Hello everyone! I have been thinking of sharing some ideas about desire for some time now and I’m finally getting some thoughts out to you about this. Funny, I considered using the title “Love and Lust” but “Desire” seems to encompass more. So let’s look at desire. Do you know what you desire? For some it may be to have more money, more living space, more friends, more spare time, more food, more sex, more sleep, more travel. The commonality of all of these is that one word: more. See, with desire, there is always that feature. Now you might say no, if I had just a little more of one or many of those desires, I would be very happy. Then think back to when you might have had just a little less than what you do now. Notice your desires have grown. You might tell me that the economy has changed so that is why you need more money than what you needed last year. You likely need to adjust your spending as the economy changes every year. Do you spend just a little less on hair appointments, eating out, wine or entertainment? This you can do today – mindfully – to be able to live within the same finances you did before. And this is a good habit to get into as we know that cost of living rises every year.
Now let’s look at love. Many people desire to be loved. It is a most wonderful experience and it can make the heart sing! I have been speaking with several clients that have fallen in love over my many years of practice and I am always amazed with the human condition. Here is the most regular scenario: couple meets each other, lots of uncertainty and then trust builds as love builds and finally couple is in steady and happy relationship. Then, some concern arises and less love is felt, both parties are less happy and arguments or non-healthy communication (sometimes silent and solitary brooding) arises. Now remember, I said the “most regular scenario” which means this does not happen in every relationship but surprisingly, many relationships go through this.
Which brings me to why I almost called this “Love and Lust.” This is because these words are part of the experience that often leads to the building of a great relationship and also the same ingredients that can lead to the breakdown of one. See, often a certain chemistry brings a couple together (let’s call that a lust-stage). There are words, looks and experiences shared that contains this strong sexual desire. Over time, a love develops and this contains a deep affection, interest and pleasure. And over more time, a lust can re-enter the relationship (from another source). Most often justifications are given for this like “it’s just a natural instinct” or “it’s a guy thing” – yet, I have seen this happen for both men and women in relationships. Often men are less-comfortable in opening up about feeling less-desirable or jealous than women are, so women more openly speak about this.
When lusty-looking enters a relationship (again, towards another person or experience), it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on personal and shared values in a relationship. Are they the same? Have they changed? Whether it is in a marriage or not, the words and actions encompassing “love, honour and respect” are most important in any loving relationship. If this is not the feeling experienced by both people in any relationship, it’s time to communicate openly and honestly. This is a wonderful time to discuss (without ego) what is, or is not, being experienced by each partner. To say “I love you” can happen from either a lust or a love perspective.
To live “I love you” can only happen from a love perspective.
This means that each partner can understand what this means for the other and recognize their own habits and styles too. This is not easy as it requires full honesty and humility from each person.
Remember that over time our desires change too. You have no desire today for that tricycle that you longed for at age 3. And your desires in a relationship will change too as you grow in life in the areas of body, mind, intellect and soul. Open communication filled with curiosity and love can move a relationship to newer heights yet cannot be forced. So as much as one may desire a change from a partner, remember that the only change we can truly control is that which we can create in ourselves.
To know yourself is the key here. Do you understand your desires today? Do you understand your partner’s? Do you know your goals? What is meaningful to each of you? Do you share the same values today that you may have shared in the past? Remember those words – love, honour and respect are most important here. In a relationship, this means working from a “we” perspective rather than a “me” perspective to nurture and value the relationship and grow together. Are you doing your part? There needs to be no blame or shame here. Just an acknowledgement, an acceptance, and a plan of action that honours the current moment while shaping the next moment too. Often times, people do not realize the looks, words and/or actions that are making their partners feel less-desired, less-confident and ultimately, less-satisfied in their relationships. Do you know whether you are building or breaking down your relationship with your behaviours (sometimes conscious and most often, unconsciously-driven)?
People can re-train their thoughts words and actions to honour themselves as well as the relationships they have created with love. It only takes a true appreciation of what you value most, today.
I have met and worked with a few people that are determined to live their lives from one lusty experience to the next; yet I have met none that are truly content, peaceful or satisfied for very long in such a lifestyle. So then another short-term lust is pursued, leaving such people in perennial denial of the loneliness and despair felt between such experiences. Until it is denied no more. I have met just as many loving relationships that are steady with their three basic ingredients of love, honour and respect that have maintained love and fun lust because of a mindful attention to do so – these have experienced a long-lasting satisfaction that I would wish for any healthy and happy relationship.
What is interesting to contemplate is that your current relationship may itself have been built on the foundation of lust. If love has not been acknowledged and nurtured, a dissatisfaction may arise from a desire to re-live the lust you once knew. I often remind people that this is the experience of many animals (though not all as some maintain the same partner for life); humans however, are known to have a far greater Consciousness that flows through them that can guide higher-level thoughts, words and actions that bring about rewards much higher than the fleeting experiences of lust. Most people recognize this gift as the true blessing that it is.
Again, knowing your values, your goals, and your desires now, is the most important consideration. If you know you need to change something in yourself to bring more love, honour and respect to yourself or who you love, begin there.
I thought I would end this post with a message I came across that I believe simply and perfectly describes what I am trying to share with you in this post. Now all you have to do is know what you want to create for your life experience!
May your life be filled with healthy and meaningful love and lust!