teenage-bedroom-05People aren’t often truthful about what they want. Not that they are trying to mislead us for nefarious purposes, but usually they are either uncomfortable claiming the truth or they aren’t even sure what it is. Some people know what they want, but it to have it would require they make transformative changes in their lives, the kind that you can’t take back, that can hurt others, that change how they would see themselves and the world. All of that is too big and too scary, it takes away things they don’t think they can afford to lose, so instead they lie. They lie to themselves and to everyone else. They make up wants that fit the lives they are in and define themselves through what they have, claiming that this is exactly what they want, mostly because they are told they should and that everyone else wants it too. Some people think that what they do for themselves to survive is what they want. The choices and activities which medicate the pain, that make the exhaustion palatable, that justify the wearing down of the body and the grinding down of options and opportunities. They get confused and think that all the choices they make to make due or survive are actually things they want. They thereby avoid seeing that there are wants beyond the moment, beyond the good enough.

So what if we spent time figuring out what we really want? Not the big picture, rock your world goal so high on a pedestal that you can safely say you want it because you know it’s unreachable. No, what if we spent time figuring our what we really want in the small increments? Things which we really want but that we can have a small bite of just to see if we really like it? What if we pulled down the huge big picture, cut a small scrap off the corner and really looked at it. Would we recognize it?  Would we see that it might fit into this small corner of our week or month that we would have been doing something routine? That small chunk of the big picture doesn’t have to add up to anything. It doesn’t have to be a step anywhere.  It doesn’t have to be that one thing that changes our world or unlocks the door where we become some new and fantastical person.  It could just be what it is, a small piece of a big picture, but one we can hold in our hand, we can have in our lives rather than look at from afar.

What if you could take down all those big pictures you’ve been tacking up on the walls and the ceiling of your life and lay them out on the floor, then sit on them and get a really good look at them for the first time. Would they still be what you really want for yourself or would they be memories from yesteryear that you look at with fondness but know aren’t you any more? Could you sort through them, make room for new ones?  Could you start letting small pieces of them into your life? Could you make space for one small adventure, one safe but nerve-wracking conversation, one dance class, one attempt to use a new tool, to do one thing you’ve always wanted to try? Could you stop hiding what you really want for just one moment to let a small piece of it in? Even if you’re the only one that will ever know?