Desire or Demand

Grief is such an illogical expression.  Thoughts, feelings and experiences don’t always make sense, but that doesn’t make them any less important to understand. That’s why I’ve chosen not to approach my grief from a rational mindset.  The heart knows reasons that reason doesn’t know.

A contrarian thought that I’m currently exploring is to not be afraid to want something I can’t have.  My faith tradition taught me to fear my Desires. They were not to be trusted because it was assumed that Desire would lead me astray everytime.  The underlying assumption of this position is that I only want bad things, that I am incapable of wanting anything good.

I lived under this yoke for many years, until I learned to trust my heart again.  Faith saved me from this barren wilderness. Somewhere along the way, my childhood innocence to dream was taken away.  As I grew up, I lost an important part of what it means to be human, not just a child.

My logical mind as an adult examined the pain of grief and came to the conclusion that Desire was my biggest problem.  If I didn’t want so much, I wouldn’t hurt so much. The solution to the emotional math was to remove Desire from the equation. Less desire = less pain.

I now see for me, this is a terrible answer.

Desire is the reason I get up in the morning.  It’s why I write. It’s why I love to cook. It’s why I collect friends. It’s why I got married and raised children.  Desire got me through the hard times of heartache over 30 years.

And at the same time, Desire is why my loss hurts so bad.  I didn’t Desire being a widower at 56. I desired a long life together.

But if I didn’t want anything, I would have gotten just that.

The reason I am willing to want what I can’t have is that Desire knows no boundaries.  The end game of my Desire is not fulfillment. Instead, it is to constantly keep reaching, knowing full well that I may never grasp it.  

When Desire gets seduced by Demand is where it goes astray. If more men understood this, less women would be mistreated. 

It’s crucial to want. It’s a travesty to demand.

2 Replies to “Desire or Demand”

  1. “My faith tradition taught me to fear my desires.” That is Buddhism, not Christianity. Maybe you had a bad teacher? Or maybe you misunderstood?

    1. Pam, I remember being continually taught that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Whatever the motive of this teaching, it had a restricting effect on me that took years to jettison. The book, Journey of Desire, was the starting point of liberty for me.

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