Sometimes what we want isn’t really good for us. Our want can be based on what our inner 6-year-old wants but she doesn’t have the reasoning that the rest of her life could have given her. Sometimes, what she wanted wouldn’t have given her what she needed and that’s a blessing.
It’s the “be careful what you wish for” scenario. To be so invested in any outcome as an absolute necessity is to forget the universe might have better plans for you than your inner six-year-old. Also remembering that everything that happens to you may not be personal. When applying it directly to our feelings it will always Feel personal but it more often than not isn’t.
We want people to like us but sometimes the reason is that we don’t like ourselves. So their like isn’t going to help us. This one stings most of all because deep down we align our self-worth with social acceptance and if that is denied us, it feels like a death in our hearts. I’ve done and said things I wished I hadn’t and then waited to see if I’d be unfriended secretly thinking I knew I wasn’t good enough to be accepted by them. This has happened a couple of times and the agony is palpable.
If someone does not want me it is not the end of the world
but if I do not want me the world is nothing but endings
~ Nayyirah Waheed
We want money, fame, or power but when we get it, we squander or abuse it because we haven’t the emotional wisdom to manage our gift. Do you remember that TV show where they’d build houses for people and surprise them? American dream come true accept then you’d learn later that they couldn’t pay the taxes on their free houses so they we taken from them. It seemed so sad. Like the ugly backside of the American dream. Earning enough to be philanthropic would be a better goal. Having clout enough to champion a cause would be a better reframe of fame.
I’ve spent five years creating a body of blog posts and wishing I had more readership. But I really didn’t want that because I’ve been afraid that would mean I had more responsibility than I could bear. I tortured myself none the less with the “why am I not like them”, wanting to be popular, all the while refusing to do the exact things I needed to make that happen and sabotaging any chances. Then all I wanted was to be validated by others. Now I want to increase my like of me. And that change in what I want is what my shift is all about.
It’s quite OK to want things. That is the cookie, or the carrot for you vegans, that keeps us going and innovating and creating. But what we are wanting has to align with our values about the kind of people we want to be. I want to always be honest, have integrity, be a good friend, and lead by example. And when something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s usually an indication that my why for my want is unaligned. The truth then will set me free or at least put me on a better path.
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