Desire is a funny thing to me. We have various desires throughout the day or even throughout our lives. These desires seem like they might be good things, but I wonder. As with everything else, there are myriad reasons for desires. Some may be healthy such as I am hungry and desire sustenance to stop my tummy from rumbling. Some may be unhealthy such as I just ate dinner and am full but now I desire sweet delicious creamy textured chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate syrup - no scratch that, hot fudge. The former is a desire that when fulfilled physically and in the right frame, can be satisfied and will not recur for at least a few hours when the next meal time comes and the body needs more fuel for energy. You need to fuel the body and fueling the body for it's energetic purposes in a thoughtful way is a good thing. However, if your desires are emotionally driven, I wonder - can they ever be truly satisfied? I'm not professing to have any answers here as these are just my thoughts this morning.
I'm a root-cause analysis kind of gal when it comes to analyzing thoughts and issues and so if I have a desire that can be healthily quenched, I'm all about that. However, if I have an emotional desire I've come to the conclusion that I am less apt to strive to seek to satisfy such a desire. If I want to satisfy an emotional desire I first have to understand if it is a true desire that can be fulfilled or if it is an emotional desire that can never be fulfilled by anything in the outside world. Emotional desires seem to me to be things we can never satisfy with the outside world. I might desire companionship in a moment when I am bored. If I seek to quickly satisfy that with the nearest soul in my proximity who turns out to be disordered in some way, my desire for companionship might be met but then I must embrace the fallout of hanging out with the hurtfully disordered (shivers). Not that they don't also deserve companionship but my intent is to convey that you may get more than you planned to contend with. So, I would see a desire for companionship to cure boredom not as a desire that needs to be satisfied but one I need to understand better.
Why would I desire companionship when I'm bored, ice cream when I'm full, a bigger house, a new purse, a new pair of shoes, etc. when I already have everything I need? To me, that's easy, my ego is feeling unattended. In such instances I know that if I attempt to fulfill an emotional desire with anything outside of myself I will ultimately deal with only consequences and not all may be pleasant. So, hmmm, my desires in some cases - I think - are more about healing wounds within or thoughts within that escaped my conscious cognition. Emotional desires can be funny things. Sometimes emotional desire is about the rush, the conquest, the adventure but when fulfilled, never seem to have the lasting affect I might have truly wished. If I should find myself in such a place, I know I am trying to fulfill an emotional desire from sources that can never fulfill my true desire. So, what then is the true desire? To be recognized? Ego - fleeting. To be paid attention too? Ego - Fleeting. To feel good compared to others? Ego - fleeting. Maybe my desires are really a message from me to me that I need to better understand my current frame of reference.
If I go with the message from me to me and look deeper beneath the chatter of "I want this" or "I want that," and decided to understand my true motivation, maybe in a moment I am off-balance and unhappy or depressed and just unconsciously want to feel better. There is nothing outside of me that can bring me that. Substances (legally purchased or prescribed) can temporarily give me the illusion of fulfillment of the desire but it won't last and I'll always just want to seek more of makes me feel good. Logically, I know that the only thing in this world that can make me feel good is me, generated by my own thoughts and emotions, adjusting an unconscious perspective, through healing any negative thoughts and emotions and then, well, the satisfying of the desire by my own internal thoughts and actions or in some cases proper inaction, I can gain greater and more sustainable success with such an approach. If I am feeling bad, I can cut myself some slack by entertaining thoughts of, "Wow, I've been so busy lately with work and kids, I've not taken any time for myself. I really just need a walk in nature, in the sunlight and taking in a beautiful breeze. That would shift my perspective enough to entertain brighter thoughts within that I can choose to attach different emotion to." While Ice cream with hot fudge might make me feel awesome for a few minutes, if I engage in this manner of satisfying an emotional desire too often, it will also bring me unintended consequences such as added pounds, clothes that don't fit and ill-health. (shivers again).
I'm finding that the more I meditate with ever more devotion, the more I realize how much of my emotion I truly create. My desires for things unhealthy begin to dissipate as I find a greater sense of wholeness, peace and even bliss by allowing myself complete quiet to just go within and be. I'm finding that none of my desires bring me greater and lasting happiness than my desire for peace and serenity through meditation. So, well, there goes the desire for romantic relationships - those are completely out of the question. The very nature of relationships is seeking to fulfill a need through someone else. Nah, I truly do not desire that. Also out of the question are yummy, delicious, crispy and salty kettle chips (now this one is really hard). Temporarily, happiness comes but like ice cream, the whole pounds and tight clothes consequence thing...yikes! Other tools so frequently used also go out the window more and more each day. Alcohol is not something that does anything good for me unless I'm using wine for cooking. Smoking suddenly loses its effect of satisfaction. Buying new clothes, shoes or purses does nothing but drain the bank account. Bigger houses mean more space to clean. It seems to me the only desire that truly promotes anything about my well-being is meditation, seeking solace in beautiful sunlight, exchanging loving support with friends, working to do the best job I can do and seeking to bring smiles to the faces of my children. These are all desires that bring me more lasting happiness. All other desires are only fleeting messages of things I need to pay better attention to within I think.
Desires are interesting things. What do your desires fulfilled bring you? Are they worth it? Do the sensations of fulfillment last for you? I think its good to be aware of our desires for more than just the superficial and seeming immediate value of them. Particularly those of the emotional variety. We can feel good without buying, imbibing or engaging in anything in the outside world. I didn't know that before meditation and giving myself a chance to gain some clarity on what and who I really am. I'd love to hear other's thoughts on desires. Comment below if you are moved to. Blessings for a self-satisfying and beautiful day.
(c) 2013, Jaie Hart (photo, fortunate random internet find)