Human desire kinda gets a bum rap. We tend to tangle it up in either greedy materialism or shameful lust.
When desire invokes a sexy appeal, too often it’s saddled with a licentiousness that makes it seem selfish or naughty, even dirty. As an expression of other longings, wants, needs, hungers, and yearnings, desire gets bogged down by our nobly misguided ideals about non-attachment — if we want something, that means we don’t already have it — we lack it, uh oh, and everybody knows that “lack consciousness” is something to be overcome, right?
Yet, I’ve found that asking myself and others “What do you want?” is pretty much always a really valuable inquiry. Even if the answer to this question feels like, “Hell if I know,” still that’s an important thing to realize. Because until we can identify and declare what we want, we’re probably going to be less purposeful and effective at actualizing anything at all.
Whether I’m counseling, trying to resolve a problem, or making a decision about what to do with my afternoon or my life, “What do you want?” is a darned good place to start.
When I’m feeling out of sorts, depleted, frustrated, unfulfilled, confused, overwhelmed, angry, resentful, or sad, questions like “What do you want? What is your desire? What do you wish?” invariably point me somewhere helpful.
I really dig Danielle LaPorte’s approach to desire. She writes, “Behind every desire there is a feeling, and your feelings will lead you to your soul.”
We’re here to create our lives and the world. We’re here to pursue happiness and be fulfilled. If we can remember this, then desire doesn’t have to sound like a synonym for envy, lust, avarice, gluttony, or any of the deadly sins. And we don’t have to manage it like a torment, like an insatiable ghost, like something to be exorcised.
Expressing what we want doesn’t have to stop with “because I don’t have it;” rather, it can create a container for “and I’ve got it!” Thus, it can illuminate our hopes, what we believe to be possible, where we are being called to put energy and attention, and how to practice exercising and trusting our own capacities.
If we hold desires as windows to our soul, guideposts to our deepest values, reminders of what is most important to us, what we love… then desire itself can be an act of creation. “Let there be Light.” Wanting it with all our hearts is the first step to imagining potential into reality.
I can’t wait to be with you this Sunday, October 6. Service at 10:00 am. XO, Drew
© 2019 Drew Groves