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Energy of Wanting

The way we want is the way that we live: our desire is the intention that imbues our every wish, thought, and action.

There is an energy to our wanting, and a natural alchemy: though the energy of our wanting, we transform the ordinary thing we want into something golden, the something that will complete us, bring us happiness, fulfill our desires and destinies.

But why do we want so much? When we want just what is necessary, life is simple and our minds are clear. There is little leeway between wanting and needing. In our pursuit, our intention is steady, while our minds and actions are flexible, innovative. We stop when we have what we need, we begin again when we are in need again.

This is when we are at our best: when our goal is clear, our actions are direct, and we are satisfied, able to rest, when our work is complete.

When we want more than what is necessary, we make ourselves crazy, and this is normalized. We are coached to want more and more, to show our success, to compete with others, to relentlessly better ourselves, raise our standards, impressing others and never resting. This is a never ending game. The results are not happiness.

Why does wanting more not give us more happiness? Because “more” will always overwhelm “enough”. Wanting more prevents us from recognizing the good, the sufficient, the satisfying. We can never have enough.

“Enough” is not something we can have. Like perfection, it is a state of ever-shifting, dynamic equilibrium. To recognize it, to work into and with it, we need to be agile and awake, able to recognize the shifts around us, calibrate the shifts within us, and make small adjustments without undue effort or stress.

To have enough, we learn to recognize the feeling rather than the substance of wanting.

This is a state of freedom. “Enough” is not a possess-able, pin-down-able quantity. It is subjective to our ever evolving perspective and perceptions of our needs. We don’t have to ask if we can or cannot have enough, there is no permission required, and so we become self-sufficient. We flex our own will, determining what is and is not enough. We are no longer possessed by the idea and desire for possessing, achieving, proving, more.

It is easier to want more.

Wanting more is an easy way to keep ourselves motivated, engaged in our work. Our successes bring us pleasure and praise. So we go on wanting, working, wanting, working, which can be healthy unless we are caught up in the cycles of getting— forgetting/finishing—getting back/ getting more.

Caught in those cycles, we cannot recognize the energy of the want itself, we only see what we want. We become single minded and inundated with constant thoughts of what we do not have. We lose our touch with the present, and so are unable to appreciate what is here or recognize what is enough.

Stepping out of the cycle requires true presence, and courage. It is likely that we go on acting in the same way, motivated in our work, but the energy we bring and experience in the work will be different once we are able to see what lies below the needs, the wanting.

The desire to get, be, work into a different future is the surface level of something far deeper. Perhaps we are hiding something from ourselves and the world: a sense of inadequacy or completion, the desire to demonstrate our worth. The wanting and working will cover wounds that would be better healed; when we broaden our perception beyond the object of our desire, we will see what we want to cover, and what the want is covering.

How do we do that, how do we look deeply within?

Come back for our next post!




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