Several years ago I realized that these were common phrases that popped up in my head. I wish I had a better car. I want a new computer. I wish government would get to work. Some are valid wishes and wants. We all have them. But we get in the habit of wishing and wanting. The phrases become a baseline thought process. We end up using these phrases without even thinking about what they imply.
I wish that idiot would just shut up. I want a vacation. I wish it would stop raining. Where do these wants and wishes go? Ultimately they are directed at forces over which we have little or no control. That idiot is an individual that wishes to keep talking. Does your wish supercede theirs? Sure you want a vacation, but does your boss want you away from your job? If it stopped raining, really stopped, how long before you would be wishing for the drought to end?
I do not think it is wrong to wish or want. I certainly wish well for the people I know, and the people of the world as a whole. I want everyone to be safe and happy. But I have been making an effort to intentionally notice when these words pop into my head, and in most cases stop myself before I continue the thought.
Life is good. Living may be tough, but it isn’t all that bad. While things could be improved, or easier, or more exciting, life itself is a good thing. Becoming at peace with what is, leads to overall peace. The Serenity Prayer tells us to change the things that we can, to accept the things we can’t change, and the wisdom to know the difference. Actively changing things is not a wish or want. It is a choice. Accepting that some things are the way they are should not lead to wishing or wanting, it is accepting things as they are. The trick is that last part, knowing when you can wish or want, and when you shouldn’t.
For me, I am trying to avoid wishing and wanting, at least as much as I can. Certainly I slip and find myself in the shower casually thinking, “I wish . . .” But I am trying hard to stop. Accepting life as it is, is a good thing.