If you google that statement, you’ll get many hits both as quote links and as picture quotes, like the one I use in this post. There might be more than just one reason for that and certainly, more often than none, such a reason would go beyond the following statement: “You’ll find anything on the Internet anyway.“
As usual, I can babble on about myself and not many of you will care – but this post “what you want isn’t always what you need” might, in fact, give you this “aha moment” that you need to make the right decision, or to move on or something of the kind.
Mindful breathing pushed my self-understanding
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting with my therapist and it was very insightful as usual. I was explaining a concept that I’d learned during the mindfulness course I used to attend to. I told her what had happened when I did the exercise called “Mindful breathing“. It is a short exercise under which I stood such an observer would, “outside my own body”, while I was trying to focus on what was happening inside me. It was a weird experience, but at the same time very instructive. When I explained that to the mindfulness coach, she told me that it showed how I was shutting down my own feelings or rather the connection between my body and my feelings – as I managed to interpret later on. In the illustration “Keep in touch with the whole you…“, it is evident that feelings, thoughts, and body are interdependent. It makes sense actually. For instance, when you’re afraid what kind of response is your body giving? Maybe your stomach hurts… what about when you’re happy? Maybe you smile etc.
With that in mind, I went to my therapist – as I already mentioned – and told her about my experience and what the mindfulness coach had told me. She – my CBT – proceeded in explaining that my body is the tool to actions while my mind is the guide to those actions. Furthermore, my feelings are the language between my body and my mind (soul). In my case, the communication through that language is somewhat a one-way thing when it occurs, which makes it difficult for me to relate to my soul since the language is unintelligible… or rather, I do not want to listen when I need to. I am, however, getting better at it. I also often mix thoughts and feelings, which is not so uncommon.
What you want isn’t always what you need
The important thing is to be aware that what you want isn’t always what you need; I should listen more to what I need even if what I want is fun to do, it is not necessarily what I need. Having such theoretical facts – no matter how abstract they sound – has helped me greatly these past few days. How so, you might ask. In a nutshell, here is how:
On Saturday, my husband’s band is playing live and I have always said that I would attend. At the same time, considering my present situation, I was telling myself that I’d be alright with the loud music and the crowd, as long as I’d use earplugs and had a retreat if the crowd made me uneasy. The truth is that I was lying to myself big time. The concert is a fun event and I really wanted to attend; right now, however, it is far from being what I need. I came to that conclusion earlier this week, so I am staying home with an unforeseen bonus: the company of my friend’s two dogs. I have made my peace with the fact that what I need is definitely more important than what I want, and it feels amazing. Another example: in July, my favorite band is playing close to where I live, the tickets are not so expensive that I could not afford them, and yet I am not sure I am going to buy them. I don’t know where I’ll be on my journey in July, so I might let this go and listen to what my feelings are communicating right now.
Finally, as my father is saying, I’m concentrating on the essential which, to me, is my family. I’ve bought plane tickets to visit my parents for a week in about a month. This is what I need. I’ve never gone without my husband, although it has never been an issue for him to have me go on my own whenever I needed… it was at times an issue for me. My family is in two countries, so it takes some planning to get both sides of the same coin as often as humanly (and financially) possible. So, this is a big step and a really good one too! Besides, since I am about to go back to work, either in April or in May, my family is the constant I need to be me – they are the backbone of my well-being. I need that in “extra quantities” before starting to work again.