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You’ve no doubt heard or read the quote before by Henry David Thoreau: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Is that how you feel sometimes? Why is it so hard to get what we want? Life often feels like riding the waves of disappointment, resignation and compromise.

As we grew up, our experiences shaped us. they carved us like grooves in a record, and as we grew up knowing no other way, we continued to run our lives through those same grooves.

It’s a dilemma – there’s not much a child can do to stand up for themselves against parents and siblings, and even if they could, they would only stand up against feeling unfairly wronged every time their own wants and needs were not immediately met.

That feeling of want and need is so strong that children can throw the most horrific tantrums and say the harshest things when they are denied. Over time, we carry that feeling of wanting and needing through into our adult lives, and with it comes the contradictory anticipation of getting it, mixed with the horror of not getting it.

With many people, the feelings of wanting and needing are inextricably linked with the feelings of not having. Desperation and lack colour those feelings, so that the stronger we project our wants and needs, the stronger the energy of not having becomes. We end up back in the groove of badly wanting what we can’t have, forever teetering on the edge of that tantrum and, occasionally, tipping over and losing our temper in frustration.

There is a difference between having faith that what we need will come to us, and needing it to come right now. Trust the first one 100% and you’ll end up aimless, afraid to want things in case it’s wrong, and waiting for some higher power to guide you to your true destiny. Opportunities are missed because they don’t seem in keeping with a spiritual path, or leaped upon because they must be a sign. Trust the other one 100% and you’ll dig the groove deeper and deeper, playing the same record over and over, striving and needing throwing tantrums.

Balance and alignment is really the only way. Letting go of the focus that our wants and needs have, relaxing their hold on us, while appreciating the fire they burn with. Feeding that power to our higher, detached awareness, so that both are working together in a positive feedback loop. This way, our desires are allowed to change, to better fit in with who we are in the present; our higher awareness is no longer separate but a helper, now using and refining the strength of our compulsion, tempering and teaching patience to the rash impulses of below. They’re a team, not in competition.

When wanting and needing become unbalanced, then they take over. We become addicted to need. We know for a fact that only that one thing or person will fit our lives perfectly and make us happy – everything else is a compromise we’ll never recover from. Even when one need is fulfilled, then another takes its place. However by denying all want and need, we simply prepare for life back in the spirit world and miss out on everything we have here, this unique opportunity to experience duality and physicality.

Keep your desire, let it burn and rage away, fuelling your spirit as it awaits its subtler cues. Desire will shape your path, spirit will light it.