you can never get enough of what you don’t really want

by michelle on January 17, 2013

I shared this quote a few weeks ago in class and from the responses, it seemed to resonate with many people.

You can never get enough of what you don’t really want.

I can never get enough cookies.
I can never get enough social media.
I can never get enough shoes.

Because what I really want is sweetness and connected belonging and a feeling of security.

What we want, and how we try to satisfy it, comes in as many different forms as there are people. We each have our own, woven into the stories of our early experiences, families, and maybe even the stars.

Mine presents itself as a wanting of compliments. If I’m in a relationship or to feel valued, I want compliments. I want to be told that I’m beautiful and funny and smart. In some ways there’s nothing wrong with this — if I’m in a relationship with someone I hope they think all of those things. But this goes deeper.

My real desire is to be seen. To be known.

So a compliment, no matter how flattering, and even if the person truly means it, is no replacement for someone being with me, accepting me, seeing me exactly as I am.
No compliment required.


How about you? Consider the things you are insatiable for…is it possible that what you really want is something else? Vulnerable sharing welcome….

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School January 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

i NEED gold stars, recognition for just about everything in life. i could probably survive without a pay check if i got enough of them. looking for? these days value and validation that my current work is important.

too much social media means needing connection. a vicious cycle really. it seems like connection, but really face to face is what i need.


michelle January 18, 2013 at 8:51 am

(already replied to you, tams, but it didn’t seem to go thru…sorry if this is a dup for you)

knowing that what we offer is valued and makes a difference? YES! as you say, so much more important than money. it reminds me that the heart wants to so little, yet we go seeking the *symbol* of the validation (paycheck or perks or car, etc). and thanks for being so great at making the face-to-face happen — no replacement for touch and voice and real time. xoxo


Rebekah January 18, 2013 at 7:55 am

Mmm what a treat to stumble across a new blog post on my favorite blog first thing in the am!

When you first shared this quote it was right around Christmas time and it REALLLY resonated with me. Throughout the holiday season I was feeling this insatiable desire for presents and I (although I hate to admit it) was so so jealous of everyone else and their huge piles of pretty things that they received from people that love them.

I kept going out and buying myself pretty things to try to satiate my jealousy – a new necklace, a new book, a new piece of art, lots of pretty things just for me. But at some point after you shared this quote, it became apparent that it really wasn’t about a “desire for pretty things” at all. Underlying my jealousy and desire for presents was really a deeper desire for love, connection, family, belonging, care……. and those unfortunately you cannot just buy at a craft fair.


michelle January 18, 2013 at 8:46 am

wow, that’s a pretty incredible insight, rebekah! there’s just no replacing those basic heart needs, but to acknowledge them is really powerful. thank you so much for sharing this… xo


gina langbehn January 18, 2013 at 8:32 am

I just got chills down my spine when reading, “So a compliment, no matter how flattering, and even if the person truly means it, is no replacement for someone being with me, accepting me, seeing me exactly as I am.
No compliment required”. In my heart the compliment is worthy and needed, in my soul acceptance is a non-negotiable. It goes back to actions speak louder than words, as cliche as that is it is simple and true.
Especially when you unite with someone for forever, I want that acceptance and non judgment vision of little old me. Love me, want me, BE with me. As I have been practicing this whole week…simply “show up”.
Thank you for this post…honest words and vulnerable heart that we all have, but never take time to articulate.


michelle January 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

gina – gurl…it’s so true. and sometimes just the “showing up” is hard (will it be enough? what if xxx?) so thanks for the reminder to just be. :))


Jess January 22, 2013 at 9:15 am

Insightful and eye-opening, thank you for your words and honesty, this post really made me think and reflect on my own behaviour. In my case I believe that all I really need is self-love. My need for approval from others is just a symptom of my lack of self-confidence. Easy to diagnose the issue, not so easy to work on it, but I’m on my way. :) ♥


michelle January 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

mmmm, self love. to let that sink in…. that’s kind of it, right, jess? ya, i can see so much in my self, as “just a symptom” as you describe, of forgetting that love. cheers to doing the day to day work and supporting each other as we go! xoxo


Brittany Long January 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I always want more rest. More time off, more time to sleep.

I think that translate to needing to rest fully. Not watching TV, not on the computer, but rest. Really, really, rest.


michelle January 29, 2013 at 10:25 am

thanks so much for sharing, brittany <3 yes, rest rest rest!! i hear so many of us worried that we'll be (or are) lazy if we don't "do" something, or if we "waste" an afternoon on the couch... but those downtimes are essential!! the conditioning is strong strong we don't even see it. thanks for voicing your piece here! xo


Holly May 7, 2013 at 7:36 am

I just re-read this post and remembered when I read it the first time. The first time, I thought, “Yeah, so true, man!” This time, I GOT it…especially after this weekend. Thanks, Michelle.


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