What do you want that you're afraid to share?
Ever notice how kids don’t hesitate to let you know what they want? Whenever my three-year-old niece feels the urge to eat or listen to Let It Go for the umpteenth time, she makes it known to everyone within earshot.
I admire how babies and toddlers express their needs so freely.
It’s a skill we lose touch with the older we get, and for some of us, by the time we’re full-fledged “adults,” we hold back from sharing what we want completely.
Maybe holding back our desires seems like the “responsible” or easier thing to do.
After all, we don’t want to bother anyone with our desires, right?
And what if they criticize us for what we want? How painful and disappointing would that be?
No matter how others may react, it’s vitally important that we recognize and speak our desires. Because our desires are a yearning from our soul to grow and expand.
No matter how big or small, how rational or irrational, our desires are our soul’s cry for a different experience, and maybe even a new direction.
Our desires can be as simple as wanting an hour for ourselves to nap, workout, or do nothing at all.
Or it can be a seemingly far-fetched dream… to move to a new city, take a sabbatical or turn a hobby into a business.
When we suppress our desires, we’re telling that part of ourselves that it’s not important. And every time we do, a little part of us dies along with it.
Rather than letting it guide us to our next moment or next step in life, we ignore the call and keep going like business as usual.
Until one day, we wake up feeling stuck - caught between where we are and where we actually want to be, and no way to get there.
So if our desires are so important, why do we ignore them?
Because recognizing and sharing our desires takes courage and vulnerability.
According to Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, “Most people believe vulnerability is weakness. But really vulnerability is courage. We must ask ourselves… are we willing to show up and be seen?”
Being vulnerable lets us be authentic. It lets ourselves be seen as who we truly are. Would you want to live your life any other way?
I experienced this first hand last year when I felt a pull to move to San Diego. Even though I knew the energy of the new city would be a better fit for us, I felt tremendous guilt and sadness for leaving the only family I have on the west coast - my beloved sister, bro-in-law, niece and nephew. It'd also take us further from our families on the east coast.
After hesitating to share our desire to move, I finally shared it and we actually made the move a couple of months ago! Although I miss them on a daily basis, I feel much more aligned to the life I'd envisioned for myself.
Another reason we hold back our desires is to avoid bothering or upsetting others.
But what if getting exactly what we want is the best thing that could happen to the loved ones in our life?
I often hear of exhausted parents who hesitate to take time for themselves even though they desperately need and want a break.
What they're not seeing is the possibility that their kids and spouse will all benefit from them taking some time off. Their desire that leads them to being happier and calmer actually benefits their entire family.
Now it's your turn...
What do you want that you hesitate to share? Have you lost touch with your desires?
Well, it’s not too late to reconnect with them.
Begin by writing down five things you want each day using the sentence starter I want... Your wants can be big or small, rational or irrational. You don’t even need to act on them.
The simple act of acknowledging your desires will help you start reconnecting with them.
And if you’re really ready to build your vulnerability muscle, leave a comment below with what you want that would really make your heart smile, even if it feels selfish or upsetting to others.
Thanks for reading!