I know what I want.
I know what I need.
I know what is right for me.
One would think that these are comparable, complimentary desires. They are not. What I Want and What I Need can be opposite ends of the spectrum. My wants are often beyond my reach, beyond my scope, and frankly, often impractical and potentially injurious to my psyche and well-being. My needs are simple, though not easily met. And What is Right for Me is a whole different concept entirely.
Over the last year or three I have tried to become more cognizant of what is Right for Me. The path I personally need to follow, the course I must steer to stay true, the proper combination of Want and Need. It is not easy, to stay true to what is Right for Me. My own Wants often get in the way of Right, hindering, waylaying, and absolutely jamming up my attempts to find my way.
Wants are alluring, tempting, grandiose, colorful, flamboyant, fantasy, a culmination of desires, often the reaction to bitter disappointments. There is nothing wrong with Wants, unless they are unrealistic, detrimental, or reactions to the sordid past. To want, to desire, to dream, is essential to well being. Want makes us strive to attain lofty goals, to push beyond our self-imposed boundaries, to step outside the norm, to stand up to those that tell us, "can't." But Want can intrude upon Right. Want can overpower both Need and Right. Want makes me headstrong, emotional, illogical, impractical, contrary. Want can easily oppose both Need and Right as I pursue vicarious, immediate thrills and instant gratification, irregardless of the price or potential damage to my psyche. Want gives me blinders, obscures the truth, excuses lies, allows ill-treatment, and so I have suffered from my blindness and acceptance all in the name of Want. When I hear, "the heart wants what the heart wants," it can trigger memories best left buried, exorcised, subjugated. Want is not always a true friend, but can easily be enemy in disguise.
Need is nearly self-explanatory. The basic Needs of life: oxygen, food, water, shelter, sleep. I Need these for basic Life. I Need my cozy home, my ridiculous dogs, my furball cats, my garden. I have learned that I also Need my art, my writing, to be able to create, to bring beauty into my day. I also Need love, kindness, compassion, a strong shoulder, a warm hand, a soft voice. True many of my Needs are not necessary to live but they are necessary for Life.
What is Right For Me? To know my own strengths, to appreciate how far I have come, to respect myself, to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. I have to follow a path that keeps me true to my own moralities, my own understandings of the world. I have to continue to pursue peace, and understanding of self. I must choose to spend time with those who love me, are kind, accepting, understanding. I must distance myself from those who berate, belittle, mock, attack my sense of self, damage my self esteem, cause emotional chaos. I know What is Right For Me, though I often seem to forget, to pursue a Want with my head down, ignoring inner voices, ignoring visceral warning signs. I have stumbled off of my path all too often. Stumbled, fallen hard, sat and cried, finally picking myself up, climbing out of the ditch and continuing forward as best I can. I stumble, fall, cry, carry on. Over and over. Sometimes feeling as if I must be dense, scatterbrained, stupid, to be continually making mistakes. But mistakes are how we learn, how life teaches us truths.
I feel as if I have returned to my Path, and have a clear view of the next few paces. So, with my head up, eyes clear, I will attempt to continue forward, on my way, moving ahead, one step at a time. I am trying to rein myself in, just a little, not charge recklessly ahead as I usually do. But it is not easy. It is not my nature. Caution and I are, at best, casual acquaintances. But I know the consequences of my nature. I know the pain and angst of my repeated failures. True, I will continue to fail throughout my life, because I try. To try is to court failure. But it is What is Right. To risk, to try, to continue moving towards whatever life has to offer, this is What is Right. What is Right For Me.