Let’s take a step back in time. You are at the store with your parents and you promptly tell them that you want the new Barbie, and princess costume, and the chocolate bar next to the register. If your parents were anything like mine; they may have caved in, buying one of those things, but didn’t hesitate to tell you that wanting everything was gluttonous/selfish. I remember feeling almost like I was being punished. That wanting these things was bad.
One of my favorite books as a child was called Gimmie Hands. It was about this creature who sprouted an extra arm every time he wanted something/took something from someone else. The basis of this book was to teach children sharing but looking back on it, it taught me that wanting something or too many somethings was wrong. As children were (or at least I was) conditioned to associate wants and desires as negative feelings. This morning, I want to change that.
Let’s start with making our appetites known. It’s scary sharing your desires with others. The fear of being judged as selfish or undeserving stops us from ever fully allowing ourselves to really want anything. In response to that, I pose the question of “Why do our wants have to be okay with anyone but ourselves?”
Why do people try to determine whether or not we deserve our desires?
I am 100% guilty of this, which is why I want to bring attention to the fact that we all do it. Judging others on the opinion of whether or not we think they deserve the things they are striving for.
This Monday, I think we should evaluate what we really want in life and be unapologetic about it. It’s like the treat someone how you would want to be treated. I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting certain experiences or relationships and I should, in turn, not make others feel that way. God created the world in a way that if you walk with him, you will never even be in want because he has already provided all you need. The desires he has placed in our hearts are there for a reason and we shouldn’t shame one another for being honest about them.
I’m not talking about hurtful or selfish wants like: ‘I want her to suffer just as much as I did’ or ‘I want to be the richest man in the world and prove to everyone how great I really am’. I’m talking about aspirations that better yourself and those around you; desires that inspire others to dream big and never give up. Simple or complex, these are important and special to you, no one else’s opinion should matter. We should be lifting each other up for the bravery of knowing our truths and going after them.
I recently came across a post about a girl who decided to travel after a break up (they were together for 5 years) and how it was her way of coping and finding herself again. What really stuck out to me was how she said traveling alone was so different then before because now she could do what she wanted, instead of always compromising. *Side note: Compromising isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually really important in a relationship but that isn’t the focus of this post Not allowing herself to be honest with her partner about her travel goals and hankerings, led her to miss out on things that she actually wanted to get out of those trips.
People forget the difference between compromise and never going after what they truly want in life. For instance, last week I had the realization that if Ian wasn’t on this whirl wind adventure I had no clue where I would be. I know I don’t strive to only carry on existing and paying bills, there has to be some goals in there too. I’ve allowed someone else dream to distract me from my wants out of fear of failure and not being accepted. What is so wonderful is that I’m with someone who cares about me enough to tell me to go after the things that I really crave in life. Lifting me up, instead of trying to put me into their idea of what I should want.
Sometimes it simply comes down to us forgetting to listen to our gut. We start to believe others that we don’t deserve what we want and instead of pursuing those dreams we just put them away. There is a part in Peter Pan (human version) that always struck me as odd. Mrs. Darling is explain to the children why Mr. Darling is brave. She describes how he put his dreams in a box and every-so-often he takes them out and admires them. “It gets harder and harder to close that box but he does,” she says with her eyes almost glassed over. I always wondered if she was imagining how different life would have been if her and Mr. Darling had gone after their true desires instead of following 19th century-societies idea of ideal accomplishments. As a child, it was hard to understand why: Why is it so hard for people to just do what they want?
I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. I’m going to figure out what that is. – Emma Watson
Let’s be transparent for a minute. I have a very long list of wants, ones that I have already categorized as possible and impossible. I hope that by sharing a few of them with you, you can see how absurd this whole wanting/not wanting business has become.
- Start a blog
- Love and be loved
- Finish school
- Learn how to drive a manual
- Pay off loans
- Base jump in a squirrel suit
- Get my pilots license
- Sail a boat by myself
- Have a close relationship with my family
- Have never-ending close friendships
- See a narwhal in real life
Now I will admit things have shuffled around a bit and some of my Possible things were once Impossible. The sad truth is all of these things are possible if only I allowed myself to see that I deserve them. Most of my reasons for things not being obtainable stem from limitations I have set upon myself. People may have said something or I assumed that I didn’t deserve to want those things. It makes me look self-seving or too ambitious. Almost like I don’t deserve to want an movie worthy New Years or a ‘true love’ story because I’m just, well, me.
Everyone feels this way about one thing or another and it makes me sad to think that if we supported one another in the ways that we wished we would be supported, the impossible list could be eradicated entirely. Instead, we are too worried about how others value us that we don’t step out of our comfort zones to test the waters of what if.
The more I realize this, the more I want to tear down the stigma. Wanting something does not make you selfish or egotistical. It makes you a human. It makes your strong. And it shows that you see worth in yourself too. You are worthy, you are deserving, by the grace that God has extended to us through Christ (my personal belief) everything that you want should and can be yours without guilt being a part of it.
So don’t be the one to stand in your own way this week. Go back to the bucket-list or box full of lost dreams and allow yourself to strive for those things. Then figure out a way to achieve it. It will open doors you never thought you’d find the key for. But please make it a habit to remind others that their wants are important too. Be encouraging. Be loving. Allow yourself to be you.
Hugs & Kittens,
** All photos are curtesy of Pinterest