When people have the experience of over-doing, over-indulging, going too far, having too much, stuffing in work, food, money, experiences, love, sex….
grabbing, craving, wanting, getting, gimme…..
….there is often a judgment that follows about this feeling of desire that it is to be avoided, crushed, and suppressed.
Pleasure? Bad. Desire? Worse. Obsessive craving? Horrid.
Based on past experience of how horrible it feels to have a hangover, or be stuffed with food, or neglect your kids because you’re working so hard….the mind thinks “this craving must be stopped, it’s dangerous”.
I sure thought that.
So have many people I’ve worked with on their addictive experience, whatever it is. Not just food (my personal favorite) but all kinds of other cravings.
People have told me they wished they could have a lobotomy and cut out the part of their mind that WANTS.
I think the Puritans agreed. And Ascetics.
Anyone interested in controlling themselves and practicing abstaining from “that-seductive-thing”.
Well, that never worked well for me. Like not even for 5 minutes. And I felt really, really bad about it.
Recently, I was remembering a short period of time where I felt that obsessive form of energy about a man.
Instead of cringing the minute I remembered that crush-fear-danger-magnetic-disgust….
….I let the memory live in my mind.
Those memories that make you cringe? GREAT ones for The Work of course!!
Bring ’em on!
That attraction was dangerous.
Is it true?
Yes. He was nuts, he lied, he dropped off the face of the earth, he was depressed. I was SAD.
Can I absolutely KNOW that it’s true that the feeling of attraction was dangerous?
Were my binge-eating, drinking, smoking, over-working, addictive drives ultimately dangerous?
No. I’m still here.
Things got broken apart. Ideas got torn up. Plans got blitzed.
And something new started in its place. Something much more peaceful and expansive.
Something was always there underneath all the destroying and creating going on up on the roller-coaster ride mental surface.
How do I react when I believe that all this wanting or craving is bad news?
I’m against all wanting, craving, desire. I think I need to be vigilant.
I start being against hunger, against the body having needs, against noticing what I find pleasing.
It all gets balled up in one big thought that I want to throw all craving in the garbage.
And if I have one second of craving, I call myself an idiot.
Who would you be without the thought that craving, desiring, wanting, or reaching is bad for me, dangerous, destructive, or wrong?
You mean….this craving could be safe? Neutral? Not something to be afraid of? Natural?
Not something I have to DO something about?
Here’s the amazing thing that happens, and I began to notice this long ago around food and eating. If I paused and made no decision, didn’t hack the feeling to bits….
….relaxed, waited….sometimes only for one moment….the craving passed.
Like a wave.
“Each time we move to modify, alter, neutralize or try to get rid of the energies arising, we’re back in the cycle of addictive seeking. We’re looking for something else, something more. We’re trying to control our experience and the thoughts and feelings coming through. We’re overlooking the natural rest of presence.” ~ Scott Kiloby
Turning the thought around:
Being drawn over towards something out there (including a person) is safe, good.
I come back to me, here, now and feeling this thing I’m calling a craving, or an attraction.
Let it be.
Allowing any desires, wants, pleasures to arise and be present….I notice they NEVER stay in the same place.
They build, they shift, they change, they fall away. They are created and they are destroyed.
“Thoughts are like the wind, or the leaves on the trees, or the raindrops falling. They’re not personal, they don’t belong to us, they just come and go.” ~ Byron Katie
The relief of knowing that the actual feeling of craving is safe, and normal, can be very liberating.
Who are you without the thought that your attractions are dangerous?