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The Joy of Wanting
many people believe that desire / wanting is the cause of suffering and thereby seek to demonize it. Wanting something, in and of itself, does not cause pain, but it is a vessel through which your emotional wounds can be experienced. This is akin to saying that pain is not an inherent part of loving but, through a focus on an unrequited love, we can experience our feeling of love as being a vessel for an intensely painful experience. The choice to stop loving because of this possibility is valid as there are no ‘wrong’ choices, but to view it consciously is to understand that it is a fear-based choice to limit your experience.
There is nothing ‘wrong’ with wanting. It is a part of the creative process through which not only all realities come into being, but through which you also came to be living this life (through the wanting of your spirit to experience). However, it is important to be aware when this wanting has become a need because it is coming from a place of fear or wounding.
You can do this by becoming aware of the space within you that you would call ‘where I want to be’ or ‘I will be happy when’. Feel into the ways in which you need something to be different from the way things currently are. Next, allow yourself to feel any pain you are carrying in relation to these feelings and you will become aware of the ways in which you are in resistance to yourself.
Whether you experience your wanting as positive or negative is a choice that can be felt as either an exciting anticipation of what could be, or as a depressing focus that constantly reflects what you believe you lack. Pain only arises when your desires mentally separate you from experiencing the beauty and perfection of your current reality because of how ‘what is wanted’ becomes a symbol of what you do not have and of what you do not believe you have the power to choose (instead of motivating you towards a potential creation).
heart-based wanting is an attractive state based on the desire to love—not a state of fear or rejection. To love your reality is to meet your feeling of want free from the distorting effects of fear. Your choice for this life was not a mistake. Feel the pain connected to any belief that this life is not where you desire to be. Release any grief you are carrying about the state of your reality—by recognizing it as a state of attachment—and see it anew as an invitation to create (instead of as a statement of what you lack). Embrace your wanting—do not fear it—because it is telling you why you have chosen this life.
Bridging The Gap Between What You Want And Have
The powerful step beyond appreciation.
how big is the distance between what you want for your life and what you are currently experiencing? Can you feel the way in which it exists as a divide within you? Why are we predisposed to experience this inner distance as painful? Could there be a better way to experience the feeling of what we want versus what we have and who we want to be versus who we are? In this article we are going to:
- Recognize this inner, mental divide.
- Explore how it feels and appears to you personally.
- Discover how to have a positive relationship with it (as opposed to it being a measure of what you do not have).
- Step into the realization of a new, freer self.
The divide within Us.
No one has a magic wand that can change the negative circumstances of your life in such a way that your emotional reality also magically flips from negative to positive in a permanent way. A windfall of money can make us happy for a while but, usually within a few months, even if our outer circumstances have improved, the feeling of there being a gap between what we want to experience and what we are experiencing is back.
how is this inner divide so resilient that no amount of money can fix it? Why is it that money or achievement can only temporarily gloss over or distract you from it? The idea that money will not solve our problems often challenges our idea of why we are unhappy. “I would be happy if I had more money” and “I would be happy if I had a better partner” are states of denial. If you believe either of those statements (or similar), then you will find yourself unable to clearly recognize the inner divide within you. This is because…
When we convince ourselves our emotional pain is caused by our outer circumstances, we lose the ability to recognize that pain as our own wounding.
What I am asking you to recognize is the part of yourself that is in pain, where that pain is NOT the result of your circumstances. At first, the idea that your negative feelings may not be associated with your outer circumstances can seem illogical. This is because a part of us recognizes just how intimately our circumstances and our pain are connected.
For example, every time a new bill arrives you may feel the pain of the divide between the amount of money you want and the amount of money you have. This will lead you to associate your lack of money as the cause of your pain. However, I am not saying that a lack of money and the experience of pain aren’t connected. I am saying…
changing Your relationship With The divide.
Only you can choose to address your own tendency to mentally compare what you want with what you have. This usually begins by realizing what you think you want may not be what you really want, as well as recognizing that your state of lack may not be as hopeless as you have imagined (due to how fear distorts our perception). You have the power to not feel separate from anything you wish to experience (regardless of whether not you possess it).
You have the power to have a positive relationship with your own desire and wanting for more.
Our desire for what we do not have need not be painful. Animals do not feel pain from their instinct to experience. It is only because of how we have evolved our minds to compare and make value judgments that we have become able to experience our instincts as negative. Through this, we have buried our instinctual nature—despite it being one of our greatest tools with which to navigate life.
To let go of perceiving what you do not possess as a problem to be fixed is, from a certain perspective, to become a new type of human being. It is within you to redefine the relationship between what you want to experience and what you are experiencing to be positive. No one can force you to make this change because you have to see the possibility for yourself.
ELABORATION: Not perceiving what you do not have as a problem is so far outside of “normal” behavior that you cannot look to others to agree with you. To not view what you do not have as negative is to be a pioneer. The two predominant beliefs in the world are, “Go get it! Be positive! create! create! create!” and “wanting and desire are the path to suffering. Want for nothing and you will not suffer.” These are both polarized and I am seeking to convey a middle way where you redefine the divide instead of ignoring your wounding or avoiding it.
Letting Go Of Destination-Thinking.
You can be happy with what you have and still want and dream for more. For some this may seem obvious, whereas for others it may seem contradictory. A baseline of sustained happiness isn’t about achieving what you want (destination-thinking), it is about enjoying the day-to-day journey that moves you forward.
If you only enjoy your achievements, you are not a happy person; you are an unhappy person who temporarily experiences happiness when you achieve something. All suffering is based in destination thinking. To learn to enjoy your journey is to release suffering from your life. However, in saying this, it is important to distinguish between suffering and pain.
definition: pain is emotional and of the moment. Suffering is a form of distressing, mental angst that is pain elongated beyond the moment through mental circling, resistance, and judgment. For example, having your partner leave you may be incredibly painful and nothing I can tell you will prevent that pain. suffering is then the mental and emotional journey you may take over the ensuing months and years. As you continue to feel the pain of the breakup (typically as anger, shame, regret, or grief) it is not a new pain each day, it is the original pain mentally elongated over time into suffering.
being caught in the trap of destination-thinking is something you have the power to change through the exploration and resolution of your wounding. We hide this from ourselves through the belief that it is our circumstances and not our wounding that cause our negative feelings. This article is about seeing through that denial.
ELABORATION: I know the word “meant” in the last sentence may disturb some of you. I am simply saying that to choose to live within embodiment through dualistic perception (while deep within the illusion of separation) is to choose to live a life defined by contrast. The negatively perceived end of the contrast is experienced as painful when perceived in relation to its opposite. Human life is one of the most painful forms of life because it is a high contrast reality (that we each willingly keep choosing).
The only way for us to understand this choice (from within embodiment) is to experience our life without suffering. Only then can you understand what pain is without the mental extrapolation through which we spin it into suffering. Only then can we understand that suffering—not pain—is the root of our malady.
learning to bridge The divide.
To wish to be something else is to dream of a new beginning. However, the hope you may have for that new beginning is not a new beginning; it is the hope for it. Within the feeling of your hope for a new beginning is the distance you believe exists between your experience of self and that new start. To bring the two together is to explore and integrate this distance such that it is not feared / resisted through the belief it is negative.
ELABORATION: To recognize the divide within you as yourself (rather than the result of circumstance) is to fill that divide. To fill it is to bridge it—it is to become a bridge inside yourself. That bridge is the realization of your dream because then there is no longer a divide between what you want to experience and what you are experiencing.
This doesn’t, however, mean you will suddenly get what you wanted in the outward sense (although some reflection of that will occur); it means you will no longer experience your reality as lacking. In this, the experiences you may desire are confidently moved towards with purpose, instead of being symbols of what you are lacking. When you bridge the divide you are likely to find that what you desire will change because you will view life from a passionate (rather than fearful) perspective.
To bridge the divide within you is to move away from the conditioned ideas that something has gone wrong, you are being punished, or you are trapped somewhere you do not wish to be. Until these ideas are released, they will always diminish your experience of freedom.
embracing The Distance.
When you do not treat the divide / discrepancy between what is and what is wanted as a barrier to be conquered you will discover, in a deeper way than ever before, your ability to live in joy. This is because when you aren’t labeling your circumstances as a problem to be fixed you can approach the divide within yourself as a distance you want to have the experience of bridging because of how it will feel to bridge it (as opposed to wanting to possess the bridge that is created).
The exact same divide you once felt as painful can be experienced as the discovery of a signpost to the joy that lies within the journey.
ELABORATION: To be “awake” is to know all separation is an illusion. From this vantage point, our inner divide can be seen as a gift (not a problem). We are each eternal-consciousness and how we dream of evolving and expanding our experience of life is the ever-unfolding extension of the original act of creation.
When we awaken to the illusion of separation, the inner divide is not felt as a pain; it is the place where we meet new experiences; it is the call of the heart to joy. Our personal inner divide is where we meet what it is to be free. This is the release of the belief in your own powerlessness and your ability to be a victim. It is to step further into All-That-You-Are.
There Is nothing To fear.
Do not fear the distance within you. Do not fear the difference between what you want and what you have. Learn to have a positive experience with what you want to create such that you can create from a basis of unfolding joy—rather than escaping pain. Your instinctive desires (as opposed to your mental attachments) are a positive force. They are not something to be limited in order to avoid feeling lack or to avoid feeling your wounds.
Don’t try to change your reality by fighting it; change it by filling the space within you with the realizations of love, freedom, and creation. Stop filling the inner divide with feelings of lack, frustration, worthlessness, dis-empowerment, anger at the universe, blame, guilt, shame, and fear. Once the divide becomes a consciously integrated part of you, it ceases to be experienced as either good or bad. This is to understand how separation and connection are equal (because without the illusion of separation everything is seen to be equal).
separation and re-connection are the endless dance of death and rebirth, creation and destruction, night and day. Consciousness versus unconsciousness is the cyclic foundation of our self and our reality. They create life.
- Do not be afraid of any feeling.
- Do not fear entering the space between what you are experiencing and what you want to experience.
- Do not fear that contrast is a part of our experience.
- Do not fear the existence of contrast within yourself.
- Do not fear the eternally, unfolding diversity and change of self.
The release of suffering begins with the realization it is possible to not suffer—this is the realization of freedom. The paradox is that your freedom to not suffer is discovered through accepting how you freely made the choice to experience being human (which is, by definition, painful as well as joyful).
NOW is the beginning of all things
I am Now.
In this moment I am born anew. I stand at the heart of creation knowing I am the source of All That I am. I am the source of all I experience. I am the source of myself. Every moment is my choice to experience, taste, and savor a new beginning. In this moment I choose a new love affair with life, with myself, and with this world of unlimited contrast and wonder.
I am free to be whatever I wish to be; unconstrained by any external force. I am the choice to experience. I step from what has been, not into what will be, but into the deep knowing of the unlimited potential that is the realization of—I am free.
I am the playground in which I dwell.
I am an embodiment of what freedom is.As I choose, so I create.
I am the seed, the nurture, and the bloom.
I am NOW.
Want vs. Need
To see your feelings of want clearly is to see what you joyfully desire instead of what you fearfully believe you need in order to survive or be happy. Explore the idea that there is nothing you need to do or receive to fulfill your intention for this life. Discover what new ideas birth from this expansive space, and observe what thoughts act to hold you from it. Contemplate any idea that seems to tell you what you need to do or what you must act on to resolve it. What is it in yourself, in others, in the world, that you must fix? What do you believe needs to be done, and how does that exist in relation to what you want to do?
To allow yourself to see the difference between what you want and what you believe you need is to allow yourself to see what holds you from being in the state of freedom-consciousness that your spirit exists in. It is to face your self-defining judgments, and that is to shine a light on the unsettled aspects of your beingness that arise when you let go of fighting your reality. Outward drama is the external, surface distraction from what is unsettled internally.
To be awake is to be free. And to be free is to know there is nothing you need to do, only what you joyfully want to do (which carries no sense of attachment to any ‘when’, ‘where’ or even ‘if’ it happens). In wakefulness—without mental fears overlaying your perception—there is no ‘I need’ or ‘I must have’. Feel your consciousness free of both fear and need, and you will see how they are but two disguised faces of emotional wounds.
feeling without attachment to outcome is free flowing and profound. It shatters the definitions through which we tend to guide our choices. Our self-definition can easily become what we believe we must do with our life—usually through an idea that doing it will make us more valuable, deserving, or worthy. Realize that you do not need to do anything to be of value, and that any value you experience that is based on what you have done can only ever be a transitory experience of fulfillment.
You have realized freedom in your being when you know there is no force, no beingness, and no morality that requires you to do anything. There is no requirement to be. Consciousness is free. There is nothing you need to do to awaken, to be happy, or to be free.