Setting aside ideal

by - January 05, 2016

I recently read a post that is recirculating this New Years, and the following line stood out:

"If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all."

There are a lot of things I want or at least I say I want, but never make any move towards achieving. The short list:

  1. Hardwood floors in the house
  2. A gymtastic physique
  3. A diet with more vegetables in it
  4. A successful pottery business

Truth is, with each of these items, I'm not sure I want them as much as I want to want them or feel that I should want them. There is an ideal in my head where I should be maximizing my gifts -- the house we live in, the body I've been given, the access to fresh food, and my personal talents and skills -- but the reality falls short of the ideal. And so I live in perpetual disappointment with a sense that I'm failing to meet my potential. Perhaps maximization is not required for utilization. Perhaps it's fine and well to dabble. Enjoyment can be found to great degree in moderation if the ideal is pushed aside. This allows me to enjoy something like pottery with the goal to be to improve over time rather than arriving at some level of success to be determined externally.

Often I feel the crushing weight of should and could, and I fail to express gratitude for the here and now. There here and now for me is the process, the slow evolution of change and growth, where goals are separate from identity and are allowed to change. There is freedom in admitting that wants are just wants and in saying "I don't really want that."

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