Imagine that the universe is your own chef. It will make whatever you want when you ask for it. Then imagine that you cannot make up your mind. So you make orders like, “I would like an omelette, but will be okay with crab cakes.”
What would the chef do? First off, it only makes what you ask for, so when you do not ask for one thing clearly, it possesses no way to make it. When we are told to settle for what is provided, we are truly being taught to eat what we previously ordered.
Yet that is not the lesson that people learn. They learn that they ought to accept any old thing. But this will never make one happy. Getting what you do not want will not fulfill you. The actual fact, is that people either do not know what they want, or are afraid to ask.
Usually, when we are young, we know exactly what we want. “I want ice cream.” “I want a new bicycle.” When we get it, we are happy, when we do not, several things may happen. We might be told to want something else, because what we want is “Too unrealistic.”
Or, we may be told to figure out a way to get it. And better still, we may be helped in learning how to get what we want out of what is available. Each response teaches us something different. The unrealistic one teaches us to suppress our dreams.
The “figure out a way to get it,” may teach self-reliance, and it may teach us that we are a failure. Helping us to get what we want shows one of the most useful responses. It allows us to learn that together we can work everything out. We are a team.
Regardless of which situation we felt like we experienced as youngsters. There are several things we must learn to do when we are older if we are to find lasting happiness. First and foremost, we have to learn how to discover what we want.
Deep inside us there are desires that shape our characters. Many say that they want true love, others that they want to be rich. Each has its merits, each is object oriented. The more spiritually inclined may ask for world peace, or internal peace.
Once we decide what we think we want, we can determine whether this fulfills something deep inside or whether this is an external want learned from our environment. Some women may have wanted to become astronauts, but were told that “love” was what they really wanted.
Thus, they spend their search seeking that which will never fulfill them. Then again, you have the ones who are taught that all human being want the same thing, and that it is some dogmatic truth. This will not fulfill them, as each person has their own ways of experiencing this truth.
Some experience spiritual wholeness through giving, others through growing, or even fighting others in combat. Each can determine what they want and how to get it. Before they are sure they can renounce. This involves letting go of everything that you think you want. Then you wait a period of time for the dust to settle.
I took the dramatic route and surrendered everything, a family, material success, all of my heirlooms, you name it. Then I deliberately denied myself everything but tools which forced me to look at my internal reality. This dramatic and comprehensive method is not recommended for all.
In fact, because I walked this path and gained its insight, I now help people to renounce without having to figuratively or literally burn all of their connections to reality. For example, one client obsesses on his children. All he can think of is how he is a father.
As a result, his children toy with his emotions, either deliberately or unconsciously. He is a leaf in the wind blown hither and thither by their whims. He will never experience wholeness of fullness as long as his esteem is determined by external actors and objects.
So we guide him to diminish his personal identification with the external. Some ways might be by minimizing his contact to the essentials as his children are now in junior high and high school. It may involve getting assistance to support his progeny as he redefines his identity.
Most importantly, we support him and his family as he renounces identification with the external goal that may or may not be his own dream. As things start to settle, it becomes clearer to him what he truly wants or dreams of. In fact, we do other work to read his desires and help him anchor them into his awareness.
All of these things lead to a more balanced and fulfilled life for him at a rapid rate. The method of total renunciation that I used leads to discovering your wants and self more quickly, but the emotions still take time to cascade when you are on your own.
For my clients I help them to move all of their pieces simultaneously while minimizing the extremes. This way, they can learn what they want while experiencing and feeling it. Rather than discovering their highest purpose and waiting for everything to catch up!