Last week I wrote a bit about my relationship with Desire. The more time I spend with Desire, the more I realize just how active she has been in my life. She has been at my side constantly although it’s only recently that I’ve been able to acknowledge her for who she is.
Previously I would refer to her as some combination of ‘excitement+nervousness/fear’ or as this just feeling of ‘rightness’ deep within me.
I had to find all of these ways to trick myself into thinking that Desire wasn’t really a part of my life.
Because Desire arises from the body and, as I was taught growing up in a conservative Christian community, the body is sinful and not to be trusted.
Therefore, Desire was not to be trusted. And yet, Desire is a wellspring of life, of aliveness, of being human. I’m so grateful for the cracks through which she slipped granting me the grace of naming her in other ways while still allowing me to experience her in my life.
Thank you, Desire.
You may be wondering why I am capitalizing Desire…
I capitalize Desire to acknowledge her animate spirit, her aliveness. And, to accentuate how it is possible to be in relationship with Desire… as a living being with whom it is possible to relate with, to listen to, to learn from.
We feel Desire as a sensation in our bodies…
…a sensation that, for me, is filled with a wide-open, yawning ache, and possibly, with a forward sensation that compels (propels) me towards that which I desire.
That’s one way to experience Desire.
Another way is to invoke the spirit of Desire and to sit with her. And, through sitting with her, to allow Desire to begin to become enlivened within us.
For those of us who were taught to repress, squash, deny and fear Desire, this is a wonderful way to begin to awaken (or deepen) the sensations of Desire within us.
Why might we want to enliven Desire within us?
Because Desire guides us… towards our true heart’s longing, towards the experiences, the people, the moments that bring us alive, that feed and nourish our spirits, that allow for growth, for healing, for increased love and beauty and mystery in our lives.
If we have denied or repressed the sensations of Desire, if we have denied Desire herself, it can be so very difficult to know what it is that we want, what it is that we need, and what the next step on our path might be.
As a wise reader wrote to me in response to my last letter to you, “We are so socialized out of desire, especially women…we are taught to be desirable, and to ignore our own desires.”
Yes. Exactly. This too.
So, today, I invite you to take a moment, light a candle, and invite Desire to sit with you. Notice what happens in your body as she arrives… what sensations arrive or increase as she approaches? What questions might you wish to ask her? What might you learn about her and about yourself through this simple invoking?