Dear Charlotte,

You write about wanting what we shouldn’t want. I relate to this but have spent my life obeying the rules doggedly and trying to do what’s “right” in life. I’ve got a blessed life but I don’t enjoy it. I have so much to do and it’s never ending and frustrating. 

How can I enjoy life more without doing something “bad”?

Dear boundary gazer, 

Your message is intriguing and I want to know what taboo things you desire! No wonder you’re tempted by transgression when you’ve obeyed and followed the rules doggedly. There’s tension between cooperation and individuation, and you may be longing to define yourself and experience something aligned with you personally. So ask yourself what your desire is really about — what makes something “bad” and what is one thing you could do that’s not about obeying other people’s demands? 

If you think of desire from a wide angle lens, there are big and extreme examples of wanting something bad, and there are small and realistic possibilities. 

Look at what’s “bad” and ask yourself what really matters to you, what you value. Replace your judgment with curiosity. 


Charlotte Fox Weber is the author of What We Want - one of Welldoing's books of 2022 (see the full list here)