Sunday, July 01, 2012

Loath to Desire, Part One

It's risky to want something.  Isn't it?

Somewhere early on, I learned well that to want is to be disappointed, and possibly to hurt.  And the hurt must be avoided.

The antidote?  To be strong.  To be content.  And to not dare want anything too big, too risky, or too unlikely.

Contentment is a virtue!  Right?  Yes!  When I combine my strength, my contentment, my mental control, I can bloom where I'm planted and be happy and free to focus on the many, many blessings in my life.

And that is how I have lived for a very long time.

My husband asked me the other day, what could he give me that would mean a lot and last forever?

What a perplexing question.

My mind went in several directions, trying to figure out an answer.  How do I answer this in truth?  How do I answer this without daring to want?  To desire something I do not have?

The safe-and-true answer came forth first:  What I want is for us to keep moving forward, keeping on  saying yes to our marriage and our family and our life that we have been building together for all of these years.  What I want is to keep digging in, keep turning back to each other, keep holding hands and moving forward and working together, even when things feel hard or disappointing or scary or hopeless.

Yes.  That's true.  Honestly.

But I felt more wishes welling up in me.  More answers bubbling to the surface.  And right away, as I could start to identify them, I could feel the pain of feeling (knowing?) that I could not have those things, and that verbalizing them would make the wants real, and that would be too risky.  Too dangerous.  Too scary.  Tears were welling up in my eyes before my mind had fully formed my desires.

Such a strong emotional reaction.  Obviously there is something there that needs some work.

It is pretty tricky to be in the midst of so many emotional thoughts, the emotional reaction, and then also trying to play armchair psychologist to oneself.

I won't pretend that I fully managed to pull it off.

The one thought that came to me was that the risk of wanting seems too great to contend with.  There is a big part of me that feels that to dare to really want something is so risky that it should be avoided as much as possible.  I fear that if I put my whole heart into wanting something, not getting it would be so painful that it could destroy me, or something.

Really.  It feels that big.

Desire:  Maybe I just don't know how to do it right?


Anonymous said...

That sure resonates. It's interesting just how long we can go along with what's usual, and then something (usually not this direct) makes us remember a buried longing and we feel starved and shriveled. And the previously unaware husbands get knocked over by it all.

Do you also get perplexed with "how are you" and "what's new / going on" questions like I do?

Dollymama said...

Yes, sometimes I do get stuck on the "how are you" and so on. How am I? many things that are not positive, do not feel like they can be fixed, and just make me sound like a negative broken record. :(