|Post by Gina Lake|
|Saturday, 29 August 2009 07:23|
Desires drive life. You take actions to achieve your desires, and you assume they are worthwhile. But you don’t really know that, do you? You assume that getting what you want will make you happy, but do you know that it will? One way to know is to ask: Has getting what I wanted made me happy? Everyone gets what they want some of the time. Has that made you happy?
When people say they want to be happy, they usually mean they want to have a certain feeling about life. They want to feel glad to be alive, exuberant, loving, generous, and good about themselves and others. Is that what you get when you get what you want? The next time you get what you want, really notice what happens. What you’re likely to experience is a surge of feelings—excitement, pleasure, happiness, relaxation, and relief. At last, you have arrived, you can relax, you get to stop striving and trying, you get to feel good about yourself. These feelings of relaxation, elation, and relief come from the cessation of the ego’s pushing, striving, doubting, fears, and tension around what it desired. What a relief when all this finally stops!
Your desires create a state of tension within you that, to a greater or lesser degree, underlies your experience of life, until that desire is met. This state of tension is quite unpleasant; it’s certainly not a state of happiness. Desiring something is uncomfortable, and the only relief seems to be in attaining what you want. The discomfort of this state makes getting what you want all the more pressing. What you desire takes on much more importance as a result. Now, you really do need that to be happy—to end the painfulness of this state of desiring. The belief that you need something to be happy causes great unhappiness, and the resulting tension begs to be resolved.
Once you’ve gotten what you wanted, the feeling of relief and happiness is real. This kind of happiness is a feeling, and all feelings come and go; and so does this happiness, and sometimes very quickly. There’s another kind of happiness, however, that doesn’t come and go and doesn’t come from getting what you want, but in loving what you’ve got. That’s something you can always do. You can always love what you’ve got! So this kind of happiness is always available. It isn’t so much a feeling but your natural state.
This natural state is usually obscured by the ego’s discontentment. When that discontentment disappears, this happiness is revealed, but it was always there. This is the happiness you can count on, and you don’t have to strive to get or achieve something to experience it. It’s the happiness you’ve been looking for all along, which you never really found in getting and achieving.
Why spend time striving, tense, discontent, and unhappy over trying to get or achieve something, when getting what you really want requires only that you not do that? The ego fears that if you don’t follow its desires, nothing will be gotten or accomplished, and it convinces you of that. But that simply isn’t true. Essence is active in your life, and it moves you to go after what you need to be supported and fulfilled, and it brings you what you need to be supported and fulfilled. It’s much wiser than the ego, so why follow the false master, who only makes you miserable?
Doing what makes you miserable is not what Essence asks of you in this life. Being miserable is the ego’s creation. Essence asks only that you follow what brings you joy and that you trust that the rest will fall into place. Your desires don’t bring you joy. You assume they will, but they don’t bring you what you really want. At best, they bring fleeting relief from the misery of the ego. Life doesn’t have to be about trying to get your desires met. Instead, it can be about meeting what’s showing up right now and loving it and discovering in each moment where life wants to take you.
If you'd like to read much more about desire, Gina's book Anatomy of Desire: How to Be Happy Even When You Don't Get What You Want is available through Amazon.com.