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The Nature of Desire

Updated: Feb 1

Recently, I received this fortune in my cookie at my favorite Chinese restaurant: ‘If your desires are not extravagant, they will be granted.” Yuck! That’s not my truth about the energy of desire!


The drive or pull of desire is a message from our higher selves and Spirit to help direct us on our path. Desire is like a neon sign reading “Your Path This Way”. Follow the directions your desire points out, and you follow your highest path.


And, as you manifest your desires, you bring your unique gifts into expression. These gifts are your contributions that are needed by yourself and others on Earth.


Now, let me be clear that I’m talking about the true desire that lives in our hearts. I’m not talking about the ice cream we crave when stressed (the true desire here is usually grounding and rest AND ice cream), or the cigarettes or alcohol so desired when one is in the grip of addiction. I’m talking about REAL desire. As in, “I have always wanted to take a dance class.”


Let’s say this closet dancer goes for it, takes a class, and begins sharing her experience with friends and family. She loves it and, following her desire, she goes further and begins to perform in local productions. Her dancing will be a unique expression of her being that will not only bring her fulfillment, but that others need to see and be inspired by. Some people will access denied and buried feelings by watching her dance. Some will be inspired to go for something they've been wanting when they see her allowing herself to dance. Some will say, “I was always too embarrassed to dance, till I saw you... then I said what the heck, and now I love it!” Or, "When I heard you took up dancing, it inspired me to begin painting like I’ve always wanted, but never made time for."


Meanwhile, our dancer is just having a great time dancing and enriching her own life. The dancing is a great avenue of expression for her. She’s feeling joyous, energetic, and confident. Her life feels more complete, because it is. As we fulfill our desires and express our dreams in the physical world, we are helping and healing ourselves and others.


Back in 1991, I felt a strong desire to attend a meditation class. The hours and location of the class were a bit of a pain, and it wasn’t free, but I wanted it. I really, really wanted it. That class turned out to be the beginning of my spiritual development training and a whole new career. I didn’t know that going in. If I had, it might have been overwhelming. But following my true desire took me on a wonderful path.


All too often we invalidate our desires with judgment. When you say a sentence that begins with “I want,” is there usually a “but” in the middle of that sentence? For example, “I want to join a chorus, but I am just too shy.” Or, “I really want to take that trip, but it’s just too expensive.” And there’s always, “I really want a day to do nothing, BUT I just can’t."


Instead of judging your desires, try honoring them. Let them be however extravagant they are, and let them manifest step-by-step with the support of your will, your enthusiasm, and your ability to receive. Giving to ourselves is a wonderful part of healing, and it always expresses outward into the world to help others as well.


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By the way, we went back to the Chinese place last week. My fortune? “You love Chinese food.” Aahhh, the refreshing ring of truth!



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