Recently I’ve been thinking about where things come from, and the distortions that take place by the time we become aware of them. The deep yearnings of our soul start deep underwater, and by the time they have traveled the ocean and are expressed as a fleeting wave, the initial seed that started them can get lost or forgotten.
Your deepest desires are pointing you back to yourself; their shallow, safe or contorted expression is not.
I wonder how much more fulfilling life be if we went to the heart of the yearning, the deepest, truest, most tender and precious yearning, rather than the superficial, quick to be sedated and quick to want again expression?
Sometimes what we think of as our flaws, are actually a misunderstanding of a deeper calling, a misplacement of what we are.
Avanti is freakishly good at making raw chocolate. She started after getting upset at how much I was paying for these little bars of overpriced raw choc, and decided she could do it better.
A few years, hundreds of bars of chocolate, and loads of “oh my God this is the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted” later, she is definitely in tune with the spirit of cacao.
Which is ironic, because as a child Avanti was a massive chocoholic, stopping in almost every shop to buy a bar to fill the empty hole where she would’ve expected to find love.
Chocolate clearly spoke to her (and she spoke back), but little did little Avanti know that cacao, not Cadbury’s, was where it was at, and that her movement towards chocolate actually had a truer, deeper expression. And had she looked even deeper than that, she might have found that even the spirit of cacao was a poor substitute for the love she was missing.
My version of this would be smoking. I love smoking, but on reflection it wasn’t the nicotine that did it for me, it was the focus on the breath. The inhale, hold, exhale. The taking a few minutes to be with yourself and breathe.
I’ve since found that pranayama breathing is a truer (and healthier) expression of this for me. I knew that I enjoyed focusing on my breath, but for a long time didn’t know there was a way to do that without a cigarette. And taking this a step deeper, bringing my focus to my breath, helps me to connect with my spirit. So for me, it turns out that smoking was actually an expression of my desire to connect with myself.
Which makes me wonder, what might your truer expression be?
If you traced back a need,or compulsion, to it’s truest, most sacred origins, what might it look like from there?
We’ve all been in a situation where what we wanted to say isn’t quite what came out of our mouths, and I’m sure we’ve all been tricked by the classic feeling hungry when you’re actually thirsty thing our bodies do, or even more annoying craving sugar when we actually have a mineral deficiency, so chances are you’ve had the experience of what’s really going on not being what’s expressed. And this is just scratching the surface.
If you look at your life through the lens of noticing where your desires spring from, what might you find?
Maybe a desire for a relationship is actually a yearning for union with the divine.
Could an addiction actually be pointing towards intense feelings of separation that you’ll do anything to stem?
Perhaps you notice yourself trying to manipulate your partner, and know deep down that your skills of seduction would be better used to encourage them to be all they can be, rather than coercing them into being what you want them to be.
Or maybe your compulsion to zone out and be mindless has its origins in a movement towards primordial peace and Nothingness.
If there is a deeper, truer expression to your wants and habits, then it’s the truer expression that you’ll want to be focussing on.
Even if you were to meet all your shallow desires, the truer ones would still be there. You’d find that the new partner doesn’t bring divine union, and only reminds you of its absence. The addiction doesn’t actually ease the pain of separation, but increases it. Manipulating your way to what you want is ultimately unfulfilling and that zoning out has nothing on zoning in.
This is by no means a definitive answer, it’s an invitation to look again and to hold yourself to a higher and truer standard.
It’s okay to want the things you want, but it will be more fulfilling if you’re true about what you really, really want. Then you can go for what your heart truly desires, not the distorted reflection of your deepest yearning.
It’s almost too painful and scary to want what we really want. Wanting a partner, or a holiday, or a drink is known and is socially acceptable. There’s a safety to that. Tell someone you want a relationship and they’ll nod their heads knowingly. They can relate.
Tell them you want union with the divine, to know yourself as The One through another, chances are they’ll nod their politely as their eyes glaze over.
Do you dare to want what you really and truly want? What your heart, guts and soul want? Do you dare to trace back the wave to its origins deep in the ocean and go from there?
From Cadbury’s to the spirit of cacao, and from there to the deepest love, what’s your truest expression?