Wanting What We Don’t Have—Part II

It’s early in the morning, and even the dogs are still asleep.

Even the Dogs are Asleep

Even the Dogs are Asleep

When I wrote Part I, I didn’t know there would be a Part II.

I’m excited to put my thoughts to paper and share more with you.

Today would be a great day to go on a fabulous Alaskan cruise, chill out at a comfortable beach house, or basically spend my time doing exactly what I want.

It’s fun to spell out what we want and to set goals. What happens when people can’t have what they want?

  • Because of loss of a loved one
  • Because of a serious health issue
  • Because of financial reasons

We cope.

We cope in a variety of ways, some of which are harmful.

Dr. Lorie serving Thanksgiving meals through the Salvation Army 2014

Dr. Lorie serving Thanksgiving meals through the Salvation Army 2014

One useful way to cope is to do unto others.

  • Helping someone else—perhaps by helping in a way that is relevant to what you want
  • Volunteering your time—even when you believe you don’t have any
  • Giving what you can—no matter how minor it may seem

Wanting What We Don’t Have—Part I

It’s very late, and I can’t sleep.

Memorial Candle

Memorial Candle

I’ve spent hours today counseling others who are clinically depressed and anxious at a skilled nursing facility.

One man in his 90’s is in denial, believing he can still fly planes—and drive—and soon he expects to travel the country on his own in a new RV. He yells at his family, “Don’t tell me that I can’t!”

Another woman just wants to go home. “When can I go home?” Her home was sold many years ago.

I’m no different when it comes to wanting what I can’t have. Are you?

It hurts

  • When we can’t have what we want
  • When we can’t do the things we dream of doing
  • When we can’t be who we want to be

Yes, it hurts. And it’s exactly the hurt that we must embrace. There’s no simple way to move to the other side of pain without feeling it.


  1. What specifically do you want that you can’t have today? (e.g., a different career, relationship, lifestyle, etc.)
  2. How do you negatively cope with the hurt of not having what you want? (e.g., overeat, abuse drugs/alcohol, take your pain out on others, etc.)