The most transformative therapy I have ever experienced was with a man whose name I do not remember in a well-lit basement office in his home. Almost seventeen years ago I saw this man just once (because I was moving) and I recall only one question that he asked me. I believe he might have been the very first person in my life to look me in the eye and say to me: What is it you want?
At the time his question confused me and I truly thought it held a deeper, layered complexity I had to divine. I tried to scrum up all the right answers and even when he tried to reassure me that there was no wrong answer to his simple question, I was confounded. It took me years to understand the importance of that one simple query.
What do you want?
For many years of my life my blind spots were myriad and the wounds I’ve caused to both myself and others have been also. My primary want for decades was very simple: I wanted to be skinny, beautiful. Same thing, if you asked me. Even deeper however, was my longing to be safe, to be seen, to be known, to be wanted.
“Desire is only toxic when we demand our desires be satisfied on our terms and in our timing, but knowing what you want isn’t about making demands or being irresponsible or selfish. Even if you don’t get what you want, knowing what you want can still be a great gift." - Emily Freeman
Why is knowing what we want a gift? I think it’s because when we know what we want, that determines the choices we can make. A favorite professor of mine used to say that self awareness leads to volitionality.
I wonder if our expressed desires are also one of the ways that we can best connect? When I know what I want I am connected to my own body, my emotions, my mind and my soul. I am integrated within myself. When I express what I want, or hear what others want, I am connecting with them also. Their choices are not mine to stage-manage or direct, but when they offer me a response to help meet my needs and desires and I can do the same for them, a different kind of bridge is built. Those bridges, too, can be crossed one choice at a time.
If I can help you by hearing what it is you want, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'd be honored to help you express your desires and see how they can be met.