Thursday, March 26, 2009
What We Really Want
Have you ever noticed how much of what we want is actually dictated from early childhood onward? I remember being told as a small child that I liked liver. Actually, liver disgusts me. It makes my stomach ill and even to get it in I basically have to gag it down. But liver is supposed to be good for you, so I was told that I like it. I had to eat it until I was around 5 and would not eat anything associated with it, not even the potatoes that were beside it on the plate.
In life, we often are told, directly or indirectly, what we are supposed to like. Sometimes that means food, other times it means colors, now and then it means the style of clothes or hair we wear, but most often it has to do with more profound things, such as what we do for a living or what sort of people we befriend. Now the good thing is that sometimes what we are told to like or what is assumed that we like actually matches what we do like. More often what we are told to like is not at all what we do like. This is why it sometimes takes years for a person to figure it all out. We start to believe what others have told us about who we are and what we are and, through this belief, we lead our lives in misery. We wonder why the heck we are having a midlife crisis when we are only 25!
Each crisis in our lives, however, is an opportunity for realignment. When we are miserable, we need to look at what would actually make us fulfilled. For example, I knew that I did not like being a salesman. I was darn good at it, but it did not fulfill me. When I finally decided that I had to embrace my teachings as a shaman and start living my life in attunement with that path, things became much more fulfilling and joyous. That does not mean to say that it became easy. This is not a path that I tend to advise others to take, mostly because it is hard work that sometimes scares the bejeebers out of you. Anything that demands that we look at the most messed up parts of ourselves and heal those parts is going to be grueling.
I know a person who was at one time a quantum physicist. This was a highly challenging career and one that was mentally stimulating. But what this person really wanted was to become an artist. Now that this person is an artist, fulfillment naturally flows. The monetary pay is much less, but the joy is exponentially greater.
We sometimes have to allow ourselves to come to full bloom on our own. This cannot be accomplished with anyone tugging at the buds, or squeezing them in hopes of making them bloom on their time and in their way. It simply has to naturally occur. And then the fruits of our labors are succulent and sweet.