Make a decision about what you want! Think and Grow Rich, Napolean Hill
According to my older sister, some of my first words were, “I want outside!”. Even when I was outside, I wanted outside. My fenced in play area was not the bigger world of people and events I was stridently demanding. I actually head-butted and broke the slates in my crib because of the strength of my desire. My desire was clear: let me be free to explore because that is the source of my joy.
When my own children were born, we all were impressed and amazed by how their personalites were fully formed, just along for the ride while the bodies grew and matured. Sure enough, they are the same wonderful people now that they were when they first came into our mutual experience.
Over the years I’ve studied with some very wise people; it has been part of my life mission to learn what those ahead on the journey have learned. It’s why this blog’s tagline is “Uncommon wisdom for interesting times.” I think we can all agree, these are interesting times. For me it’s been very helpful and beneficial to hang around with those for whom the journey of life truly is an adventure and have been willing to give a travelogue of what they’ve found to be true along the way.
Some teachers, however, would have us believe that desire is a bad thing. Even wanting to be desireless is a desire; we just can’t get away from it. Therefore, I decided long ago to honor my desires and not sweep them under the rug as inappropriate. Ultimately, we trip over those things we dispose of in that way!
If a desire feels good, explore it. Hopefully, if it is detrimental, we learn quickly that this is not worthy of our time or energy. If beneficial, if it makes me feel better on an ongoing basis, there is something there for me to explore further. We are here to freely explore, grow and seek joy. There are forces (rule makers who claim to know what is best for us) in all our lives that would deter us from what they label as our dangerous, friviolous and selfish drives, but the desire for expression is innate within us all.
What do they know? Nothing about my desire and its expression. Unexpressed desire and emotion builds up within us and festers. We see in many of our politicians today (I pick on them because they have so willingly made themselves public) show the effects of unexpressed desire. Perversions and misbehaviors of every sort are the price of failing to legitimately express human desire.
The objects of my desire demand exploration and expression. Again, hopefully I will know, through my emotional response, which ones are beneficial and which are not. Then it is up to me to channel my desire into more productive channels. The seeking for true expression is the essence of a satisfying life. Living by others’ rules is stifling at best and ruinous at worst.