You know you want it.
You know you crave it.
You know you need it.
You definitely deserve it.
SO WHY DON’T YOU HAVE MORE DESIRE OR HAVE IT AT ALL?
IT MIGHT BE BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT DESIRE.
So here is the good news. It’s true, desire really is hot, sexy and delicious. But, here’s the bad news, it ain’t got nothing to do with sex (dam, just lost most of the dudes). Simply put, we have been duped into believing that desire and sex are one and the same. In fact, they are very different.
Whenever I ask an audience to free associate and blurt out the first word that comes to mind when I say, “desire,” invariably I’ll get some version of the following list:
* And 17 variations on “shtupping.” (if you don’t know what that means you’re missing out on a really useful cocktail party word or way to drive home a joke).
Desire can definitely be part and parcel of sex and sexuality - and should be. However, sex is only one expression of desire. Desire is far bigger and more dynamic than that.
Lewd Cousin Lust
The challenge is that as our society becomes more and more obsessed with sex (30% of all internet traffic is searching porn with the largest porn site having received over 4 BILLION views!!), the more narrow our definition of desire becomes. Those four billion viewers think they are feeling “desire" while watching online shtupping (see, now isn’t that a fun way to say it). In actuality, all they are really feeling is lust.
Lust is not desire - even if the two words are used interchangeably.
If lust and desire are related, lust is more like desire’s third cousin, twice removed. You know him. He’s the embarrassing cousin that poor desire is obligated to invite to the family reunion knowing full well he’ll get drunk, grab the female guests and make a general ass of himself - again. Fine, they’re in the same family, but they are as opposite as opposite can be.
Desire, unlike his pathetic cousin, lust is classy, dignified and powerful.
Desire comes from the Latin word “desiderate,” made up of “de,” which means absence and, “sider,” which means heavenly body or constellation. That is to say desire is the absence of something very large and, well, heavenly.
Desire is the absence of meaning.
Desire is the absence of purpose.
Desire is simply absence itself.
In the words of Henry Bergson, in The Idea of Nothing, "Every human action has its starting point in a dissatisfaction, and thereby in a feeling of absence.”
Absence is the starting point of all actions. Absence is the beginning of all journeys. Absence is the origins of all discoveries. And desire is the fuel that awakens, motivates and drives the journey forward. If absence is overcome, it is always done so by desire.
10,000 REASONS TO DESIRE
Thomas Edison was once interviewed by Napoleon Hill, detailed in Think & Grow Rich. He was decidedly a great man not simply because of his great discoveries, but because of the way he went about discovering what he did. Edison shared notebook after notebook with Hill documenting 10,000 seemingly failed attempts to create the incandescent lightbulb. When asked about his failures, Edison responded that he never failed. He simply achieved 10,000 different ways not to make a lightbulb. When pressed by Hill as to what he would have done if he continued to”fail” he responded, “well then, Napoleon, if that were the case I certainly wouldn’t be here wasting my time in an interview with you.” He’d be back in the lab working on attempt 10,001, 10,002…. There is only one way to fuel this kind of quest. It ain’t lust. It’s got nothing to do with sexuality. However, it has everything to do with Edison’s single minded pursuit to quite literally dispel the darkness and create the lightbulb. And that was made possible through desire.
When one of those four billion guys (sorry gents but it’s mostly guys) is visiting that porn site or when those two strangers hook up after meeting at the bar - indeed, they are being driven by a need to overcome their loneliness, their urges, their absence. However, 6 1/2 minutes later (sorry, that’s the average) they are just as lonely as before. In fact, like Edison they’ve simply discovered yet another way not to achieve satiate their desire and overcome their absence. In fact, they are further from what they hoped to achieve than six and a half minutes earlier.
Desire can and should be part of intimate sex and authentic sexuality, however, it also can and should be so much more.
- Desire is what causes an exhausted mom to get up before the sun rises, bleary eyed and totally worn out, to get lunches together and breakfast ready so the kids feel nurtured, provided for and loved.
- Desire is what causes a woman battling cancer to go in for another treatment, even though it makes her hair fall out, recoil at the sight of food or feel as if she is dying in the attempt to live.
- Desire is resuming one’s life after a parent dies, when everything in you says go back to bed and remain within the dark. However, there are bills to pay. Children to tend to. A husband who needs you.
- Desire is making yourself vulnerable, putting yourself out there again, to love and be loved, after having had your heart betrayed and shattered after a divorce. That is desire.
- Desire is what fuels you on your courageous journey through mid-life uncertainty to the place of self-discovery.
- Desire is what drives you on your bold mission to leave your mark, your imprint, your legacy on this world before you die.
- Desire is what carries you on to your 10,001st attempt to connect or create, to love or be loved, after having discovered 10,000 different ways how not to succeed.
- Desire is real. It is profound. It is powerful. And it is waiting for you to discover it, uncover it and share it with the world.
That may not be lusty and horny, but that truly is delicious, hot and sexy. And that is desire!
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