One of the common attributes of clients that come to therapy is their desire for change – relationships, work, mood, life satisfaction…
They can imagine a different reality, and they want it for themselves.
Desire can be a wonderful thing that propels us to be better, happier, kinder, more balanced, and more successful in our lives. But desire can also keep us stuck, and spinning our wheels.
When we WANT something so badly that our mind obsesses and refuses to let go – we lose our equilibrium and get lost in the desire. In other words, the desire itself becomes more powerful than the prospective outcome.
In a previous post I wrote about my experience with secondary infertility and the pain of yearning for a child. For a good chunk of those years while my partner and I were trying to conceive, my mind was stuck on the idea that I wanted another child. I NEEDED another child. Should I have let that idea go when it didn’t work on the 20th try? No way! and neither should you. But isn’t moving through life clenched, and in fear of not getting what you want is in itself – not getting what you want?
So how do we stay focused on our goals, and in line with our desires, but at the same time unclench our hold of what we want life to be?
By understanding what is underneath the desire – what is keeping our desire in place.
Loosening The Grip: think of something you desire and answer these questions:
1. What is the meaning that I attach to getting X?
2. How would my life improve if I had X?
3. And how would my life improve if I had (the answer from question 2)?
4. And how would my life improve if I had (the answer from question 3)?
5. What is the worst thing about not getting X?
6. What negative thing would my partner/friends/parents/children/others think about me if I didn’t get X?
7. What negative thing would I think about myself if I didn’t get X?
8. When I think about not getting X, which of the following statements feels true:
- I am a failure
- I am out of control
- I don’t deserve good things
- I am not as good as others
- I am a bad person
To continue and loosen the grip of wanting WITHOUT letting go of your goals, try this technique (follow the video while focusing on the feeling of wanting).