What do we really want? We are dissatisfied, and we think attention would make us feel better, or sex, or money, or a bigger house, or more storage, or more respect from our parents, or … We also think it is up to our spouse to magically know what we want and present it to us without our asking. (S)he should just know. “I feel dissatisfied…I know…it’s my spouse’s fault!” Oh, dear. It’s time to deal with this, people, and I’m especially talking to women. (I love you; I’m not trying to pick on you, but there really are some gender issues attached to this particular issue. I am also not saying this is your fault!)
First of all, I am willing to bet you are overextended to some degree.
You are too busy; you don’t get enough sleep; you don’t have enough time. This is the first place you can use to figure out what you really want. Actually, not having all the money in the world helps us figure out what we want. We must decide what is most important, and let some of the other things we want alone, at least for awhile. The same thing goes for time and space. You don’t have room in your house to have everything, so you must choose what you like the best. Before you can get what you really want, you have to know what it is. Hint: It is not everything. And yes, the fact is when you say yes to one thing, you will be saying no to another. That’s just the way it is, and it has nothing to do with how committed you are, how talented you are, how strong, ambitious, yada, yada, yada. The first thing you must do to figure out what you really want is to accept your limitations.
Now, ask yourself what you really want, and then be patient.
Wait in silence for the answer. Listen. In order to do this, you will need to slow down, and you will need to have some quiet time—some alone time. You can do this! While you are waiting, get rid of some clutter, start going to bed earlier, eat well, take care of yourself, so when the answer comes, you will be able to respond. You are not abandoning your spouse or children by taking care of yourself! In fact, you may be setting a good example. You may want to write “If I let myself admit it, I would really like…” in a notebook, and then write what comes to you. You can keep asking this question every day. See what happens. At the beginning, don’t talk to others about your thoughts. Protect your dream, until it is strong enough to share with others. Another exercise you can do is go on a walk and say “Wouldn’t it be lovely if…”. Finish that sentence with whatever you would love to have happen. It doesn’t matter if it is “realistic” or not. Consider reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and /or The Vein of Gold to find out more about “walking the list”, and other exercises.
And lastly, enjoy this process!
Even if it started out of anxiety or dissatisfaction, it will be fun to discover things about yourself. It will be fun to try new things. Don’t wait for your spouse to figure out what you want! (S)he doesn’t know! Yes, it will take time and effort. You are worth it.