A while back, I became aware that I had zero capacity for full-on, utterly unapologetic desire.
Hubby would ask where I wanted to eat tonight – and I’d say ‘I don’t mind, what do you want to do?’
Or I’d stand immobilised in the takeout place, staring at the board trying to decide whether to have my old favourite or try something new.
It came to a head when, in the course of a class I was taking, the homework was to make a Want List. Simple, you’d think. But apparently not. I struggled for WEEKS with something other people seemed to knock over in a week (though I discovered later, I was not the only person struggling!)
That realisation got me diving into some pretty deep waters, exploring my relationship with desire. Not just the ordinary stuff, like what to have for dinner. But the deep, deep stuff from the mundane – where and how to live my life – to the philosophical, the emotional, the spiritual.
Turns out, I have had some ferociously dysfunctional wonkiness in that relationship with desire.
And I’m not alone.
Some of the symptoms of a dysfunctional relationship with desire include:
- you learn to hide or bury or deny your true desires because ‘nice people aren’t demanding’
- you’re waaaaay better at putting everyone else’s desires first
- you get excited by every brand new shiny object you see on Facebook and MUST HAVE IT NOW
- you have an old, unfulfilled desire that hurts too much to think about
- you have no idea of what you want, and it makes you miserable and anxious
- you see what someone else has and start chasing that, instead of the thing you KNEW you wanted five minutes ago
- your bestie gets the thing you’ve been wanting for years, and you can’t even look her in the eye for jealousy and anguish
- you can’t risk having a strong desire because you know you couldn’t handle the disappointment of not fulfilling it
- you cannot ever reveal your true desires, even to yourself, because OMG what would people think???
We humans are really good at bringing wonky energy to our relationships with our desires.
And most of the time, we don’t even know we’re doing it – or what to do about it.
Unapologetic desire is rare
I recently ran a mini-survey of my coaching colleagues. Twenty-eight percent said that most of clients didn’t know what they want at the start of coaching. Seventy-two percent said that their clients discovered partway along the coaching journey that actually, they wanted something different from what they’d originally thought.
And not one of my colleagues said that it’s common for someone to show up for coaching with clear desires that remain the same throughout the coaching journey.
I’ve witnessed the exact same thing over and over with my own clients – clarity and consistency of desire is rare indeed.
Imagine if you knew what you genuinely wanted before you began implementing techniques to try and manifest or create it? Imagine if your relationship with desire were less about ‘you better get here or I’m gonna be miserable’ and more about a sense of unconditional love. Imagine if you could be completely open and free and clear. Imagine if you could experience and master the skill of unapologetic desire.
In fact, it could be said that a clean and healthy relationship with unapologetic desire is required for effective conscious creation.
Not because we have to know EVERYTHING that belongs on our Want List, or everything that sits in our vortex (to use Abraham-Hicks’ language).
But because even if we only know two items for our Want List, our relationship with those things needs to be clear and unwonky.
What this has to do with identity
You know identity is just about my favourite topic, because your identity is your brain’s opinion of who you are, and what is possible for you – and that identity, in turn, shapes your experience of reality.
If your brain is convinced you are someone whose desires are bound to lead to disappointment, it will hide your true desires from you, to keep you safe.
If your brain is convinced that people who know their desires all turn out to be entitled asshats, it will water down your desires because it doesn’t want you to be an asshat.
If your brain believes you are someone whose desires are less important than others’, it will turn down the volume on your own desires while making you really good at meeting other people’s needs.
And much of that identity has been formed by voices which were not your own, including:
- the beliefs, behaviours, habits and patterns you learned from those who came before you, in other words your memetic lineage, and
- the clamour of current input from media, social media, advertising, your industry, your spiritual or social communities, family and friends, and any other incoming voices
Why does this matter?
Because the only desires you can easily be aware of right now have in part been shaped by your current or past identities.
So those outside voices have had a big say, even though you might think these desires are all your own.
And if your own desires are tangled up and hidden in amongst the tapestry of different voices in your own psyche, it’s not surprising that sometimes unapologetic desire seems like a distant dream.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Cut out any voices from the past which are insisting you give credence to their ideas of what you’re supposed to desire (whether those voices are people you adore and honour, or not – their desires for you are not relevant unless they genuinely match your own)
Cut out the outside voices that pull you off track and make you yearn for stuff that isn’t really for you (maybe that means a week away from Facebook and Instagram).
Cut out the notion that your desires are responsible for your joy (they’re not, any more than your lover or your boss or your employee is)
Cut out the notion that every desire has to be fulfilled in order for you to be complete, or a good person, or a success (it doesn’t, because – as any deliberate creator will tell you – we don’t outsource our sense of self-worth to something external)
Unapologetic desire is simply the art of having a clear and clean relationship with your own sense of desire, and with your desires themselves.
It’s not about fulfilment.
It’s not about judging yourself for those desires being answered.
It’s just about the peace that comes with clarity, with knowing who you are and what you want.
For some people, it’s enough to simply know this, in order to get those knots untangled, amp up the volume, and experience unapologetic desire.
For many of us, it’s not.
If I can help with getting this piece untangled, here’s how to get me on board.