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What Do You Want, Really?


When’s the last time you shared, out loud, what you truly want?

For me, it’s been a long time. Dreaming about what I want in my head is easy, but if I’m honest, it’s more difficult to say it out loud. Saying what you want requires paying attention to your inside self. It’s thinking through the wilderness of your life and declaring, “there it is, this is what I want.”

This question was inspired by an article I read recently called, “What I Want” by Sean Dietrich. It was a beautiful, poetic piece written by a thoughtful guy dreaming out loud for his life. Sean is such a thoughtful guy and I hope you will take time to read his words as men like him are worth the listening.

His question reminded me how so often I live out the opposite. What I don’t want frames my boundaries and becomes the way I view everything. It’s easier for me to be critical, to set things aside and distance myself from the “don’t want stuff.” It was rare and refreshing to consider, “what do I want?”

My first response defaults to big, unsolveable things like world peace or the cure for cancer. I want that, but I also want simple things too, like getting a good night’s sleep for a change. Or a fantastic cheeseburger. The things you deeply want are more than a happy wish list. They drill down to specifics of your character and your heart. They are clarifying and true.

What I love about asking ourselves what we really want is that there is a realness to it. There’s an authenticity here I long for and I’m guessing you do, too. With apologies to Sean, I think to make it even better, I would add the word, really. Asking “what do you want, really?” requires something. It demands you to look deeper at your personal stuff and convinces you there is an answer. But only if you are brave enough to do the work.

So here goes….What I want, really:

1. To break up with approval for good.

2. To get really good at loving big, even when people don’t deserve it.

3. To deeply get how loved I am by God and for others to lavishly get how loved they are by Him too.

4. To be able to forgive like my dog.

5. To see setbacks and disappointments as refining, lovely work.

6. To be a champion sleeper.

7. To end hunger – with all of our technology and brilliance, no family should ever go hungry.

8. To be unafraid to dream big fat ridiculous dreams and go after them.

9. To live and tell hilarious stories that family and friends will retell long after I’m gone.

10. For people to leave encouraged after spending time with me.

11. To spend more time listening, wondering, and loving instead of criticizing, telling, and complaining.

12. To treasure whatever age I am as the best age yet.

PS Thanks to Sean Dietrich and his article, "What I Want" which inspired this story. I hope you will take five minutes to read his beautiful piece here. I especially loved his words about bonfires and baseball games at his funeral and his desire to lift heavy wheelchairs for women made me grateful for men like him.

PSS Now it’s your turn – what do you really want? Take some time to write it down or better yet, say it out loud. Or if you are feeling brave, share one of the things you really want here.

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Mar 11, 2021

I really love this one, Cara. You're speaking to my heart in so many areas. Thanks for going first.

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