To be in a state of wanting (not want) is so awful.
It may not even be that your friend has adorable children, unbelievably adorable pets. (And you don’t.) Or that your ex-colleague has a gorgeous home. (And you don’t.) Or that your cousin has an extraordinary garden. (And yours is struggling, a true “work in progress.”) Or that your neighbor seems to vacation in the coolest places.
No, none of those “material” goods and pleasures.
It may be that your schoolmate is so incredibly self-assured. (And you aren’t). Or that your sister is literally oozing with creativity; she seems to move from one creative project to another effortlessly, producing incredible works of art! Or that your friend is so articulate… you are in awe of his ability to string deep, profound meaning from simple words. Or maybe it’s a distant cousin who has gone through deep shit in her life, and come out smelling of roses.
Not exactly “material” goods these but oh, you wish you had all of that! Creativity, courage, self-assurance, articulative ability, clarity… and so on.
That gap between what you have and what you think they do is so deep and vast; you are never going to make it across. You feel that you will be left wanting all your life. You are never going to develop those reserves of courage and resilience that emerge only after a crisis. (And you are no Macho Man, you have little appetite for a crisis of any kind.) You know that creativity is God-given, and if you have shown no signs of it thus far, you know that it isn’t going to emerge one fine day, all of a sudden. As for self-assurance, how ON EARTH does one cultivate that?
And then, you are asked to feel gratitude, be grateful… for all that you have. Ugh. You feel like a fraud, mouthing “thanks” when all you feel is this acute sense of wanting inside.
That feeling of wanting is NOT solidified magma, or a deep, impassable gap. In fact, it can go away pretty quick. Not that you will start painting like a Georgia O’Keeffe, or write like a Zadie Smith, or develop incredible courage… None of that. In fact, you see that the disappearing of the sense of wanting has little to do with gaining any of that which you sorely desire. That wanting shows up one day, goes away the next… perhaps reappears around New Years Eve, lingers on in January, then goes away in Feb.
It comes and goes. So you can create art (or not), grow a struggling garden (or not), go skydiving (or not), learn Japanese (or not)… none of that matters. So, rest easy.