I am grateful for being ok with wanting things.
For awhile, I wanted a lot of stuff. I shopped. I shopped for myself, my home, and my little one. Every time my paycheque came in, I went shopping. I wasn’t conscious about what I was buying. It was an instant gratification type of experience. Sales and getting deals appealed to me more than if I even liked the actual item in question.
Then a few years ago, as we tightened our belts, I swung the other way. Zero purchases for myself. My closets were full of clothes from a past life (and a past size) and I would rotate through a couple of “mom” outfits that consisted of jogging pants and hoodies. I took in hand-me-downs for the kids whenever I could get my hands on them. The library was our only source of books and if we really needed something, we would hit the secondhand stores or make it ourselves.
Recently, I have discovered a balance.
When I was at a cottage in Quebec, one of my husband’s colleagues, Genevieve Gauvin, was reading The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. I was drawn by the cover and overall design of the book. Whenever Gen wasn’t reading it, I asked to see it. I skimmed through it and became very interested in how she was turning goal-setting on its head by started the identification of desires through feeling.
After the cottage, I forgot about the book until I mentioned it to my friend Falon who ended up having the book. I borrowed it the other day and I am halfway through it.
As I read through the first few pages, I noticed how uncomfortable I was with having desires. I had always thought that the goal is to detach from all desires in order to release myself from suffering. LaPorte has a completely different take on the matter.
She quotes St. John of the Cross:
To reach satisfaction in all
desire its possession in nothing,
To come to the knowledge of all
desire the knowledge of nothing.
To come to possess all
desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all
desire to be nothing.
And then she writes:
“Translation: Want it with all your heart. But don’t get attached to getting it.”
She also says that “everything we do is driven by the desire to feel a certain way” and that if we follow what we desire to feel (i.e. abundant, joyful, connected, insert positive soul quality here), we will begin to create the life that we want that may or may not result in achieving goals that were previously set.
I am still in the middle of reading this book but prior to reading it, I already started living my life in accordance to “my core desired feelings” – forgiveness, generosity, joy, peace, abundance, and love. Opportunities that weren’t on my radar came knocking on my door once I kept these feelings as something that I wanted at the centre of my life. Wanting experiences and beautiful things made me uncover the why behind them. I perceived these things as giving me those feelings. But if I focused on the feelings and the desire to have the feelings as the basis for all that I do, then it didn’t matter if I acquired the objects that I had once coveted because sure enough, something or someone or some event would manifest that satisfied the feeling behind the desire.
I no longer feel guilty for my desires. They are adding insight to my journey into myself and providing another way of navigating that I hadn’t considered before. I will let you know how the book turns out.
42 days of gratitude…giving thanks to it ALL.