Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Own Your Desires


A Child can teach an adult three things:  

To be happy for no reason,
To always be busy with something,
and
To know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.
                                                  ~Paulo Coelho

If this is true then I have one and two covered.  I am happy for no reason whatsoever at almost any given moment.  Even when I'm sick, or tired, or starving, or having a bad day, or unhappy about something, I'm still happy.  Hardly anything is important enough to bring you so far down that at least one thing can't be making you happy at any given moment.   I don't think many people understand how I can be this way. And some, okay one person in particular, seem to refuse to believe that this is true but I think that this is from projection on their part. 

I am always busy with something, even if it is busy doing absolutely nothing at all, which is something if you think about it.  I may say I am bored when I'm dissatisfied with what I am doing or with what my options are, but that really isn't being bored.  It's being busy trying to figure out what I can be doing instead of what I am doing. 

graphic source
Where I pause is at the third bit of this marvelous little quote: I wasn't so sure I knew how to demand with all my might that which I desire.  I don't even really know that that is possible for me. Or is it.  Or was it ever?   Either way, I discovered that after reading this quote by Paulo Coelho, I am not totally comfortable with the word "demand".  For one thing, there are too many things to take into account when it comes to demanding ones desires.  And for another, demand is a strong word.

Oddly enough, I had been thinking about this matter for a few days before I read Paulo Coelho's quote.  I've finally gotten into reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Book one is all about Italy and pleasures.  Specifically, one of the main themes in this section is the importance of allowing oneself life's pleasures, all the while knowing that you deserve those pleasures.  I fully understand this, and this I actively do.  Gilbert says that this is something that Americans don't do well.  If this is the case, then the European part of me must be coming through. 

So I know I've switched to talking about pleasures here, but aren't desires the same as, or at least don't desires go hand in hand with, pleasures?  Isn't the one just an extension of the other?  And if this is the case, if I can and do demand and enjoy what gives me pleasure throughout my day, then why would I have any problems demanding what I desire? (Assuming that this is the reason for the pause I took at looking closely to this.  I still wasn't sure.)

I spent some time thinking about this.  And thinking about this some more.  Over and over coming to the same conclusion. For every example of a desire of mine, I could trace that desire back to the fact that I did demand those desires in one way or another, or I am in the process of demanding them.  Sometimes quietly, sometimes out loud, sometimes with my whole being depending on how big of a desire it was or is.

I really don't have that many desires, and the ones I do have are so simple, I don't think of them as desires you see.  In my head they are wants. For the most part that's the same thing to me.  Albeit most of them are strong and entirely important if for nothing else but because they are mine. 

Okay, so I do all three.  I know and utilize these lessons.  I have kept them with me since I was a child.  This is good.  So I go back and read the quote one last time to check off the list, each one at a time.  And this is when everything clicked.  I finally understood where my hangup was, the reason for my initial pause to wonder whether I could and did demand with all my might that which I desire.

We all see those quotes about how important it is to use correct punctuation, because it saves lives.  "Let's eat grandma. vs. Let's eat, Grandma!"  Well, it's just as important to read things correctly.  Now you may have read correctly on the first try.  If so, please don't tell me because I don't want to know how slow I am.

I read again and saw it, that one word that I kept avoiding.

"To know how to demand with all his might that which he desires."

I do know how, but I don't always know if I'm doing it right.  Happy-ness and busy-ness come easy to me.  They are more instant in their achievement.  Achieving some desires is much harder and can take much longer.  Some are impossible, like desiring your loved one to come back to life, or like desiring for something that happened to not have happened. 

Some desires have a slim chance of happening, like the desire to win the lottery.  And then there are some desires which take a long time to come to fruition.  You wonder if they will ever come to you.  You wonder, therefor, if you desire those desires enough.  You turn them over to make sure that they are your exact desire.  Most of all you wonder if you're demanding  them enough or the right way.  It's for these last two types of desires that I questioned whether or not I knew how to demand with all my might that which I desire. 

My conclusion?  Yes, I believe I do know how.  

There are some things in life that we will never know, that we will never get.  All we can do is try our best and hope for the best.  Our desires like everything else must be pure and true for them to live confidently within us and therefore for us to know how to demand them.  We must own them. Do you own yours?

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