I have learned this lesson. Time, experience and life events have conspired to teach me. They have taught me well. Very well.
It doesn’t matter what I want.
I wanted love. To be loved. To be with someone I loved. To be with someone who loved me. To deeply connect. It doesn’t matter. Love was obviously not in the plan for me. I don’t know why. But I know it…all too well. Love is not within my reach. The thing I desire the most is not to be mine.
What have I learned from this? It doesn’t matter what I want.
I wanted security. A degree of financial security. Enough. Enough to make it without having to worry, to panic, to struggle paycheck to paycheck. I worked hard for this. Had it snatched away again and again, in spite of my diligence and focus; in spite of going above and beyond time and time again.
I also wanted a degree of personal security. A feeling of safety. That the world was not against me. That there is solid ground on which I can stand without fear of everything repeatedly falling out from under me. But life doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter what I want.
I wanted to not have to work quite so hard, especially by this point in life. But even when I was younger, I dreamed of not have to perform so perfectly. I longed for a degree of mercy…that which is normally extended to most human beings. Of being accepted even if I didn’t live up to rigid, demanding standards. I wanted to be acceptable just as I am. Even if I didn’t do everything just exactly right. But it doesn’t matter what I want.
I wanted meaning. Purpose. The ability to touch the heart of another and to be touched by their heart. Closeness with others; vibrant relationships. Fulfillment. The ability to contribute in a meaningful way. Contentment. I wanted a reason to be alive. To stay alive. But. But. It doesn’t matter what I want.
I don’t know why. I only know the truth of it. What I want, no matter how desperately I want or need it, simply doesn’t count. Not in the least. Not even when I give it every ounce of my strength and work diligently to make it come to pass.
I wanted someone to stand up for me. To fight for me. Defend me. Both as a child when I was being terribly abused by my parents, as well as in adulthood when I wasn’t being appreciated or treated well by employers. I wanted someone to be by my side and say, “Wait a minute…this isn’t right! No more!” Or, “Let me help you.”
I also wanted a partner who would have my back and who would look out for me. But I have ever and always been alone without a hand to hold onto or an arm to encircle me.
It doesn’t matter what I want. What I need. My desires don’t carry any weight. Life does what life does. It goes however it goes. Sometimes it gives. Sometimes it give a great deal to certain individuals. But that has not been my experience. Mostly, it takes. It demands. It goes on. One tormented voice, one heart-rending cry, does not distract it or cause it to deviate from its predetermined course.
I pray for something good to come my way. For doors to open. I beg God. I plead for mercy and blessing. But my need doesn’t matter. My heart doesn’t matter. My pleas don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what I want.
Honestly, there are times when I don’t always know what I want. I don’t always know what is best for me. Often, I’m open and I am rarely demanding. But when it comes to the things that feel like basic necessities, I find it disturbing that so many of my needs and deep desires have gone unmet. This makes me feel inconsequential. Worthless. Less than everyone else around me.
I want to matter. But even that doesn’t matter. Even that.
Life is not a place where dreams come true. Not for me. It is not a place of happiness. It is a place of toil and struggle. If anything good comes to you, you have been blessed indeed. What we want…all the goodness that can be had if you are somehow fortunate enough to find the golden path…is of no consequence. For God has some bigger, more important plan. A divine plan. The goal is not for us to be happy and fulfilled. We are to learn. Supposedly, we are being shaped and refined by all of our trials. Supposedly, they will make us better.
I am tired of being shaped and refined.
What I have come to know is this: In God’s eyes, it seems that everyone matters. Yet no one matters. And without question, I don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what I want. What I long and hunger for. I’m supposed to be content to be a nothing and a nobody. Forever seeking. Never finding. Broken and alone. Unwanted and unloved.