the paradox of desire

Look at that!  I'm following through on something I said I'd do (write about desire).  Yay me!

I'm feeling better about life today.  I noticed it this morning when AngryWombat was text griping (no judgement there... that is what we do for each other) and out of my thumbs came something to the effect of "life is beautiful and so are you."  Yep, full blown cheese mode... and it felt good.  I guess there is one kind of cheese I can tolerate after all!  (still apparently in cheese mode).

I don't recall if I shared but I was going to give myself 10 days to wallow in self pity over the absence of 38 (if you're reading this: i miss you... still think about you every day... and will continue to...--i just don't feel bad about it anymore).  Today is day 8 and I can say with confidence that I don't need the extra 2 days.  I'm going to put them back in the emotional energy bank to withdraw on next time I need some comfort.  It's a relief to be here, not because I have any of the answers I seek... but just because I grow weary of feeling crappy very quickly... I used to be able to stay in crap for weeks, months, and maybe even years, but now that I've seen the good life I just can't do it for very long anymore.

(for some reason the browser keeps giving me a little pop-op telling me I've been logged out from another location and asking me if I want to log in again.  ignoring it isn't working, but I'm going to keep trying to anyway!)

On with the show!  Oh wait, first... if you didn't see the extra post on Friday night please go check it out, and then go check out "The Girl Most Likely To."  Do it.  For me.  Please?

Now, on with the show!

What do you think/see/hear when you read the word desire?

I'll give you a minute to stop picturing "showtime after dark" imagery in your head... go on, it's fine.  This is a safe place.

Okay, now that those images have passed, what comes next?  What is desire?

(this is where I pretend that we're having an actual conversation)



Desire is wanting.  What are some other words we could use to describe desire?

Longing?  Good.  Craving?  Sure.  Let's look at all three of those words: wanting, longing, and craving.  Are those things that we're "supposed" to do?  (really, this would work SO much better if we were in the room together right now.  let me try and switch gears...)

I don't know if the same is true for you, but I get the sense that wanting, longing, and craving aren't very attractive behaviors or states of being... I don't get the feeling that I am supposed to want.  I mean, I am supposed to be patient and supposed to be grateful and gracious, and supposed to be satisfied right?


I mean, yes... right.  There is some truth to all of that, but what makes it just as mind boggling as anything else when you really stop to think about it is that desire is both a requirement for and the source of all resistance to growth.  argh!  (am i right?  argh! with me.)

I'd like to try and reframe desire so that it is no longer a dirty word (in the second context, you can still make it as dirty as you want when talking about sex) but I'm not sure I have enough time to do that before I have to go pick up spiderman from my mom's.

So, here's where we are...  I can tell you in exactly three steps (only three?  yes.  only three) how to get anything:

  1. desire it
  2. know you deserve it
  3. stop caring if you ever get it
Simple right?  (ha!  no.  so, so complex).

We've (I've) got to stop thinking that desire is bad... desire is required for any kind of growth.  And of course I should want... of course I should have my heart's desire (and so should you)... (there's step two already).  I get along fairly comfortably through steps one and two and then at three I am hung up more often than not.

I am supposed to desire something, know that I deserve it, and then stop caring if I ever get it?  

Um... how? (not rhetorical.  For the record, I don't know that there is an answer to that question, but if you have one please offer it here in the comments section).

Brief digression to tell you a bit more about my last several days:  Like I mentioned on Friday I planned a full weekend of distraction for myself and it turned out perfectly.  I was occupied when I needed to be, had plenty of time for rest, and even had enough time to decoupage the hell out of my new desk--what more could a girl want?
my new "creative" space

The weekend essentially closed with a visit to a local meditation group.  I sat with the group in a 45 minute meditation (just silence...  woah--I'll tell you more about that on Wednesday), through an hour long discussion about resistance--not a coincidence!, and a final 15 minutes of meditation again) and it was lovely...

So, here's what I think I am learning... here's what I think might be the "non-answer" to the impossible, but still not rhetorical question.  How do we effectively accomplish step 3?  How can we exist in the tension between desire and surrender?  How can we want something with all of our heart and soul and be willing to live without it?

I'm sorry to say my friends, but the answer is the same as all the rest: self love.

Before you get all flustered... 'self love, wtf? does that mean anyway?!  she's always talking about it and then she goes and eats quesadillas and grumble grumble grumble'  

Yes, I say it all the time... and I don't know for sure that I know what it means, and I definitely do some self harmful things and I pay for them... but here's what I learned this weekend.  Self love is going to be different for you, and the only way to find out what it is is to try some things out.  Here's what I think it might be for me: 
  • going to plays
  • telling people about things I think are beautiful
  • reading books
  • going to the movies
  • eating a cupcake for lunch
  • falling asleep on the couch watching tv
  • meditating (sneak peek of wednesday's post--meditating may be radiating the light back inward...  think about it)
  • talking to friends
  • art projects
  • ...
Okay, so that's what self love might "mean" to me... and why/how is it the answer?  I can answer this part with more confidence: because when you're (I'm) immersed in self love I am getting all my needs met.  I can see still outside of myself and identify things I want, but I stop "needing" them to complete me... I am already complete.  I can make room in my heart and my life for anything that will agree to peacefully coexist, but there are no pre-existing voids.

Thanks for sticking around while I try and figure this out.  I'm grateful for your presence.

Now, leave me a comment or two (please).

Questions for today: 
  1. What are some of the things you do (or stop doing) to "let go"?
  2. What does self love look like to you?