What do YOU want?

SilenceI won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!”

– Oscar Wilde

In the spring of 2010, I sat in a restaurant with a friend. We discussed how my body was failing me, how my life seemed to be falling apart around me, how my finances had diminished to nothing, and what my options were. This particular friend was someone I respected and trusted, very much. He said something simple and yet profound. He said, “Sloan, you’ve got to figure out what you want.”

He was right, and I knew it. Of course, things got a lot more complicated for me after that day. Those of you who’ve read the book know just how complicated. Involuntarily, and, perhaps, unconsciously, my journey of self-discovery had begun. Although my journey might have begun involuntarily, I was faced with many choices along the way that required very conscious decisions. It was, at times, a confusing process – the process of figuring out what I wanted. Understanding what I really wanted required me to understand who I really am. That is when my personal and spiritual transformation process began. Despite all the complications and the difficulties that have accompanied my personal and spiritual transformation, I’ve never regretted the choices that put me on this path. The life I live today is not perfect. But it is my life, and I am living it the way I want to live it. That, I can assure you, is what has made all the difference.

The world is imposing. It tries to impose the collective’s views and belief systems upon us; and it tells us there’s something “wrong” with us if we don’t “fit in.” Breaking free from the seductive pull of conformity is, perhaps, one of the most difficult tasks a human being can face. It gets lonely, at times. And it is often frightening – to be our own person, to declare our freedom from the illusion of benefit in uniformity, to be our most authentic selves. As Carl Jung said of the individuation process, “Many are called, Few are chosen.” What it is that’s doing the choosing is probably a topic better suited for another day.

What is important today is for us to remember that we are each beautiful and unique, in our own way. And that is a good thing. Individuality is something to celebrate and appreciate. That is a very important truth to remember when we are in the process of personal and spiritual transformation. You see, the journey of transformation isn’t about becoming something other than what we already are. It’s about peeling away the layers of emotional pain, societal expectations, and fears that have hidden us from ourselves. It’s about discovering who and what we really are, at our core – regardless of what the rest of the world thinks we should be. As Katherine Mansfield recognized, true liberation is about breaking free of everything superficial and acquired within us and living the lives we most want to live.

If you want to get to know yourself a little better . . . if you want to discover who you really are, take some time to sit in silence and ask yourself, “What do I really want?” Consider what fills your heart with peace and joy, even if it seems silly or pedestrian to others. Think about where your gratitude is anchored and what you truly appreciate, even it seems less than what others value. Contemplate how you would spend your days, if you didn’t feel bound by the shackles of obligation and expectation.

Laid before you is a life you still could live. What does it look like? What do YOU want?

If you will spend some time contemplating the answers to these very important questions, you will discover a lot about yourself. You’ll find out what matters most to you; and you’ll begin to understand why. Then, you will come to understand what it will take for you to create and maintain your own happiness. You will taste the freedom your heart so desires. And then, in that moment, you will recognize the choice that is yours to make.

Choose wisely.

© 08/14/2013

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21 Comments

  1. We are the sum total of choices we make in life to this very moment. Thanks for writing on this topic. Insightful, as always.

    Reply
    • Well said, Buddy! Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day, my friend! Love & Light, S

      Reply
  2. Hi Sloan. Can I have your email address so that I can send you my quote about your awesome book? Thanks. Keep up the good work. You inspire many. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Well said Sloan! The process to finding ourselves reminds me of the response Michelangelo had when he was asked how he sculpted the beautiful statue of David out of one piece of marble. His answer was, “I just chipped away everything that wasn’t David.” Great visual for getting rid of everything that isn’t truly us, and authentically sculpting the life we want.

    Reply
    • Great comment, Cathie! Interestingly, I heard that same story for the first time less than a week ago. I like it! Have a beautiful evening! Love & Light, S

      Reply
  4. Beautifully written. I have begun to peel those layers off. I think the challenge lies in our own fears of being too different. You have expressed this so well in your post which really speaks to me.

    The more that I don’t care about being different, the closer I am to being me. It is a wonderful trade off.

    Reply
    • Wonderful! Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a fantastic weekend! Many Blessings, S

      Reply
  5. Maybe sometime, looking the other way – What do I don’t want – could also help. We tend to get confused with all and sundry and assume that that’s what we want.

    Reply
    • Thank you for reading and commenting. I believe the most important task is to begin asking the questions. Whether we discover what we want by the process of elimination or we simply search our hearts for the answers, the inquiry is what leads us to the answers we need. As we change, the answers might change, as well as the inquiry. The important thing to remember is that we have the right to choose the life we want to live. Namaste, Sloan

      Reply
  6. This is one of the most inspiring posts I have read in some time. Thank you so much Sloan.

    Reply
    • Thank you, LuAnn, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Not 5 minutes ago, I tried to leave a comment on your blog; but I received a message that said “Sorry, this comment could not be posted.” Here is what I wanted to say in response to your post about the challenge Terry and you are currently facing.

      I can “see” the love the two of you share. It is beautiful and powerful. Therein lies all the strength he will need to meet this challenge. Nonetheless, please know that I am sending prayers and positive thoughts your way. In Love & Light, Sloan

      Reply
      • Thank you so much Sloan. We have been blessed with so many wonderful people sending words of encouragement and love.

  7. cosmicnovagirl

     /  August 20, 2013

    Beautiful and inspiring!!

    Reply
  8. Nadine

     /  August 26, 2013

    Thank you, dear Sloan. I needed this. xxx

    Reply
  9. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

     /  September 4, 2013

    perfect for the state of mindlessness drifting I have been in…
    I have never minded being different but the question “what do you want?”
    I knew once….now ? not even my shadow knows really …though I suspect this will haunt me until I say it out loud…
    Thank you Sloan…a wonderful post…
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    Reply

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