It is important to understand what Buddha meant by the word wanting and how to understand the power of the word. Many modern day spiritualists and yoga practitioners instruct us that we should be free of want.The word want, has been mistranslated over the centuries, but what Buddha truly meant is that we should be free of need, needing, or needyness. The two words are closely related in the English language, and no wonder they are often used interchangeably, but there is a fine distinction between want and need, and it is in how each word feels and the energy that it carries.
Focus on each statement separately. I am wanting love. I am needing love. Repeat each sentence a few times and pay attention how each word feels in your gut and your heart. You will notice that want feels more positive. It implies I want and will get. It feels more positive, because there is a component of faith or confidence in that statement. Need feels more negative, as that need is a pining, a hunger, a striving for something I lack.
Buddha was trying to warn us to not be needy of things. It is okay to want things, to fantasize about them, no matter what they are, but in order to receive them we have to have some faith that they are coming. There has to be a feeling of confidence that what I want, I will be able to manifest. In need, there is an awareness that it isn’t already here, or on its way to me. There is an element of doubt in that word, as if one knows that the universe has failed them before.
The above quote is my own. It is based on my own experience of testing wanting and needing, and observing the manifestations that come from holding each energy. When I want things lightly, they come to me quickly, when I want something badly, desperately, or I pine for it, it never comes. Or, it comes only after I have given up on it.
Last year I made a spreadsheet of the things I have wanted, rated them on a scale of 1-10 in the level of wantingness, 10 being I wanted it desperately. And I observed how quickly the goal manifested after I changed my energy on the subject. I wasn’t surprised to see the things I had been pining for years have not materialized yet. The things I struggled with only materialized after I stopped the struggle and dropped them from my list of “wanting badly”. And the easiest manifestations were the ones I wanted gently.
How to want gently or lightly? Unfocus from the specific person or object and feel more general. Rather than focusing on a specific lover with particular characteristics, feel like you would want love with an awesome, exciting, loving person. Rather than focusing on sticking to the specifics of a business plan, hell bent on following through each step exactly as projected, focus on the fun of operating a business and meeting unexpected obstacles and opportunities with welcoming sense of amusement. Know that you will handle each unexpected turn of events with a sense of humor, resourcefulness, and expect that when the universe gives you an obstacle, it is pointing you in a new direction.
Wanting gently or lightly means not being hell bent on getting it. It is okay if I receive it, and if I don’t, no big deal. I am happiest with Toblerone and Nutella, but when I receive a Godiva truffle, I enjoy that too. I am happiest when I am dating a tall, sexy, European with an MBA, but when the universe introduces me to a handsome American with chiseled biceps and a motorcycle, hey, why not be grateful for that too? Wanting things gently means leaving plenty of room for the unexpected and being okay with it too. The universe will keep delivering, as long as you keep wanting and being grateful for its gifts.
But, needing it to be exactly as envisioned means leaving no room for the universe to bring you its magic. You say you want your own business, but you are not willing to deal with hot tempers, ungrateful employees, unsatisfied customers, non-paying clients, unethically sourced materials,stressful deadlines or situations that have not been spelled out in your original business plan. Well, now you are wanting something that can only come under very specific conditions. And since each of those conditions is unwanted, basically you are showing the universe you are not grateful for it, and that you have no faith that it is all on its way to you anyway.
Does it seem unfair how some people work hard for what they want, yet others receive everything effortlessly? I proved this to myself when I made a spreadsheet of all my wants and needs, and realized that those things I have needed most, continue to elude me. The things I have received are the things I have completely given up on, become non-attached to, cut my cords with, moved on from, or shifted my energy.
Go ahead, make a short list of the things you want the most in life. Aren’t those the things you have been trying to grab onto tightly, or fight for the hardest? Many of you know that I have been practicing the art of non-attachment for years, and letting go of the things I wanted the most. Not surprisingly, by letting go of people, objects and situations I wanted most, I started to receive those things easily. I went from being alone, to being
overwhelmed by how many men shower me with attention and want my commitment.. I went from having no job prospects to receiving multiple offers in a three month period. It is a matter of shifting your energy, and always being honest with yourself. Am I wanting or am I badly needing it?
Need is not a good feeling, but understanding that you are in the wrong frame of mind is very liberating. You now know that you have to let it go, so that you can receive something better.