What do you want? It’s hidden in a deep, dark place. And the only way to scratch that itch is to find the courage to admit to yourself — and, eventually to others — that this is that you want. So — are you willing to face it?
What do you want?
There is something you want. And while you may not know what it is right now, there is a deep want at the center of your story. But what is it that you want — and how can you find it? Well, for starters, (and this may bum you out a bit) there is no one who can tell you what it is. It’s up to you. And that’s frustrating, right? After all those trips in the car with your mom where she asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” — to which all you had to offer her was a blank stare (on a good day) and something worse than a blank stare on a bad day. Which sometimes led to guilt and shame, which led to nowhere…
What’s the problem?
The problem is that what you want is buried in a deep, dark place. And it’s not easy to get to. But it’s there, nonetheless. Bothering you. Pestering you. And you get glimpses of this phantom want from time to time in your dreams or in the fights you have with people (often those who are closest to you). But you can never quite grasp it.
Are you willing to face it?
But until you’re willing to face it, you’ll just stay on the same old dizzying, boring merry-go-round. So ask yourself the question: Am I willing to face it? No, I mean it. You just read that and were ready to move on, right? But there’s no point in reading further unless you actually do that. Ask yourself right now: Am I willing to face the fact that there is something I want that is going to take some work on my part to find? And you can close your eyes or leave them open, but please take a moment to actually ask yourself that question. Because if the answer is yes, you’re about to embark on a quest. And if the answer is no, then just be honest about it.
Then take one small step right now.
If you’re still reading, know this: every journey begins with a single step. And this is one small step. But it’s a tough one. And your internal safety monitor will fight you tooth and nail to keep you from saying what it is that you actually want. So get ready for deep resistance. And then: take out a sheet of wafer sliced tree (a sheet of paper — amazing technology) and a pen, and answer this question: “What do I really want?”
What did you come up with?
Chances are that when you first did that, you didn’t come up with much, because your brain is still in a fog. So don’t worry if you don’t have anything yet. There is a certain amount of shame that comes with the freefall that you’ve been living in lately. Partly, because you feel like you should have your shit together better by now. And if you did come up with something essential, that’s good, too. In either case, remember the experience you just had, and plan to repeat it again soon. This simple exercise is at the heart of what Socrates was talking about when he encouraged his listeners with that wonderful, annoying phrase, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Remember: everything essential must be easy.
And here’s what to do with what you found — or with what you will find when you ask yourself that question. Because once you know what you want, you’re going to want to make it easy to get to, over and over again. One small example in my own life writing. I want to write. Because writing helps me think clearly. And I love thinking clearly. And writing also gives me a sense of control, which I crave. So imagine how silly it would be if I didn’t write. So what do I do? I make writing — which is essential to me — easy. I have effective writing tools at my fingertips at all times, so I can write easily whenever the urge grabs me. What do you want? And how can you make doing what you want easy?
Want more help?
I can help you practice better emotional hygiene. And you have a couple of options for your next step. You could contact me and describe what you're going through. And I'll be in touch with suggestions. Or you can book a free session to make a time to get together and talk it over in person. Either way, I'm here to help you focus, overcome resistance, and get moving again.