When I was writing the last post, I used this phrase, “the psychology of hidden desire,” and it has inspired me to revisit this idea in today’s post. I’m thinking about the ways we disregard our inner wishes, why we impose these restrictions, and the harm it can do.
I believe we all have a great deal to discover about ourselves as we go through life. No matter how confident and fully realized we may be as individuals, we can still surprise ourselves. How wonderful is it to discover that there is more to know about you? I certainly enjoy observing newer, deeper layers in the people I love and respect, so why should I be any different? But the crucial thing is: we must embrace these changes, and accept them. Often the “change” isn’t actually a change at all, but simply learning to recognize things you’ve always known about yourself, and finally acknowledging and honoring them.
One of the things that’s helped me to like and be kind to myself more is that I’ve learned to see myself as a friend. I am just one of the people I know, and one of the people my friends, family and colleagues know. I’d like to think I can still surprise and delight them. Perhaps the reason we forget to see our own selves this way is due to our notions of control. It can be unnerving to find out that you don’t have control over what people see and know about you. It’s stranger still to find out you don’t have control over the person you know yourself to be! But if you relinquish that idea, you will open yourself up to greater and more fulfilling experiences. You may even have many of the same experiences you’ve always had. But they will feel novel and inspiring because your perspective shifted.
I wrote about the Client Lifestyle Interview a few weeks back. In that post, I talked about how some clients have a tendency to censor certain desires because they feel, for example, they don’t deserve the thing they want. Others feel their tastes are somehow not good design-wise. I think they are doubting themselves, and missing an opportunity to honor their personal uniqueness. Who does it serve to fight your own instincts? When we hold ourselves back from pursuing what we desire it may hurt us inwardly in subtle but crucial ways. And who is even aware that we’re doing it? No one will notice that you didn’t redesign your kitchen, or that you didn’t decorate in purple. But you will feel the loss of it.
Others will generally only know what you do, not what you don’t do. Your hidden desires are truly hidden from everyone if you never act on them. And taking the risk of doing the things you want means that you will be noticed. That can be daunting because being noticed also means you may be judged. But realistically, these changes, these gifts you give yourself, will likely not register to others unless they are really interested or inspired by them. It is easy to imagine others judging us, but it is likely that others don’t have the time or headspace to spend on evaluating your decisions. What they do have time for is to enjoy the company of someone who feels good in their own skin, who feels satisfied in their choices, and whose environment reflects who they are.
I think most of us are able to appreciate other people’s tastes even if they are vastly different from our own. It would be a bland world if we all existed within the same aesthetic surroundings all the time. What would even be the point of reading design blogs or watching design shows? Let yourself go in the directions you want with your design. You will add to the design landscape, and in your own way you will make the world a more interesting place. Most importantly, you’ll be listening to your own desires and taking them seriously. You’ll be letting your inner self out into the light and celebrating that person.