Sunday, August 12, 2007

Late Night Listening: Installment III

Tonight's selection is Joe Jackson's "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)" (Sorry, no embedded clip on this one; the YouTube entry says that Universal Music Group requested that embedding not be allowed.)

I've always found Jackson to be an interesting character. His vocals are fairly distinctive, but not really exceptional. He certainly didn't have camera appeal, but his small pool of hits have weathered the test of time. For a musician who enjoyed the spotlight in the early 80s, his work is anything but cheezy. He managed to be an individual without being obnoxious. Putting out a jazzy song link this in an era of synthesizers and distorted guitar riffs was quite an act of differentiation.

Repeated frequently in the refrain, the song's title is seemingly a statement of the obvious. Paradoxically, it winds up being a big issue in many a person's therapeutic travels. We go through life unhappily without first pondering what we truly want out of it, and what we're willing to give up in return to get it.

In Passionate Marriage, Schnarch notes that this awareness arises from differentiation.
Many clients became wonderfully creative, but not in hope of feeling more worthwhile. They produced as an expression of who they already were. I'm amazed to realize how many people only work hard when they are driven by feeling inadequate (desire out of emptiness). When you dare yourself to enjoy your talents, rather than believing you are a failure who's fooled everyone again, you make the leap of faith to level-2 spirituality.

I've also observed clients shift from giving up as little as possible (a "least lost" life strategy) to going after what they want. They give something up in the process, but that's the point: two-choice dilemmas become an acceptable fact of life. They go beyond realizing that you can't have it all. They grasp that happiness lies in not needing it all. Loss is inherent in getting what you want—unless you want everything, which guarantees you'll be unhappy.

Knowing this keeps me centered these days, especially when it might look like everything is unraveling around me.
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