A NEED FOR UNREASONABLE WISHES
First of all the question is – what is reasonable and what is unreasonable?
I want to argue, that wishes aren’t supposed to be reasonable. They are wishes, they are connected to dreams and feelings and – as I find, very, very physical.
Yesterday this subject came up in a session with my client, but it is not the first time I’m meeting this. It seems, that especially people who consider themselves privileged in many ways, don’t allow themselves to wish for anything else. So when they wish for something, that isn’t in the realm of their current life, they argue it away in some way.
It’s not necessary.
It is spoiled of me to want this.
It’s too normal, to want the same as everyone around me.
It would be very complicated to organize.
It is out of my control anyways.
I shouldn’t ask for more, I already have…
Other people have way less than I do.
It would be greedy.
It’s too expensive.
It’s ridiculous to want something so banal.
There are like 15 steps before this, that are way too complicated.
I don’t really need it.
I totally manage without this
These and more versions of conversations in the back of the mind I have heard (by myself, by clients, by friends, when in their body they sense a longing or clear wish. You might have heard similar arguments or have a different style.
But what I noticed when working with people, is that no matter what the argument there is a similar thing happening in the body and that is a kind of contraction and as if trying to stop movement and flow.
My client yesterday held particularly her right side. This is a pattern she also knows from other times in her life, so I wouldn’t even say that she is holding this side tight only because she doesn’t allow herself to wish for something big. It’s more like, that is her ‚go to place‘ to contract, when something is out of her control – a place where her body tries to compensate for a sense of loosing balance in some way.
But it is also something I know from myself. When there is something too big to even dream about, where I have no idea how to make it happen (and the wish for peace is one of the biggest examples) or what my next action could be, I hold my shoulders and arms. It feels almost like I move in two directions at the same time – outwards, towards the wish, and inwards with the ‚reasonable‘ thinking that there is nothing I can do about it right now. And then everything gets stuck.
Especially throughout the last year I have worked with this subject of wishing unreasonably. And the more I do, the more I actually experience it as a physical need for living freely and joyfully. I believe we have the need to be allowed to wish and to play, to enjoy without having to be able to ‘solve’ or fix something immediately.
I think, we need to notice what we enjoy and what we missing, even if that also means noticing the longing and possibly what some people experience as neediness… often feelings or sensations we don’t find desirable. And this need is even independent of expressing the wish or the longing to others – unless we really want to, and trust someone – but I think to allow yourself to experience them gives our body more freedom, when we detach the wishing from it having to be real and reasonable.
A wish is a wish. It doesn’t entitle us to anything and there is no guarantee that a wish is going to be fulfilled (I think, this is why it feels so vulnerable to be honest about our wishes… because it comes with the risk of never getting it and the pain of that disappointment). It might come with a feeling of being insatiable and in our mind we might start arguing like in the examples above… that we already have such a privileged life and we shouldn’t want more…
In my eyes, these are two very different things. To know that you’re privileged and to stay humble, not to require to always be accommodated is one thing. To wish for something else (just like that wish for peace) doesn’t mean you take it away from anyone else or that you are an ungrateful bitch (pardon my french).
There is so much energy in wishing, if we allow it to just move through us and instead of focusing on one specific practical version of making it ‚real‘, it can make us attentive to when opportunities arise. We can learn to notice, which part of the wish is essential for us today and which (human) quality we’re longing for, if we allow the experience of the wish without a preconceived idea of where and how it will be provided for.
Maybe allowing the wish will be in some ways painful or sad and the ‚only’ benefit we get is not adding more contractions to areas in our bodies that are vulnerable in the first place.
That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
If you would like to explore a bit, how to create space for this need to wish, I would be happy to explore this with you. And if you like to include a practice to your daily life, I will be sharing a personal practice to do this in a couple of days in part two of this article.
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