Do you guys know the Stevie Nicks' song Silver Springs? Stevie, our patron saint of witchy love revenge, wrote Silver Springs about her bandmate and ex dumping her and how devastated she was. Oh, and how she hoped the mistake would haunt him for the rest of his life. (And then it got cut from the album and she was devastated all over again.)

I'll give you a second to watch it here.

It's possible this is just apocryphal, but allegedly Stevie has said of Silver Springs, that she wrote it because she wanted her ex to know: 

"I’m so angry with you. You will listen to me on the radio for the rest of your life, and it will bug you. I hope it bugs you."

And you know what? I bet you could turn your radio on right now and that song is probably playing on a station. Everywhere he goes, Lindsey Buckingham (her ex) has to hear Stevie Nicks singing about how she'll follow him down 'til the sound of her voice will haunt him. And she does! And I bet it used to bug the shit out of him. (It's been a while now, I think they're friendly, it maybe doesn't bug him as much now.) 

I love it for two reasons:

It's not a neat and tidy story about being all cleaned up and emotionally perfect and then creating something. It's a story about being torn up emotionally and then creating something from that.* 


It's a story about someone wanting something, being devastated by that want, but not being ashamed of it. She doesn't shy away from it, she doesn't pretend it's not a big deal, that she isn't devastated from not getting it. She doesn't abandon the wanting–moreover she exposes her rejection for the world to see, and then writes a song based on that blunted wanting that becomes a major hit. 

What the hell does this have to do with anything?
(You might be asking yourself, sensibly.)

Well, I have been talking to clients about wanting. What they want. What they think they can get. What they are satisfied with. I have noticed some things.

We are almost always filtering what we say we want through the lens of what we think we can get. 

Another way to say this is, a lot of people believe it's as simple as:

Some people go after (and sometimes get) what they want. Some people learn (and sometimes pretend) to want what they get**. 

Which camp do you tend to fall into?

(Often, we fall into one camp in one area of our lives and the second camp in other areas. Like, say, if you are excellent at knowing what you want in your career, but suck at admitting what you want in your sex life. Or vice versa.)

Do you know what you want?

Do you let yourself want it, fully, or do you rush to temper your expectations almost immediately? Do you cut yourself off at the knees of your wanting, to avoid the disappointment and devastation of not getting it? Do you filter what you want through the lens of what you think you can get–because it feels safer?

Do you want to shamelessly flirt with someone without first establishing that they like you back?

Do you want to quit your shitty job and use your inheritance to finance your art for six months instead?

Do you want to become a successful writer, but convince yourself that becoming a famous author would suck for an introvert like you, so better keep those pages in the drawer?
Do you want to make your ex regret dumping you and write it all down in a song that reminds him what a mistake he made for the rest of his life–but you don't want to be seen as pathetic, crazy, or mean?  

I'm not saying you have to DO those things. I'm just saying I want you to be honest about what you want before you assess what's possible. Because there is power there. 

We give ourselves a lot of shit for what we want. For it not being noble enough. For it not being nice or kind enough. For it not being big enough. Meaningful enough. For it being too big. Too much.  

Y'all: stop doing that.

Just let yourself play around with wanting it, whatever it is. 

Even if that wanting is accompanied by the pain of thinking (with certainty) that you won't have it. Even if it's accompanied by the pain of thinking (with certainty) that wanting it makes you lazy, or shallow, or weak, or frivolous or whatever.

If you struggle to articulate what you want, it might be because you are out of the habit of wantonly wanting. Of wanting without regard for results or outcome. 

My wish for you, my wish for all of us, is that we get really in touch with what we want. That we revel in the wanting itself.

Getting is a completely different set of rewards–it may live up to what we imagined, it may not. But wanting–wanting has a pleasure and power of its own. 

So, what do you want? Where are you holding yourself back? 


*Which is not to fall into the other trap of thinking that one must suffer in order to create good shit. It's more like, you just need to be honest about where you are and honor it without building a damn shrine to it that you move into and never leave.

**Some people are rarely satisfied with whatever they get, even if they wanted it in the first place. That is a different kettle of fish. We'll get to you, later, lovies. 

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