I Want You So Bad it Hurts! Shifting the Pain of Desire to the Joy of Desire
Do you have a strong desire for someone? A particular someone?
Has your desire for this specific person or relationship turned from Joy and Excitement, to Pain and Suffering?
Should your desires HURT?
Do you really want this specific someone SO BAD it HURTS?
There seems to be a MYTH in Society which says your desires are hard to get. That it takes lots of hard work, pain and suffering acquire them, hold on to them, and ultimately suffer the most when they go away.
Many women have learned to live with this “Pain of Desire”. Whether you desire is to have a fling with a lover or a long term relationship. There is pain in finding your object of desire.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Pain Whispers at First
Relationships and connections with other human beings is a “need” of our human experience. However, when we start to control this need by fixating on a specific person, or scenario, it can lead us down the road to pain.
For instance, if there is someone you are attracted to, and you are finding it difficult to connect with this person, your desire for them grows. They are “hard to get” (remember our desires are difficult to achieve) so you want them more. Yet it is not happening.
Pretty soon, you are feeling the first inklings of the pain of your desire.
You’re Authentic Self whispers the desire to you through seeing happy couples at the mall, or your best friend announces she is getting married. Another friend just started dating someone. There are indications around you about your desire. Yet you are not enjoying the experience yourself.
There is a small pang of pain in your heart, or your gut. That fleeting physical feeling of desire unmet. It is the absence of the desire which you are focused on.
Your attachment to your desire grows. You want it more, but not in a positive way.
The Shift from Joy to Pain
Desires start out with the feeling of Joy. You are excited and passionate. You wake up with it on your mind, you begin to eat, sleep and breathe it. It may become all-consuming and you are on cloud 9 for a time.
Then something begins to happen.
The longer it takes for your desire to come to you, the less your joy becomes. You begin to lose that feeling of exhilaration, elation and excitement.
Your energy shifts from the joy of having it, to the pain of not having it.
Or you get the object of your desire, but soon it starts down a path which doesn’t match your hopes and dreams.
Once your energy shifts to feelings of not having what you desire, then you begin to doubt the desire, doubt the Universe, and most of all, doubt yourself.
Feelings of unworthiness creep in. You begin to think maybe this desire is just “too much” for you to have. It’s too big, too wonderful, and too awesome for the likes of you. Or you don’t deserve to have everything you want.
The more you feel this doubt and unworthiness, the more you hold yourself apart from the desire. However, you have now developed a strong attachment to this desire. (Because again, it is hard to get)
You create a tug of war between wanting the desire greatly and feeling unworthy of having it.
Is it a Desire or a “Need”?
So now you are in the middle of this struggle. Your desire is so strong, so deep and you want it so badly. Yet you feel you can’t have it, shouldn’t have it, don’t deserve it, and it seems you will never have it.
Are you so attached to the desire it has become a “need”?
When you need something, it is an obligation. A “have to”. I have a “need” to eat every day. If I don’t, eventually I will starve to death. So, I eat. I don’t want to die.
A true desire is a “want to”. It is a CHOICE, not a REQUIREMENT.
Therefore, I can choose to see my desires as obligations – something I must have and can’t live without. Or I can choose to see them as true desires, something I want, but don’t require to have for a happy healthy life.
While needs are not inherently negative, when you create a strong attachment to something or need it to be a certain way, then it can develop into something painful.
Attachment Creates Neediness
The amount of pain you feel is related to the level of attachment you feel towards your desire. The greater the neediness, the greater the pain will you feel.
Will you choose to stay attached to the desire and make it a “have to”, something you can’t live without?
For example, I have an emotional need for a nesting partner, someone I share my life and grow old with. As I am nearing 50, this need is becoming stronger. My DESIRE, is for this person to be my current partner.
I used to be attached to the idea that this person HAD to be my current partner. Two years ago I struggled greatly because I shifted the dynamics of our relationship. I did this because the trajectory of our relationship and how it connected with his other partner no longer worked for me.
From my perspective, the relationship was heading down a road which created a NEED, rather than a DESIRE.
Yet, I couldn’t articulate this at the time. I only knew the initial joy and excitement I once felt, was shifting. My desire was turning into pain.
Deciding to Let Go
We struggled with this new trajectory. We tried to talk things out. We read books. We talked some more. It seemed we were both stuck in a place of pain, and couldn’t move out of it. Our lives are very busy, and it was taking an enormous amount of time, effort, energy and focus to deal with this issue. It was also quickly sucking the rest of the joy out of our relationship. We each clung tightly to the attachments we had about what we wanted the relationship to be. And they didn’t seem to agree.
So we did the only thing left to do. We let go.
Not of the relationship, nor our love. We let go of the struggle to control our attachments to the relationship. The decision was to put the issue “up on the shelf”, and come back to it at a later time.
We refocused our time, effort, energy and love back into one another, and started to rebuild the joy and passion which brought us together in the first place.
It was in the process of letting go, which allowed our desire to re-emerge as a “want to”.
For us, the act of letting go, actually brought us closer together.
The Shift from Pain to Joy
It can be a scary thing to let go. You are allowing things to be what they are, instead of “man-handling” people or situations to be what you think they should be, or even what you think you want them to be.
One of my favorite quotes is by Joseph Campbell: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us”.
As you let go of your attachments, you begin to feel a sense of relief. It feels like an enormous weight is lifted from your shoulders. You start to feel free.
The Pain of Desire diminishes.
The Joy of Desire grows.
Letting go is Trusting…
Trusting the Universe to open up the JOY of your DESIRES.
To learn more about attachment, check out The Five Levels of Attachment by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr. BARDS will be doing a book study of this small but impactful book some time in the near future.
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