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Finding the courage to be honest with myself about what I want has required great bravery.
- To be honest about WHAT I want, instead of projecting those desires onto someone else and relinquishing ownership of my own feelings requires courage.
- To be honest about WHO I want or don’t want in my life, instead of the usual self-sabotage I practice in relationships requires bravery.
After a lifetime of letting others make choices for me, define my feelings, tell me what I want, or subjugate my desires to circumstantial-survival needs or the holy requirements of a “higher power,” being able to answer the question “what do I want” is like climbing Mt Everest.
Even if I manage to identify a desire, the second challenge I have is labeling what the heck it is! My body often sends signals that a desire is looming… anxiety, despair, excitement, tension, expectation, but I’m not always sure how to decipher it. And the teaching I’ve received feels woefully inadequate for practical instruction.
- The CHURCH acknowledges desire exists, but the vast majority of discipleship has to do with quieting desire.
- SOCIETY teaches us to blindly follow desire wherever it leads… “Follow your heart,” “Pursue your desire,” and it normalizes all forms of misplaced desire.
Both of those guiding meta-narratives result in the same thing…a denial and numbing of our hearts. I don’t think either side has the lion’s share of wisdom on how to navigate our deepest desires. The truth probably lies in the grey area, but not a lot of folks write from the grey area.
This is yet another question I’m wrestling with in this season… how to navigate desire in a way that is life-giving instead of life-destroying. I’m trying to find a way to journey WITH those heart-felt desires — desires that are neither holy nor unholy, but just ARE — without numbing their existence, explaining them away, or following them into destructive places.
Again… no answers… just more questions.