The Way We Try to Get What We Want is the Very Reason We Don’t Have It

Good day to you, friends,
There are a great many things that a person learns over time as they pay attention to how life works. There are universal processes, or principles, that a person can learn to anticipate as they go through life, and to be aware of in themselves and others. Here’s one that’s been on my mind recently:

The way we go about trying to get what we want is the very thing that keeps us from having it.

A really good but sad example of this principle came into my awareness yesterday, as the result of a conversation I had with a friend. He is in the midst of a divorce. The reason he has decided to divorce his wife is that she has mistreated him for many years, and has been unwilling to look into her process and work for change. When he is not being the way she wants him to be, and when he does not do the things she wants him to do, she belittles him, shames him, and in other ways attempts to control and manipulate him into being the man that she desires to be married to. She does not accept who he actually is, or, it appears, desire to learn how to love him as he is. This has gone on for many years, and my friend has finally decided he has had enough. I don’t blame him: nobody in their right mind, it seems to me, would choose to live with such a thing.

Here’s the thing that fascinates me about the situation, in a horrible sort of way. Even in response to his withdrawal, and to his decisions to initiate divorce proceedings, she has not been willing to look into her process and see if there’s a way she might be contributing to the collapse of their relationship. She does not want to divorce, and is fighting it mightily, and yet in order to keep my friend she has doubled down on the very behaviors that have driven him away all these years. She’s attempting to humiliate him into giving up his desire for a better life and a better relationship, and to stay with her instead. She is not open to counseling, or anything else that might assist her in seeing into her process. In a way that is tragic, almost, but also eerily common, she is doing exactly what she needs to do in order to make sure she doesn’t get what she says she wants.

Sound familiar? That’s a dramatic example, but I would bet that nearly everyone reading this post will be able to relate. What do we really want? Well, if you ask a person’s heart, what they want is a life that works, that is full of love, connection, and beautiful things of all kinds. If you ask a person’s identity, however, then what they want (though they would never admit it) is to do everything in their power to make sure they don’t have what they want, so that they can be a victim to their circumstances and continue to be a self that suffers. This is a sad thing to see and understand, but I’m afraid that’s the way it is, for many, many people.

Let’s not do that to ourselves, okay? The best way to have what you truly want in this life is to be who you truly are. There’s another principle for you. It really is as simple as that. It doesn’t work to be an ego attempting to control life. What you get by being an ego is separation, isolation, dissatisfaction, and every other species of unhappiness. If you choose to be who you truly are, however, and act from that place, it is true that anything outwardly may happen to you. This matters little, however, because even so, even if we do not get the outward things we believe we want, if we are living from that centered place, we will have what we most deeply and truly want. This is because what we all most deeply and truly want, it seems to me, is just that: to be who we truly are.

There’s something for you to consider and to practice as you go through your day. Be well, good people, and take good care of yourselves.

In peace,