We have been raised with the idea that some things are ok to want like a reliable job or kids or dinner or a raise or a wife. While other things are not ok to want like fame, power, lots of money or a sexy girlfriend etc. Obviously based on what culture or family or religion you were brought up in, what you are allowed to want is going to be different from person to person. But in our current society, we risk a lot socially by wanting what we want and by admitting to it.
For example, a person might want to be a millionaire so they can live a life of abundance. But in society, a person who wants to be a millionaire is seen as a materialistic person who has the wrong set of priorities. Or a person might want to be famous because they want to have significance, but in today’s society, a person who wants fame and significance is seen as a person who is shallow and self-centered. Another example is that a person might grow up in a family that is poor, that believes it is not possible to be in a powerful position within society, so if they desire to be a politician, they are discouraged because the family thinks it will lead to failure. The person then has to deny that desire for the sake of validating the family and also to prevent potential failure. Conversely, a person might be born to a rich family, where there is an expectation for him or her to choose a career that is seen as a high status career. But the person might truly desire to join a non-profit group and travel the world. Because the family finds this desire unacceptable, the person must deny that aspect of themselves and conform for the sake of approval. We have to be seen as good to maintain social favor and thus love, and we must maintain love to survive and so we do what we do with all other unacceptable aspect of ourselves, we banish it to the subconscious. We deny, suppress, reject and disown those desires. They do not go away, they simply take up residence in the subconscious mind. We still make decisions because of those desires and we still go after those desires, but we take detours to do it and we don’t really know why we are doing it. Desires that are suppressed in the subconscious mind, become compulsions and that is when our desires can become dangerous to us.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. It is impossible to un-want something you want. It is also impossible to make yourself want it less. When we believe that something is not ok to want but we want it and can’t un-want it, we have to make a choice. Either we conform completely to what others want us to want and literally die to ourselves and our truth or we go about getting it in covert, passive aggressive, round about ways. If we are confronted about our true desires or true priorities, we become defensive and deny it. After all, we can’t maintain a positive self-view and want those things. It is in fact quite damaging to not admit to what we want. Our lives can get surprisingly far off course doing that. Also, the subconscious mind does a good job of ruining the show instead of running it. Now, before you go on thinking that the concept of admitting to what you want and going straight for it is an adorable albeit trite self help technique, consider that if Adolph Hitler admitted to the fact that he wanted belonging, empowerment and safety, the entire Nazi regime would not have happened. When we feel powerless and alone and betrayed (like Hitler did during his childhood and also during WW1), but we cannot admit to our insecurities and vulnerabilities and wounds, the subconscious mind has to try to get our needs met in any way it can. Leadership gave Hitler that sense of empowerment. Being a part of a group (the Nazis) gave Hitler a sense of belonging. Getting rid of the Jews, (whom he had lifelong conflict with and whom he felt betrayed him and his country during World War 1) made him feel safer.
If we are unwilling to admit to what we really want, we may go about getting it in ways that are harmful to us and harmful to the world as well. For example, financial desperation aside, most prostitutes want to be valued. Their self worth is so low that the only value they feel they have is their sexuality. So, they have sex with strangers despite the risks so they can feel that brief feeling of being valued for the only thing they feel has value. Another example is a person who loves authority and loves to be the center of attention. They think it’s not ok to admit to that. So they go into a career where they get both of those things, like politics. Really they hate politics itself. They don’t really care about legislation or about taking care of people’s rights; they just want to be in a position of authority where they are the center of attention. They subsequently go on to damage people’s lives because they never cared about those things in the first place. If they would have been willing to admit to what they wanted, they could have found a job that really had nothing to do with legislation or taking care of other people’s best interests. It would have made them happy and the political position could have been left to someone who actually does like legislation and who actually does get a rush out of representing other people’s best interests.
We are often concerned about what other people want, fearing that it will not serve them well. But what we do not understand is that we do not have the power to cause them to not want what they want, no matter how much we may not want them to want that thing. We would do better to just help them to get what they want in any way that we can. We cannot do it in a begrudging way, because that is disapproval. But if we genuinely help them get what they want, their perspective will change and they will want different things. The person, who wants to be a millionaire and is willing to put relationships second to money, is more likely to put people first after he achieves his millions. If we try to get him to put relationships first when what his true desire is, is money, we will spend years with a resentful person, who never makes relationships his number one priority. Collectively, we have this idea that we have to deny our needs and wants because if we give into our needs and wants, we will be like a hungry monster… Nothing will ever be enough. But imagine that by meeting a need or want, the need or want might actually be met and so the person might actually develop different needs and wants. A cup that is empty might just be full if it is filled. Often, we can never get enough of something, when we are unaware of what it really is that we are wanting because metaphorically, we end up living on table scraps. To use a food metaphor, if we can’t admit that what we want is a bowl of salt, we will endlessly seek out foods that contain salt. But it will never be enough, because we aren’t just letting ourselves go get salt. If we let ourselves get salt, we would have a craving for something other than salt. We are never going to stop wanting something until we get it. So we need to help ourselves aim straight for what we want and we need to help others aim straight for what they want. The crux of the matter is that we, as people have essentially put a leash on ourselves and a leash on each other. We do not let ourselves run in the direction of what we truly want. We do not let other people run in the direction of what they truly want. People, who are on a leash, have no other option than to run sideways. We have go to take the leash off. We have got to be brave enough to admit to what we really want and brave enough to go for it. It is so refreshing and freeing to just stop trying to suppress, deny and disown the things we really want out of fear.
So I am asking you today to take some steps to let yourself off the leash.
1. Admit to what you truly want. Ask yourself, what am I ashamed to admit that I want? 2. Admit to why you want that thing, what do you really like about it? The reason why you want something reveals the most about what you actually want.
3. Ask yourself why you feel it is wrong to want that thing. Is it actually bad or wrong to want that thing? Why or why not? If people influenced you to believe that it was not ok to want, why did they hold that opinion, what were they afraid the result would be? 4. Question what the flip side of that desire is. What is this desire telling me that I don’t want? Another way to discover this is to ask yourself, What am I afraid will happen if I don’t get this thing that I want? For example, if I am ashamed that I want fame because I want significance, I may be afraid of insignificance. If we know why we think it isn’t ok to want certain things and what we are trying to avoid by going for what we want, we can then alter our perspective about those beliefs and start to release resistance and heal those wounds.
5. Pick at least one person to admit this true desire to and admit it to them. Come out of the closet about it. 6. Ask yourself, how am I holding myself back from this thing that I want right now? How am I trying to get that thing in round about ways? 7. Ask yourself what steps you could take right now to go straight for what you want instead? What would you do differently? How could you simplify your quest for what you actually want? 8. Take those steps.
If we want something desperately, it is because we have so much resistance to the idea of not getting it. We feel powerless to get it. So we need to release this resistance. Hardly anything in this universe is more powerful than the vibration of a clear desire, with no resistance to what is unwanted on the other side of it. If we admit to our actual desires, the universe is ten times more likely to provide us with opportunities that actually facilitate our desires. Opportunities where our actual desire is the main dish, not the side dish. Once we free ourselves to admit to what we want and go for it, we also give others the permission to do the same. The result will be a much happier society. We will heal our deep, unresolved wounds much quicker. Expansion will happen much quicker and we will all be living from a place of authenticity instead of pretense.
Take the leash off and I promise you, you wont ever be tempted to look back except to reminisce about what a good decision it was.