In a recent workshop we explored the following wants for ourselves and the world:
- An open mind
- An openness to change
- A trauma free world
- To matter
- Ability to be limitless
- Acceptance without judgment
As each shared a desire the rest of us owned our “shadow”– our dark side. The side that we either consciously or unconsciously keep hidden.
Our wants were represented by a ball of yarn that while holding onto a strand we passed the ball to those of us willing to share how we do not comply with the ‘want’
We shared when and how we are not open to change, how we contribute to violence, how we accept our limiting beliefs, how we do not understand, how we judge, how we choose disconnection…
The room felt heavy with our wanting and our struggle for bringing our wants to fruition.
In the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha tells us that it is our “cravings”, our “wants” that create suffering.
The multiple balls of yarn that we passed to each other seemed to create a pattern as they loosely hung between us. Our “wants” looked chaotic and messy.
We followed the directions to stand and tug on our wants. The tension and the misery in the room began to build. We followed our movements and as Parker Palmer said in his book “Healing the Heart of Democracy” we began “holding the tension of our differences in a creative way.” The creativity came as we chose to change our perception.
Someone noted that with the tension we also created ‘a finely tuned musical instrument’. We saw that and acknowledged it.
We continued to follow our movement and slowly and gently we all released our wants and accepted what is, and what was.
It was in the releasing of our wants and accepting what is and what was that a sense of acceptance, understanding, peace, connection became apparent. This was totally in keeping with the Buddha’s third Noble Truth.
It would be so easy to cast “wanting” as the villain. Yet, if you look carefully you will see that the “wanting” was the seed for what grew. Just like a seed, it needed to crack through the shell as it grew and transformed. It created tension inside the shell and further tension as it reached through the dirt/chaos for oxygen, sun and rain.
Wanting comes from awareness that something is missing.
What is missing in your world?
Go ahead and want it and know that in your wanting you will find discomfort. It is in that suffering and in the tension that something will take root and if nurtured it can grow into something of value for you and for me.
Consider releasing the want into the world and watch it as it breaks through the chaos. And then surrender to the rain and the warmth of the sun and say yes to everything it offers whether your seed is planted in a field or a crack in the pavement. Your want belongs whether it blooms for one week, one day or not at all. Your want always contributes especially when it is released.