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The Audacity to Want
In honor of Venus' retrograde cycle
One of the most challenging questions I’ve struggled with in my life as a woman is, ‘What do you desire?’. It’s been amazingly, bafflingly hard to answer that question. If someone asks me, ‘What do you REALLY want?’, most of the time I will answer with ‘I don’t know.’ Somehow the question has always felt very exposing, and perhaps even a bit embarrassing.
Do you ever have a similar response to that question?
I tried doing an exercise once of writing down all the things I don’t want and then writing its opposite right after. In some cases, this was helpful, but in most cases, it just led me in circles, ie. I don’t want to be fat —> I want to be thin. My brain: What’s wrong with being fat? That’s just the patriarchy talking… :/
I’ve come to realize many of my ‘wants’ aren’t even mine. :-o
We’ve also been programmed to think that having wants is selfish. My mom taught me this, for sure, and I witnessed my grandmothers always deferring themselves to others, especially their husbands. For hundreds and hundreds of years, women knew in their bones that their main purpose FOR BEING ALIVE was to satisfy first their father’s desires, and then their husband’s. Only men’s desires were valid.
My daughter’s generation, Gen Z, aka the Pluto in Sagittarius gen, seems to be breaking this pattern. ALL I hear about is what they want. They’re not afraid to tell anyone who will listen, especially on Tik Tok. At first this was a little off-putting, but then I realized, WOW, I’m kinda jealous that it’s so easily knowable to them. I could learn something from them.
For starters, I’d like to break the habit of thinking that MY wants must always be entwined with someone else’s well being. As in, it’s not a valid desire unless it makes others feel good too, or helps save the world or some such thing. Sometimes I’d just like to make a decision that only benefits me without feeling like the Earth will open up and swallow me whole.
I’d also like to have a desire without seeing it through my husband’s eyes first. I’ve been married for 35 years starting at the ripe age of 22. I don’t think I ever learned how to have a desire that didn’t involve him in some way. My whole adult life they’ve been completely intertwined.
It’s time to disentangle the two now. What do I want? <just me> How does that feel? <just me>
I can literally hear my long line of female ancestors cheering me on. YES!!! DO THAT they scream in my ear. Do it for us so we know what that feels like. Have the audacity to want FOR YOURSELF ALONE. Have the strength to own what you want without apology. Have the courage to say it out loud, to act on it.
‘WANT WHAT YOU WANT.
WANT WHAT YOU WANT.
WANT WHAT YOU WANT.’
They stand in a circle around me chanting and chanting until I begin to feel that it’s ok, that I actually could, that it’s my right as a human to do so.
I know it’s not that I don’t know.
I’ve always known.
It’s just that most of the time I haven’t let myself want it.