Desire – Part 1
Desires are weird and wonderful. They are basically what you want but when you change the word want for the word desire it sounds so much more….ballsy. Daring. Delicious. Illegal. Naughty.
Desire seems like a slap to everything I grew up with. It’s the opposite of almost every message I received. I think that desire would have been a dangerous word to use; a dangerous concept to even bring up. Too audacious. Wasteful. Indulgent. Bad.
Here are a few things I’ve discovered about desire.
Desire is a tricky and complicated muthatrucker.
Desire gives fruit at both ends of it’s cycle. And in the middle. It has a magic to it regardless of whether it comes true or not.
Desire is fun. It makes your whole body feel very alive.
Desire writes the resume of who you really are at the deepest and truest level.
Desire isn’t just a happy wanting. It is often a kind of amazingly wonderful but also makes me feel slightly sick at the thought of it but only because it’s so freaking amazing and also because it scares me so much….kind of thing.
In May of this year, I attended a retreat. It was the third one of this particular kind and previously, I had always left about a year and a bit before I went again. It was the time I needed to digest what I had experienced. I left each retreat with a hunger only to go home and try to live as the woman I had opened into.
In May, at the end of this retreat, things felt very different. My whole body hummed with I WANT MORE. It was a ravenous hunger. I wanted more. I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to see what else there was RIGHT FREAKING NOW.
I was filled to the brim, bubbling over with this desire to go on another one. Hunger. Wanting. Desire. Yearning. Ache.
So, I signed up right away.
Now, when you go away for about 6 days and leave your husband with two young kids and spend a lot of money going on a retreat and then you come home and say, by the way, can we do this all over again in 6 months, well, it can feel kind of…selfish. A bit too much.
You have to say something like…”By the way, I want us to spend a lot of more money (which we should be spending on things like our mortgage and our future) so I can go and have fun and just generally feel fucking amazing.”
You see what I mean?
So, I came back from the retreat and said more or less, the above.
Okay, he said. (This man. THIS MAN. Wow.)
I had to do some juggling. I had to do some really deep financial wrangling. I had to ask for more than I was comfortable with. I had to believe I was more worthy of this money than our bank account (and children) were. I had to borrow from our future. To just generally feel fucking amazing.
It was extremely stressful.
And one night, I took a walk around the block to clear my head. I was surprised by the amount of stress I was feeling about this. I started to peel the layers back by asking myself, what’s the deal here? Is it the money? And then I pictured myself having paid for it and being able to relax. And nothing changed in my body. My heart rate was elevated, my stomach was tight, my skin tingled. Hmmm, so it wasn’t a money issue after all?
What the freak was going on?
I kept on peeling. And then I hit it. The sweet spot of epiphany. It wasn’t a money issue. It was a desire issue. It. Scared. The. Shit. Out. Of. Me.
The stress I was feeling was just a big bundle of FEAR. I was afraid of it being really great. I was afraid of it being really bad.
It wouldn’t be good. I wouldn’t get what I wanted out of it. I would have wasted all of this money and time and energy (everyone’s) and it would suck. My desire would have been a dud. There was nothing else for me to experience. Nowhere else to go. Nothing else to discover. I was done with this work. I had opened all I could open. Everything else was bullshit. This retreat was bullshit. This desire was bullshit. It was too much. Not going to happen. Not up in here. This desire, actually, was wrong.
What if it worked? What if it was amazing? Incredible? What if my desire was leading me just where I wanted to go? What if I opened, melted, experienced, expanded…what if my mind got blown and it was fucking incredible? What if it worked?
How do I come home? How do I integrate? Will I come home? What if it’s too good? What if I never want to come home and I just disappear into the world, following my crumbs of desire until the postcards to my family just dry up? What if I go to a place I can never come back from? What if my husband can’t follow me there? What if my friends can’t follow me there? What if I can’t maintain this woman as a mother? As a wife? What if feeding this desire just makes me hungry for more?
(And somewhere, there was a voice that just kept on repeating are we even allowed to want something so badly like this just because it’s going to feel so freaking amazing?!)
Sigh. I was just so scared of this desire. This desire was so big. So deep. So hungry. So fucking fearless. And I was just the shaking, trembling little human attached to this rocket, trying my best to both hang on and enjoy the ride and to prepare my parachute.
But. But. Butt. To say “no” to this desire was scarier than saying yes. So, I said YES.
I leave in a month. With my passport (literally and figuratively) and my parachute.
I think desires are so important. Having them. Knowing what they are. Letting them live in your body and in your heart and then, when it suits, following the breadcrumbs towards them.
I think we have to believe that we are worthy of our desires.
That our desires are not only good for us but for everyone around us.
That our desires are right for us. Perfectly matched for our souls.
That our desires can be a compass. Are signposts along life’s path. (Otherwise, sheeeeet…..what are we following?)
And I think that our desires have meaning in our lives. That they are important. That they are not just the fun stuff, the good stuff, the wild stuff. But the really, really important stuff.
And that they are bigger even than themselves. That they are all leading us somewhere. Somewhere important.
Tell me, what is your relationship like with desire?