i am following a number of threads, and they are all leading me to the same place - to the wanting.
thread the first.
for a long while, whenever i asked the question, "what is between me and earning money?", the answer that came was usually some variation of, "i don't want to earn money".
this was supremely frustrating to me. it seemed illogical - of course i want to earn money. it also seemed more and more hopeless - i have worked through so many layers of this belief and yet there it would be again. it is so frustrating to want to earn money and to find that you are - yet again - in your own way.
this came up again a couple of weeks ago. i asked, "what is between me and earning money?" the answer was, "i don't want to earn money" and then i cried, though i didn't really know why.
i sat with the question and answer. i felt a swirling in my belly. when i felt into it, what came up was, "what if i want to earn money and then i don't? what if i'm not enough?" i had the sense of an abyss, of terror, of wanting something to happen but it wasn't happening and i couldn't make it happen and so i decided that there must be something wrong with me. i had the sense that i stopped wanting in that moment because not wanting was a better reason for not getting something than feeling like there was something wrong with me, that i was wrong.
when i talked to the fear of wanting to earn money during a meditation, the image i got was of a very tiny baby screaming as loud as it could. it said that it was afraid that the pain would be so great that i would disintegrate, and the only way it could keep me safe from that pain was to keep me from wanting.
thread the second.
i might have mentioned this before, but i am reading your dog is your mirror (kevin behan). i just read a chapter that was very interesting to me. in it, the author talks about wanting. he talks about how, as we become aware of our self in relation to others, we begin to realize that others have something to do with our wants coming true. he talks about how we learn to justify our wants to satisfy the people we need in order to get what we want. he talks about how the only way we know how to make sense of our wants being corrected or denied is to create judgments like "i am not good enough to have what i want" because we are not old enough to have the necessary perspective.
the general idea of the book is that dogs manifest our unresolved emotional issues. he says that it takes his dogs about eight years to manifest his deepest stuff.
when i look at atlas, and the things i most love and the things i find most annoying about atlas, they are all related to wanting. interestingly, when atlas turned 8 1/2, which was also the time of our 8 year anniversary, i remember saying to one of the girls at the pet store, "it's like he woke up one day and said, 'i am 8 1/2 now! we shall do what i want from here on out!'"
in atlas, i can see a perfect mirror of my relationship with wanting. i can see that i think you have to subdue or ignore or set aside your wants in favor of what other people want in order to be good or liked or wanted or accepted.
thread the third.
i was sitting at the dinner table yesterday, feeling guilty that i wasn't giving atlas some of my meat sauce. never mind that it was my dinner and i had already fed him. i asked what was behind the guilt. i could feel that it was something that would make me cry, only i was trying to avoid it.
i sat with it for a while, and then i realized what it was. when i see atlas' hopeful expectant expression, it reminds me of me - and how i never get to feel that. i am avoiding the guilt of disappointing him by feeding him, because i am afraid that if i feel the guilt, i will feel my own loss, and i am avoiding that at all costs.
except i felt it in that moment, and now i do feel lighter.
i don't know where all of this is leading exactly, but i think it is leading me toward a better relationship with wanting, and with wanting what i want, and i am really looking forward to getting there.