What Do You Want?

I was talking to a group of friends recently. We were signing up for a race that we are doing as a team later this year and were deciding who was going to run which part of the course. It’s a team of 12 ladies and our team captain had been given the job of making the assignments (not an easy job, for sure). Each member of the team had given our captain their top 3 choices and then she was trying to fit it all together so everyone got what they wanted. 

As I watched this process, I noticed something really interesting. No one on our team, including me, wanted to definitely say which part of the race they wanted. Each one of us said some version of,

“Oh I could be runner 1, 6, 8, 9, 2 or 12. I really don’t care. Just put me wherever you want.”

I think the idea is that we didn’t want to make things more difficult for the captain whose job it was to make everyone happy, but in doing so, we made her job a lot harder. In asking for what we want, she was asking for help, some guidance in the process. But in trying to be flexible, we were actually denying her the help and guidance that she needed in order to make those decisions. 

Super interesting, right?

I think this stood out to me because of the stark contrast that I see in my kids’ relationships with each other. They know exactly what they want and tend to get really upset when they don’t get it. And they are not afraid, AT ALL, to let you know precisely what they want. 

So when does this change for us? When, in our adult development, do we decide that it is easier for us to stop wanting things? 

I think, on the surface, it is an effort to be polite. We don’t want to be demanding or put our needs above other people because we are socialized to believe that it is selfish if we do. We don’t want to be a burden to other people. We want to be independent. 

The problem I see is when, in an effort to not be a burden, we start erasing desire altogether.

I see this come up for my clients fairly often. It sometimes shows up in the very first session. 

We usually talk about what problems they are having in their marriage and then I generally ask a question like, “So what do you want your marriage to be like?”

Many don’t even know. They have an underlying belief that they shouldn’t want their marriage to be different than it is. They think that they should just be grateful that their marriage isn’t bad. They start to feel guilty when they want a better marriage, an amazing marriage.

They stop wanting and believing that it can ever be better. So they end up staying exactly as they are. Never growing in their marriage relationship and never really progressing. Which feels terrible. 

Wanting and striving for more is and important part of our progression in this life. I believe that Heavenly Father places righteous desires in our hearts to guide us in the direction that He wants us to go. He’s moving us toward the path and purpose that He has designed specifically for us in this mortal journey. 

So, the way I see it, if we stop wanting, we can’t improve.

I love the story of Nephi in the Book of Mormon. It is after Lehi has told his family about his dream of the Tree of Life and Nephi is left to ponder on what his father has said. He says, “I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost…”

If Nephi hadn’t desired to know, to see for himself, we would not have the precious chapters that details his own vision, very different from the account we get from Lehi. 

I think that wanting something more from our marriage relationships, likewise can be a blessing to us as well as our children for years to come. 

So what do you want in your marriage?

Many times, we want our partner to change in some way. We want them to be more confident, or understanding, or attentive. 

But my questions is what do YOU want in your marriage? How do you want to show up? Who do you want to be in your marriage? What do you need to believe to make you happy in your marriage? 

These are all important questions to ask and ponder. Because although we can’t control our spouse or how they show up, we can control how we show up 100%. And that makes all the difference. 

If you need some help remembering how to want in your life, accessing your desire, I’d love to chat about it in a free coaching session. Just click the button to schedule this 20 minute session where we can get you started on the road of wanting again. It feels really great.