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Want or Have

by Thea Iberall

I’ve wanted something all my life. To be heard, to feel loved, to have friends, to belong, to have a soulmate. Relationships I got into were good, even good enough. But there was always something missing. In the personality typology, there is a trait related to an energy polarity. It’s not negative or positive, it’s just the reality of one’s personality. Some people want something like I do. That thing can be anything. They might want religion or fame or money. It may be something simple like a good home and family, or something big like healing the planet. Whatever it is, they just don’t feel like they have the thing they want. They want to possess themselves. In reality, they don’t know what it is that they want. And then there are people who have something. Whatever it is, they feel they have it—money, fame, friends. They might feel that they have their careers or their families. But in reality, it’s an energic thing more than actually having something. They possess themselves and are rock solid. They also keep mental records in regard to things they do for others. I know a person like that. She’s counted on her good looks all her life. She is confident in everything she does. She has her family, her friends, her houses. We tried to be in a relationship, and it was a disaster. Even though we were learning spiritual principles together, we fought all the time.

I came to understand that this trait can predict whether a relationship will be stable or discordant. A relationship between two have-somethings will feel like they have kismet, as will two want-somethings. But a relationship between a have-something and a want-something is unstable and it leads to constant discord. The have-something looks down on the want-something. The want-something tries to please the have-something. The psychological games are endless.

In my spiritual journey, I learned this about myself and accepted that I'll always be wanting something. When I started going to Codependents Anonymous meetings, every Saturday morning, I would walk upstairs to the children’s library at Church of St Augustine’s By The Sea in Santa Monica, California. We would sit in these little chairs in a circle surrounded by children’s books. We could be our most vulnerable selves. At the end, we’d pass around a sheet of affirmations. I learned to know them by heart. The last one on the list was, “I am enough.”

I am enough. I remind myself that as often as I can. I have everything I need even though my energic state suggests differently.

But I think I learned a way to extend myself into another energetic state. One can be in a wanting state but one can also be in a being state. Just be. Be like a tree. Big, bold, beautiful. A tree doesn’t have to prove anything, it isn’t half-empty. It isn’t missing anything. It isn’t wanting anything. It doesn’t have anything. It just is. So that now, when I feel that feeling of wanting something, I remind myself to be in acceptance. Be in love. Be in gratitude. Just be.

Blessing for the Longest Night

All throughout these months

as the shadows

have lengthened,

this blessing has been

gathering itself,

making ready,

preparing for

this night.

It has practiced

walking in the dark,

traveling with

its eyes closed,

feeling its way

by memory

by touch

by the pull of the moon

even as it wanes.

So believe me

when I tell you

this blessing will

reach you

even if you

have not light enough

to read it;

it will find you

even though you cannot

see it coming.

You will know

the moment of its


by your release

of the breath

you have held

so long;

a loosening

of the clenching

in your hands,

of the clutch

around your heart;

a thinning

of the darkness

that had drawn itself

around you.

This blessing

does not mean

to take the night away

but it knows

its hidden roads,

knows the resting spots

along the path,

knows what it means

to travel

in the company

of a friend.

So when

this blessing comes,

take its hand.

Get up.

Set out on the road

you cannot see.

This is the night

when you can trust

that any direction

you go,

you will be walking

toward the dawn.

Participants’ Reflections

  • I am reading Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf. The name of this book talks about us, how we are being with each other, and not doing. If it were not for moments of being, we would not be able to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going. I think that’s one of the most valuable lessons that we can learn.

  • Along those lines, I think that if there is one gift we’ve received having to slow down for Covid and not rush around as crazily as we did before, is the potential for awareness, that we can filter out all of the momentary things and be present. That is really a wonderful gift in my mind.

  • I would like to hear something more about an energetic state. That have-something and want-something are energetic states. I’m not sure how they work. I’m curious about that. I’ve experienced having something and wanting something. My spouse was amazed that I wasn’t impressed when I first went out with him because he had a sports car and he was in law school. Lots of people wanted to date him. He thought it was a big deal. I didn’t. It’s still that way. I have many good things. I must have that energetic state. But I want something. Maybe I’m in a neutral state between those two states. I think I’m in a being state.

  • I was remembering the aura pictures in Barbara Brennan’s book Hands of Light. Auras can be all sorts of shapes, some have hooks that reach out to grab people. That’s an energetic state of an aura.

  • This personality typology comes from a workshop “It’s All About Relationships.” I’ve never seen it printed anyplace. It was developed by an organization. I’ve never found any reference to it. I love the concept they have about these 16 personality traits and how they mix.

  • In terms of energy, I perceive my energy field when things come up. I see God as an energy rising. One of the things I’m learning to not do is to put it down or minimize it, which I used to do. It’s reconnecting to a Divine Source for being in the world. I watch my energy and it tells me what I am doing and not doing. Meditation is a good way to look at it.

  • I’m interested in the enneagram, a circle of nine. It’s an ancient tradition that’s been modernized by Western psychology. I’ve read books that move it into a more spiritual creative focus as well. A recent book I’ve read doesn’t complicate it.

  • It strikes me that when we are in a state of being, we are free for a moment from either wanting or having. It’s a lovely place to be. I’m not sure how sustainable it is. I also loved the image ‘the blessing will find you.’ What a wonderful affirmation. I think we need to slow down enough so that can happen.

  • Thank you so much for joining us today on this adventure. I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day thinking about wanting and having and being.

Photo credit: Heart of the Ancient Rainforest by Linda Lundell. Oil painting. Inspired by the beauty of the Olympic National Forest in the State of Washington. 60" x 104" Canvas

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