What does wanting know? Why can we only want what we want, and not what we ought to want? Why do we so often want what we ought not want? What we have no business wanting, and certainly no business having? Why is wanting/not-wanting and ought/ought-not (Or should/shouldn't), the only available guides for piloting our boat on its path through the sea? What is there besides want and ought (should)? How else can we determine/decide/discern what to do? Whatever it is, it sure better get here quick. We have ridden this horse as far into the wasteland as it can carry us, and there is nothing but more of the same as far as we can see in any direction! Here's a suggestion for you: Dismount and let the horse find its own way to wherever it is going, then sit down and shut up. Empty yourself of everything. Even the desire to be empty. Not this! Not this! Not this! Not this! ... Until there is just you, sitting in the silence. Now wait. Empty. Still. Silent. Watch. For what stirs in the silence. For what appears unbidden as a gift from our imagination that we do not consciously create. For what arises out of nowhere. To call, beckon, invite. Follow as bidden. Go as directed. Do as told. And if that goes against all that you stand for and value, call a parley. And engage the Unknown Source of Direction in an imaginary conversation, you asking questions and waiting on the answers to occur to you as a spontaneous response to your inquiry. Ask all of the questions that beg to be asked. Say all of the things that cry out to be said. Do not let anything go unstated, unexplored. With you talking to the Unknown Other. See where it goes. At the very least, it will take you to possibilities you have been unaware of all this time. Possibilities that have no connection with what you want/don't want, or with what you ought-to/ought-not-to do.
What are you about? What are you up to? What interests you? What is meaningful to you? Explore these things! Let exploring what interests you and exploring what is meaningful to you be what you are about! Let them be what you are up to! You could do worse. So much worse. Don't do that!
Toward the end of his life, Carl Jung said, "I call Divinity that which flings itself violently across my path, and alters the course of my life for good or for ill" (Quoted by James Hollis in an interview with Laura London on "Speaking of Jung"). The Divinity is the Mystery of Life inserting itself into our life, as if to say, "What are you going to do about this?" --Perhaps for its own entertainment, who knows? We rock along, and something happens that rocks our world. Now what? Where do we turn when we have nowhere to turn? I recommend Emptiness, Stillness and Silence. You will be amazed to discover what you will find there-- other aspects of the Mystery at the heart of Life and Being, I assure you. Once you step into the encounter with Mystery, there is no turning back. You are in it all the way. And there isn't a greater adventure to be found! One discovery leads to another, and who knows here it is going? Or cares? "The game is afoot," as Sherlock Holmes likes to say. He loved the Mystery as much as anyone ever has! Compete with him for the title! It will bring joy to your life, and put a spring into your step! And who could ask for more?
The right kind of life requires the right kind of dying again and again throughout the span of abundant living. We live between Ego and Psyche. The interests/demands of one clash with those of the other. Our place as conscious/aware human beings is to moderate the conflict of interests and die the death the circumstances require, knowing our highest allegiance and felty belong to the psychic source of life and being, requiring ego to grow up some more again all along the way. Ego's way is giving way in trusting the way of Psyche and sacrificing itself and its interests in the service Psyche's idea of what needs to be done in each situation as it arises at the expense of Ego's self-aggrandizement, profit, and gain every time. We stand between Ego and Psyche, negotiating Ego's loss and Psyche's gain time after time. This is the place of the cross in our life, the one Jesus requires us to pick up and carry through our days just like he did, dying to what needs to be died to, and living to what needs to be lived to day in and day out. The Sisyphean task as Jesus interpreted and implemented it, and ours to will and to do through time and place, one day at a time.
What must you do? What must you not do? Our life is lived between these two poles. We have no choice about either. What we must do and what we cannot do are thrust upon us from beyond us as carryovers from our experiences with life as we have lived it. There are those of us who must be pleasing, for example, and those who cannot help talking all the time, (or never saying anything to draw attention to ourselves). We all have our limits. I can "do" cocktail parties and family/high school/etc. reunions, but not really. And I must sit by the door in all meetings and lectures in order to leave discretely when I have had enough (And generally must avoid meetings and lectures altogether). I lean toward hermitude, and away from social gatherings of all types and every occasion. And have long since made my peace with the complexes controlling these aspects of my life. I know where my lines lie, and am not motivated to move them, being perfectly comfortable to leave them where they are. What are complexes and what are free choices, and where does that line lie, I do not know, and don't care. I freely choose my complexes, trusting that there are good reasons to be the way I am, and seeing no reason to override my tics and preferences, wondering what's the complex involved in having to be complex free? It would be different if I felt the need to be other than I am, or if I had a job that required me to pretend that I liked parties and lite conversations. As it is, I am perfectly content to be the turtle dragging its tail through the mud, allowing "really living," or "real life," pass me by. And wish you well in working out your relationships with the must's and the can-not's operating as they do in your life, and making your peace with the way things are.