This morning i woke up with the classic Cheap Trick song stuck in my head. Seemed hard to stop singing, “I want you to want me.” For a listen, you can click here.
Why was this song rolling around in my head? I went to sleep last night in anticipation for my dad to wake me up at around 6:30 so that i could attend his Sharing Group that meets every Wednesday morning. I’ve attended the past two weeks, so i sort of just assumed that he’d wake me up again so that i would go. Meanwhile…no wake up! So there i was at 7 AM, “I want you to want me…”
I wanted to feel wanted! And one sure way of being wanted is to be woken up by someone else. But there i was, not woken up by anyone else, and presumably, not wanted.
This desire to be wanted is perhaps something fundamental in human nature. William James said the strongest craving we have is to be appreciated. And if someone appreciates us, maybe we can assume that they want us on some degree.
This desire to be wanted helps explain why working and serving is a necessary part of the human experience. When we work and serve we inevitably fill a niche. That is, someone puts out a demand, and we provide the supply with our being. We want to answer the call to demand, so that we feel wanted and needed in the world.
Thinking of my own recent behavior and choices, i’ve felt called to live at Satchidananda Ashram, also known as Yogaville. I’m confident there’s a niche for me to fill there, and i suppose there must be on some level if they accepted me with the understanding that i’ll be working 38 hours a week.
Now though…perhaps we’re getting to the real crux of the issue. There is work and service on the small self level, rendered to specific people, organizations, and perhaps a nation. But then there is the work and service rendered for all humanity, for consciousness, for the universe, for God. And, by virtue of being alive, we can assume that we are most certainly wanted. If we were not wanted, *boom* lightning bolt and we’re done. We are alive because we are wanted and are constantly serving whether we know it or not. With every thought we have, we create on some level. Especially with the pure and holy thoughts, we’re serving the collective consciousness by purifying it. That’s why, in many ways, one of the greatest services i think any individual being can render is meditation on something pure and holy. However, the small self and ego have a hard time connecting with how meditation could possibly be providing a service, because the ego doubts the power of thoughts and consciousness to serve. The ego connects strongly with physical action in the world, in that which is tangible and that which it can see, but it doubts the reality of that which seems more emotional, mental, and spiritual.
In many ways, perhaps the greatest service we can render to everyone and everything is to become enlightened. That is, to know the peace that passeth all understanding and to love perfectly…to live like God. This kind of life may look very simple and relaxed, and it likely is, but rest assured there is good work being done. The more we perfect ourselves, the more we perfect the world. And, in a sense, it’s not a matter or perfecting ourselves or perfecting the world but instead realizing the perfection of ourselves and the perfection of the world, already as it is.
So the ego might look around and not see any body and think, “Oh, i’m not wanted,” but, tuning in with Spirit, we can always remember that we are wanted, needed, and presently serving with our entire being and essence, including the quality of our thoughts and consciousness. Everything ripples and radiates out. We are those butterflies who flap their wings in Texas and cause hurricanes in China. It’s all connected. Every thought counts. So forget about the tangible service. Focus on the interior service, and the growth in love and goodness and purity and holiness, and the service you render, both internally and externally, will always help to create a more wonderful world. You are wanted!