach from it. Feelings are not facts. I’ve have nothing to fear but fear itself.
My latest endeavor is expressing my emotions with a drawing journal. Sometimes I draw, sometimes I write, but it is a safe place where I can put down what is on my heart. It’s not always pretty and I accept that. Sometimes I am surprised by what comes out but it’s liberating to have a safe place where nothing I do is ever wrong.
How do I know if the trials and tribulations I experience are because I am getting closer to my fountain of truth or because I am off track? I ask myself a few questions: What am I afraid of? Am I clinging to a belief/something/someone that is causing this pain? (If yes, I’m bringing the heartache on myself. If no, I’m about to learn an important life lesson.) Do I unconditionally love and accept myself right now? (If yes, I’m about to learn an important life lesson and this pain will not last long. If no, I gotta start now.)
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading