Do You NEED What You Want?

pray wish dream want woman

It feels like a kick in the teeth when someone says you can’t have what you want – doesn’t it? I get this. I was led to believe some time ago that ‘anything is possible’, ‘you can have anything you want’ in life, but then my critical thinking mind questioned this, because can we really?

Take for example, 100 actors all working in Hollywood in cafés and gas stations, hoping to be recognised or get that top job in a major movie or television series. Now, out of 100 actors, 10 may be recognised, 1 may make it big. So what happens to the other 89 actors? Why didn’t they get what they wanted too?

Because this world is meant to have balance and if we all got exactly what we wanted at the same time, the world would be in chaos. If I wanted that house over there and 10 other people wanted it too and we all got it, what happens? We all live there? Not possible, it makes no sense at all.

So, what is possible? And why can’t we have what we want?

I was watching a spiritual teacher recently called Teal Swan and she approached this subject rather differently. I found it fascinating that she said that we all have intuition, instincts for example, an inner compass and we are often told, follow your joy, your bliss…whatever term you may have heard, but what if our inner compass is distorted by childhood conditioning and the wants and desires of our parents, our siblings and our culture?

We may think we are heading for our true north because we feel this burning desire to help others. We feel this is our passion, our purpose, but as Teal mentioned in her video, what if for example, your mother either ignored you or told you off when you were passionately exploring your desire to understand science. So that every time you sat at the kitchen table playing and investigating she told you off, made you feel that your interest was wrong, and in opposition to this she rewarded you for helping around the house, helping her, helping others.

You were given praise and encouragement based on this experience, not on your science interests.

So fast forward to today, you get up in the morning and you only feel satisfied or ‘joyful’ when you perform a role that helps others, but as time goes on you start to feel drained and tired, but you don’t know why. This is because your compass was a bit wonky, it was tainted by your early childhood experiences.

And this is why sometimes what we think we want is not necessarily what we need.

Other People

disabled couple wheelchair

We can take this one stage further. If you are in a relationship with someone and you enjoy the relationship, but your mind keeps focussing on what the relationship or the other person lacks, or you perceive that they lack, you may grow disheartened and doubting, wondering whether you are in the right relationship.

Perhaps you feel that you are not getting your desires met, maybe he or she is not being affectionate with you in the way you want to experience, but does this mean that you are in the wrong relationship?


It can mean that your life, your soul, needs this relationship to grow and evolve. Those ‘grass is greener over there’ moments are simply distractions coming from the ego. If you are in a loving relationship you make it work, you commit to sharing love and affection, learning about the other, accepting them for who they are and in so doing accepting yourself in the process. There are people in relationships with partners who are sick or maybe are missing limbs, but does that mean that the relationship is wrong because the other person cannot perform the functions or affection that you may want or long for? Or is it instead an adventure in learning to love and accept in the only way you are meant to right now.

When Your Wants Are Addictive

So, your wants may be enticing, but your needs may be greater, and your heart may understand this more than your mind.

Many people feel they will be happy when they win the lottery or increase their wealth in some way; they feel that if they just get what they want in this area, everything will be great, but the wanting never disappears.

Wanting is a part of being human. It’s natural to desire, but when the wanting overrides what is necessary for our own personal growth through our ‘needs’, we miss out on so many great opportunities to be here with what is, learning to accept, embrace and find peace and life satisfaction here now, not over there in the imaginary future.

We can go on living according to what we want and desire or we can begin to embrace what we have as what we need instead. If one person was living on desire and another person was embracing what they are living as what they need, who do you think would feel the most satisfied in life?

Do you look to other people, hang onto the idea that they will change and that when they do everything will become better for you? If you are doing this you are hanging on to a ‘what if’ desire, not a reality.

Reality is not a bad thing; I think it gets given a bad rap in spiritual circles. We focus on creating our reality, our future, but reality has all the gifts and welcomes us through grace into a more fulfilling life journey.

What are your needs saying to you?

  • Do you want more money or is it security that you need?
  • Do you want a lover or do you need to simply love or feel loved?
  • Do you want your health to be different from what it is? Or do you maybe need to have more health-full thoughts about your body, that comes from love and acceptance of ‘what is’?

We need to delve deeply to see. Is our compass showing true north or is it pointing in other directions away from what is needed for who we are right now?

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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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  1. Laurie
    June 18, 2020 / 10:40 am

    Oh my… This one hits deep, and I am going to have to study it a few times. lol. The conflict of “want/need” has waged inside for years. It’s quite painful at times…when you grit your teeth and growl, “why am I not getting this!!??” I really liked the “inner compass” analogy. However, the thing being stirred up is fear of possibly having to face being wrong about some want/need decisions in the past. But my #1 criteria is the desire to walk in truth. No matter how much it may hurt. Will see where this part of the path goes.

    • June 21, 2020 / 11:38 am

      Hi Laurie, I hear you, it can be hard to let go of the desperate wanting, but also I am coming to the conclusion that those deep heart wants, never go away and that’s okay. Sending lots of love.

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