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it’s about wanting

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about wanting; about desire; about hope; about the strength required to want something and the power involved in getting what you want.  This is probably the first in a series.

There’s this tug of war between want and need that we learn when we’re really little.  We WANT stuff because, well, we want it.  It feels good.  But it feels like an indulgence.  It feels like extra.  It comes with an extra shot of guilt.

Need, on the other hand, need is easy.  If you need something, then you have to have it, so you might as well be done with it.  Need is justified.  Need is important.

Want is frivolous.

Or…not.

It’s a false dichotomy.  And it all comes down to that damned oxygen mask.  You know the one: when you get on a plane the flight attendant always says, “In the event of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the panel above your head.  Please put your own on first before assisting others.”

Put your own on first.

Because want becomes need really fast.

Because not tending to yourself first can make you pass out (metaphorically if not literally) and you’re useless to everyone else if you’re lying on the floor.  In fact, you’ve just become a liability.

So to reiterate: don’t become a liability.  Put on your own oxygen mask first.

Which means in this case, your wants might need tending.

Of course, that means that you need to know what you want…

2 comments

  1. I grew up believing that anything I wanted couldn’t possibly be good for me. Took me a while to unlearn that one. I always felt so rebellious for taking what I wanted, even if it was a good thing!

  2. admin says:

    @Alison: yeah, I think a lot of us have a strong association between desire and BAD–bad for us, bad to want, and what were we thinking anyway! It’s awesome that you’ve changed that. How is your life different now?