It’s okay to want something. No, really. It’s okay.
We have such hang-ups about desire, aka wanting things.
We often chide ourselves for wanting too much, for not wanting enough, for wanting to in the first place, for not admitting we have wants, for wanting revenge (that’s a hairline trigger right there), for wanting charity, for wanting approval, and for wanting… well, almost anything.
What is desire truly?
Why are there so many different positions on desire in today’s zeitgeist? Some great, some only good, some maudlin, and some very bad. There are thought leaders who believe, and espouse, that desire only gets you into trouble. But why?
Desire, at its most basic, is wanting.
But you’re not supposed to want. Remember what your mom told you? Or your dad? You couldn’t just want something purely because you wanted it. You had to have a reason. A good reason, at that. And so this became your brain pattern — making up good reasons to want things. In fact, they convinced you that you needed such good reasons that you began to believe that wanting gets you only some things, but needing something… well, that’ll get you everything. They taught you to need, by teaching you that wanting was not enough.
But it didn’t begin with them, so don’t put that on your therapy list of things you need to talk about at your next session. I mean you may want to do that, and that’s fine. It’s just that it didn’t begin with them, your parents, your family, your immediate surroundings. This idea that wanting is unwanted is an idea that has been around the human condition for a good long while. Your people inherited it. I mean, look at texts written decades ago, centuries ago, millenniums ago. A great deal of self-improvement and philosophy books and writings speak of letting go of all desire. Mostly because there’s a belief that wanting gets in the way.
But anytime anyone says that something is all bad or completely troublesome, you should always take another look at what they’re saying. Question the “all”-ness of it. Nothing is all-destructive or all-productive. Everything has multiple aspects to it, just as we do and as an atom does. Think about the atom for a moment. It is the building block of all life, and it also contains the forces that made the atom bomb such a problem for humanity.
From the most complex to the simplest of beings, everything has many sides. Desire is no different.
Wanting is not what gets in the way. It’s how you want that gets in the way. And it doesn’t get in the way so much as it carves out the shape of how you relate to what you want (or need) and how you relate to the attainment of all that you want (or need).
And when these are altered, so too are the ways in which you believe you can have what you want, and in turn, actually having what you want, by extension.
For example, you can want a phenomenal romantic relationship, but if any part of your experience in life deems that a phenomenal relationship is not possible… Well, good luck.
And I don’t mean that fecetiously, as I know many of us have hurt and pain in that area that gets triggered very easily. And… well, we all have life experiences that either support what we desire or plum go against our wants for our own happiness and/or otherwise.
And although you have life experiences, you are never stuck with them, or just any old point of view. You’ve got choices, options. Always. Infinite possibilities, though two more than the one you already have may suffice. Ha!
Desire is the very foundation of evolution. It is the building block of creation.
We all look to make things better in the world around us. This desire to make things better, to improve upon what exists, whether for our own good or for the good of people around us, or the world, is the very impulse that moves us forward as humankind. That moving forward is also known as Evolution.
Then why do we have so much fight/struggle with desire and wanting? Is it maybe that we are not comfortable with wanting anything? That the notion of wanting has such broad implications and for some of us they are of a negative nature? Not getting what we want, not succeeding in things that really mattered to us, not achieving everything we’ve dreamt of for ourselves… and the list can go on.
Why don’t we start at the beginning where our desire is always strongest… as children who want nearly everything we see and discover. And as parents of those children who want everything they see or discover, most parents find themselves bereft of fulfilling those desires. Most parents actively teach us that they cannot, or will not, provide us with what we want just because we want it. Some make it a disciplinary action, but for others it’s purely circumstantial. “Does money grow on trees?” “Am I made of money?” “Mommy must work today.” “Daddy needs to rest.” “We’ll do it another time.” “Not now.” “You got one just like that for Christmas/Chanukah/etc.”
And when we don’t get our wants met, then we turn them into needs. As children, we have great desire and we don’t hold back from experiencing it. When we want something badly, we simply move from “I want that” to “I need that” – as our parents seem to respond better, the more emphasis we put behind our desire. Consider that none of us have actual needs. We just have wants and desires that as children were best fulfilled as
I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeallyyyyyyyy need that!!!!,
and so our wants became needs and that’s how it’s followed suit ever since. The pattern hasn’t ended, as patterns are wont to do, until… we become aware of them.
Ahhh, that’s the lesson, if you will. Desire can lead us to anything we want in our lives, and toward taking the actions, not mere “doing” but inspired action, that will help us achieve what we see in our mind’s eye. It is all possible.
Desire in and of itself is not a problem. Nothing, in and of itself, ever is. It is always our opinion about something that makes it a problem or a solution.
And as for fulfilling our dreams, doing what we love, getting our wants/needs met…
Desire. Let go. Desire. Let go. Desire. Let go.
No “doing” necessary. Just knowing that it truly is okay to want things and to want them for any reason, whatever reason being perfectly fine, is what allows us to bring power to our desire and what we desire.
Desire is not everything we’ve made of it – the limits we’ve placed on it. Ain’t it good to have room to move about, for the sake of curiosity and wonder, to discover what you truly want in your life?
It’s soooooooo good. Pure bliss, even.
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