What Do You Really Want?

man standing at start of two pathsThis post is based on Week Five of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.

This week provides an opportunity to delve into a very deep question: What do you want? What do you really want? What is your heart’s deepest desire?

This can be quite a confronting question. In today’s culture, we are bombarded with so many messages about whom we should be and what we should do in order to be happy: own this car, live in this city, join this group, wear this makeup, or perform this task, in order to live the life of dreams. But whose dream?

St. Ignatius invites me to take time this week to quietly reflect on what is the deepest desire of my heart, no one else’s. If I were to confront or overcome all of my fears and wounds, or to dare to dream about my heart’s deepest desires, what would they be?

God is inviting us to reconnect with our deepest selves, to identify that which brings each one of us life, hope, joy, strength, and inspiration. Moreso, God is inviting us into a deeper relationship of love within ourselves, with God, and with all we encounter.

Hold your hand to your heart. Close your eyes. And ask yourself again, What do I really want? By way of encouragement, here is how my heart responded to the question.

I desire to be loved and to love, to be seen and appreciated. I desire to belong. I desire to have a family of my own, where love is at its center. I desire to grow in my love for and friendship with Jesus and those I encounter, in small, concrete ways. I desire to create beautiful and inspiring things—with words, photos, and any other creative projects that come to my mind and heart. I desire to live simply and in a place that I can tend to and appreciate the natural world around me.

But at the heart of it is love. The more I asked this question, the more I came back to this: My heart desires to love and to be loved. To grow in trust and courage to live a life where I can be myself and can contribute to the world in my own unique way.

And so my prayer is:

God, help me to love, in small, concrete ways. Help me to be more myself, for this is who you call me to be and no one else. Help me to take time to listen to your voice in my heart and to grow closer to you in trust and hope. I pray for courage to act upon my deepest desires, trusting that you are calling me to a life full of love, joy, connection, mission, and purpose.

  • How does your heart respond when asking the question: What do I want?
  • Take the time to ask the question over and over, and to listen to your response.
  • Pray for the courage to respond, perhaps using the words here by Blessed John Henry Newman.


  1. “What do you really want?’

    Somewhere I read this, ” I want what You want, when You want it.” Complete submission to what God would want us to be is good only if if aligns with what we want but if it’s the other way around, I’m not sure about that. Still, we pray that if that time comes when we are made to choose what we want versus what He wants, we are ready to say, ” I want what you want, when you want it.”

  2. Fiona, May you have joy in your life; you are certainly spreading it around to all. God’s blessings on you ministry.


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