The Fear of Desire - Teal Swan Articles - Teal Swan Jump to content

The Fear of Desire

To generalize, human beings have a very unhealthy relationship to desire. People do not understand desire. They have been both directly and indirectly taught the wrong things about desire. And as such, so many people have developed a fear of desire.

People tell themselves that desire causes personal suffering. That desire causes a separation between them and the people they love. That desire causes people to get hurt. That desire means they are not evolved or spiritually mature enough. That desire implies missing the value of what is and the list goes on and on.

For the sake of your awareness, I want you to look at your fear of desire. Take out a blank piece of paper and at the top of the page, write down “I am afraid of desire because (fill in the blank). Now below it, fill in that blank as many times as you can.

When a person fears desire, they can fall into any of the unhealthy coping mechanisms or responses relative to desire that a person might fall into with any fear, not realizing that this in fact makes them more unsafe and leads them into more pain long term. For example, a person may push away, run way from, suppress, desperately try to change, control, deny, disown, reject and misunderstand desire in and of itself, or a specific desire. Not just their own desire, but the desire of others as well. Spend some time thinking about how dangerous this is. To give you just a few examples, if a person suppresses their own desire, they want things they are totally unaware of and these desires begin to come out in completely back-door and manipulative ways. If a person rejects the desire of another person, the first person is effectively trying to shut down the life force and compass of another person. If desire is in and of itself misunderstood, there is no way to have a safe and healthy relationship to desire and one can never use desire to the benefit of their life experience. If someone refuses to accept a desire in another person, they may be completely missing the reality of incompatibility in the relationship. Etc. Consider what the fear of desire in yourselves or others may cause you to do or not do. Consider the negative implications of that.

Because humanity does not currently have a healthy relationship to desire, adults do not have a healthy relationship to their own desire or to the desire of the children in their life. Our relationship to desire is often corrupted by the adults in our early life. Because of their own needs, thoughts, feelings, preferences, aversions, fears, beliefs and ironically desires , they often turn against our desires and teach us to turn against our own desires. We learn certain desires are acceptable and certain desires are unacceptable. We learn either directly or indirectly that what we desire (or desire in and of itself) is a threat. This is where we begin to experience shame relative to our desires. And begin to shame ourselves for our desires. Because of this shame, we suppress our desires so deep that we aren’t consciously aware of what we desire. Our self-concept would suffer so much as a result of admitting it to ourselves and to others that it isn’t until the desire is fulfilled in a subconscious way that we get to know thatthis is what we desired. But we still often feel a sense of shame that this is what we desired.

Think back to what you really wanted as a child. How did the adults in your experience behave relative to their own desires? How did they behave relative to your desires? What did they teach you about desire in and of itself? What did you make that mean about desire, about your specific desires, about the desires of others and about you?

In order to live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life, you must come to love desire instead of be afraid of desire. When I say love desire, I mean you must accept and take it as a part of yourself. To move from a place of fear to a place of love for something, you must understand that thing. For this reason, let’s come to understand desire.

Desire is a life force. It is not something to try to get rid of. It is not something that you can get rid of even if you try. Even the desire to rid yourself of desire, is in and of itself a desire. To try to get rid of desire, is to try to get rid of life itself. It is to try to get rid of expansion and movement in yourself, in others and in the universe at large. Desire is the fundamental motivation behind all human action. All negative emotions are ultimately about desire. For example, negative emotions like anxiety and fear are ultimately related to desires about the future. Negative emotions like anger and sadness are ultimately about un-met desires about the past. It is desire that moves you. It is desire that gives your life direction. It is desire that gives birth to what is possible. It is desire that brings forth the new. It is desire that brings you to your purpose.

It may be of interest to know that desire and destiny are so linked that in Latin, they are almost the same word. Desire comes from the word desiderare, which means ‘to long or to wish for’. And de sidere means ‘from the stars’ meaning destiny. Your desire and your destiny are inescapably linked together. If you do not follow your desires, you will not align with your destiny.

Many aware people have learned that so much of what makes up who they are today, including what they want in their life, is trauma. If a person becomes aware of and resolves that trauma, many times, you change. What you want also changes. And so, when it comes to desire, so many people try to heal themselves specifically so that one of their desires will change. Essentially, they try to process or heal themselves out of a desire. To learn more about this and about why it doesn’t work, you can watch my video titled: You Can’t Heal Yourself Out of a Desire.

Desire is so much a part of life and who you are that, like breathing, you are not even consciously aware of it. You usually only become aware of a desire if there is something in ‘conflict’ with it. You usually can only infer what you or someone else desires from the way that you or they behave. Desires are constantly being born through you. You are not even creating them yourself. And they are constantly being amended. Without this constant stream of desire, like breath, what would occur is ended-ness.

Desire is intimately connected to contrast. It is intimately connected to wanted and unwanted. To pleasure and to pain. We seek to control desire for the same reason that we seek to control life itself. We want it to lead to something we want instead of don’t want. We want it to be pleasurable instead of painful. But because of this, we fail to see or accept that all desirewill lead to contrast. Desire will be painful if you don’t get that you will never, ever reach that place where you have everything you could ever want and so, you do not desire more and life feels only good. That is a state of ended-ness. You will always desire more, no matter what. That does not mean you cannot at the same time appreciate what is. That does not mean you will always be unhappy with what you have. Your desires will always be amended. You cannot ever guarantee that what you want today will be what you want forever. They will always lead you to different contrast. To both wanted and unwanted. This does not mean that desire in and of itself is a bad thing. It means that if you continue to allow your desires to be amended, your life experience can be one of: ‘The better it gets, the better it gets’.

Many people are afraid that desire makes a person out of control or makes them not free. This is not the case. Desire does not erase free will or freedom. They are two separate concepts. When you have a desire and perceive a desire inside yourself, you are aware of it. Now, you are truly free because now, being aware of it, you stand in the position of choice. You are free to decide what to do in response to that desire. Your desires do not control you any more than a compass can control you. But ignoring, denying or trying to change a compass to say what you would rather it say, tends to have drastic consequences.

One reality that you need to accept is that people are unaware of the majority of their desires. For this reason, people think their desire is one thing, when it is in fact another thing. For example, a man could want to be a multi-millionaire because he wants that feeling of being financially free and that specific feeling of abundance that comes with knowing that he is the one creating that stream of income. For this man, being wealthy in this way is his true desire. For another man, if he asks himself why he wants to be a multi-millionaire, it is so that he can have women be interested in him because he wants a relationship so badly. Why does he want a relationship so badly? Because he is lonely and therefore wants connection and wants to be wanted. It is obvious then, that he is not taking a direct route to getting what he really wants. He is finding a back road to get it in a roundabout way. Trying to make money will not feel good to him because it is a means to an end. If he accepted his true desire, he would probably go about getting it in a different way. His thoughts, words and actions would change to be more in alignment with his actual desires. As a result of being more in alignment in this way, he will feel happier and achieve his desires faster. To understand this more in depth, you would benefit by watching my video titled: If You Want to Be Happy, Don’t Do This.

It is important to discern between personally determined and socially determined desires. In this context, a personally determined desire is a desire that would exist with or without the presence of others. A socially determined desire, is a desire that only exists in the presence of others. For example, if you lived on a deserted island or if you were the only person on earth, the desire for fame or status suddenly does not occur within you. There is nothing wrong with socially determined desires, but you will find that the meeting of personally determined desires will lead to the greatest happiness. So consider, if you were alone on a deserted island or if you were the last person on earth, what would you desire?

When it comes to relationships, one of the biggest fears we have relative to desire is that desire is going to pull us in two different directions. This fear puts us in the position to fight with our desires and fight with the other person’s desires. We want to be able to control and change desires in order to remain aligned with other people, which we imagine will allow us to feel pleasure and avoid pain ourselves. But this only creates pain in us and in them. This is where desire demands the most respect. Destiny, purpose and happiness is calling when someone has a desire. Therefore, if two people have opposing desires and cannot find an arrangement of compatibility in their desires, the universe will lead them in two different directions. And it is not healthy for either of them to try to let go of their own desire for the sake of their own competing desire to stay ‘with’ the other. This simply results in a resentful relationship where one denies their own expansion for the sake maintaining connection.

When a person has a desire, it is important to drill down to what the actual core desire is about. And to meet that core desire. What makes you ‘safe’ to do this in a relationship, is if each person in the relationship has a desire for the other to feel good. Out of this desire, the third option is born. A win-win scenario. This is the desire that puts an end to the zero-sum game and that can ensure alignment between two people.

It is perfectly ok to want a relationship that will last for the rest of your life, a relationship where you will keep lining up with your respective desires, but together. If you can want that, you can have that. It is a matter of releasing the resistance you have within you to that desire. Where humanity is unhealthy is that so far, human society has ascribed the idea of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to staying together or taking separate paths. It is seen as not only possible (which it isn’t) but virtuous to let go of one of your desires for the sake of someone else’s desires. And longevity rather than quality of relationships is what is valued. In this way, human society is in a state of contradiction to the greater universe. Longevity of relationship is so often maintained by the denying, suppressing, disowning or controlling of personal desires. Therefore, the desire to maintain human bonds is currently often at odds with other desires, which are in alignment with personal expansion.

Being aware of and accepting another person’s desires, is your key to being able to end up in the right relationships for you and also to predict the other person’s behavior. When a desire conflict is occurring within a relationship, it may benefit you to ask yourself: If I accepted that it is not going to be possible to get rid of my desire and it is not going to be possible get rid of their desire and that it is important that we both attain what we desire, what would I do instead?

Desire is not painful. Unmet desire is painful. It is supposed to be because it implies you are in this moment separated from what you want and therefore, what you are meant to be one-with. Many people have sought to end this pain and suffering by making desire the enemy. By seeking to rid themselves of pain by ridding themselves of desire. This is a tragedy. It means that a person has such a feeling of powerlessness relative to the attaining of what they desire, that it feels more empowering to try to get rid of the desire for that thing in the first place.

The more you discover and integrate your desires, the better your life experience will get. And you will inevitably see that joy is really about the never-ending process of aligning with each amended desire.


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