You Can’t Always Get You Want

I have heard a line from an old Rolling Stones’ song several times in the last week.  This usually is a signal to me that I should write about that idea.  Today we look at wants, needs, and staying in the moment.


You get what you need

The lyric is:

You can’t always get what you want

But, if you try, sometime

You might find

That you get what you need


I have heard this lyric in my head for almost forty years.  There was always something that sounded very true – but for a long time I did not know what it was.  As I travelled my spiritual path the meaning gradually became much more clear.


We are obviously talking about wants and needs here.  If we remember some of the things that we have learned in the past – false self is a big ball of wants.  The false can be characterized very easily:  Gimme – gimme – I-want – I-gotta-have.  Because of its fears and insecurities the false self thinks everything that it wants is a need.


Whenever we pursue these false self “needs” we are not in the moment.  False self is driven to satisfy these perceived “needs”.  This is the source of so much of our human drama.


False self wants-needs food for sustenance.  It cannot be happy with buying what it needs for a few days.  It gets huge boxes of “cheap” stuff that will last for months – if it does not go bad first.  False self is trying to get what it wants – it is not trying to find what it needs.


Finding what you need

When we are in the moment true self is always telling us what we need.  It has no concept of false self wants.  True self boils it down to the essentials.


We need to buy some food.  We go to the store to buy rice.  We do not use much rice – our family prefers pasta.  But we make rice once or twice a month.  False self looks at the rice and finds the biggest bag that is the cheapest per pound.  The bag goes into the cart.


True self puts the bag back on the shelf.  True self realizes that it will take us several years to use up twenty pounds of rice.  Instead we buy a two pound bag which we will use before it goes bad.


We learn to ask true self for guidance as we navigate our wants and needs.  Gradually we come to see that whenever we are not in the moment false self makes choices that only complicate our life.


Please learn to listen to your true self – you just might find that you get what you need.


Until tomorrow –


Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.




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