“Ponder the difference between want and need”… This year’s theme reminds us to do that. Physical needs will make themselves apparent… , but sometimes it’s too easy to ignore emotional and spiritual needs. Yes, we must eat and breathe to live, but why are we here? What is life about?
My husband used to say “Pain is your friend, it tells you when you’ve done something stupid”. Pain is your body telling you to pay attention to something that needs fixing, whether it’s a bruise or a burn, but more and more of our physical ailments come from our body translating the stresses to our spirit that we’ve ignored. Your back ache may come not from carrying large objects but from “shouldering too much responsibility”, your gut issues may be the result of “swallowing” too many insults. If we ignore the very real spiritual needs our inner self will find a way to bring them to our attention. (Sadly, sometimes we don’t get what it’s saying.) Your body is there to remind you what’s important- what you need.
Another thing to remember is that we need to focus on the life we are living over what we think or hope our legacy will be. In the future, other people will be dealing with their needs, and all the grand things that seemed so important to us may not be anything they consider important. Dust we are, and to dust we return…
Speaking of dusting, on the other hand, the spirits I listen to remind me that both our house wights (brownies, or what ever name you use for them) DO want us to dust; our ancestors and invisible co-inhabitants of our living space show that they care about how we treat the homes they share with us; and certain divinities (Yes, Mother Holle, I’ll get to those dishes!) want us to keep the living area clean (and the sweeping! yes, I hear you!). There is also accumulating evidence that the physical environment has an impact on our emotions. So if you get the urge to clean or tidy, don’t fight it simply because I’ve shared a meme here. That may be what you need to do. Listen to your inner voices when they whisper so they won’t need to use your body to get your attention.
Did you ever flip a coin to make a decision and then when head or tails came up, you discovered that you really didn’t want that option? I’ve often used that technique to discover if I were hiding my own preferences from myself.
Some folks say you shouldn’t WANT things. If you don’t want anything, you’ll never be disappointed if you don’t have it, you’ll never want what someone else has. There is a problem with wanting something without having done anything to earn it, sometimes. You can follow the line of thinking to work out when it’s OK, and when it isn’t. If you take something someone else worked for when you didn’t, that’s not good. If someone gives you something because they want you to be happy and getting it makes you happy, that makes them happy, so that’s good. It’s OK to want, to admire, to appreciate beautiful, wonderful things. Better than that, if you want something, whether a bike, or a video game, or a car, or the ability to make your own decisions, that wanting, that longing for something you don’t have yet may help motivate you to doing the things you need to do to get it. You may want to fit into that dress without the seams straining, and want it more than you want those cookies. You may want to read that book enough that you stay home when others are headed for a night out- or you may want to have friends around you more than you want to read the book. One of the most important skills you can learn is to know what you want, and how much you want it. Sometimes you may have to lead yourself through a string of questions to figure out your options and test the strength of you wanting.
Don’t assume that any wanting is greed. You may be wanting someone to love you and you love. You may want money- but what you WANT is to know that you have earned that money. (Be careful not to set the intention for a wretched job because of an unexamined belief that if you don’t suffer for it, you didn’t work hard for it. Be careful, you may have picked up some really odd and untrue beliefs before you even knew you were learning them.)
Change can be very good, and your intentions- your wants- will direct them. Accept that what you want may be what is going to bring you fulfillment, and learn to embrace that energy as a way to overcome the fear of reaching for it. Fear isn’t automatically bad. Fear of being hurt keeps us safe. But want isn’t automatically bad either. Accept them as signs that help you find your way to your best life.