Do you let yourself dream? Like ever?
Do you encourage yourself to dive into your deepest, darkest dreams? Or do you tell yourself "I shouldn't want that"?
If you think the idea of diving into your darkest desires sounds batshit crazy - welcome to the club.
We all do this. We shame ourselves for wanting to abandon our family and move to Africa, cheat on our spouse for the cute coworker, or quit our job as a lawyer to become a painter. And really we shut these thoughts out before we can even examine them. We say "That's absolutely NUTS!! I would never do that. I can't believe I even had that thought. Ew! I must be going crazy"
I'm blowing the whistle and throwing the red flag right there!
That's where things get messy
Because guess where those suppressed feelings go? Do they hitch a ride on the next direct flight to Timbuktu thinking they'll just give up now since you've banished them? No. They stay right where they are and burrow down into your heart - deep.. only to rear their ugly heads when you'd least expect them.
Here's why. You want something deep down and your body is trying to communicate that to you. Don't suppress it. These desires are like little children looking for attention and compassion. And they will get your attention.. and if they have to throw bigger tantrums - so be it. They're messengers and helpers trying to jolt you into waking up and actually giving a damn so you can LIVE - not sleep walk through life saying "I'm fine. I don't really need anything else. I shouldn't want that"
Now, I'm not advocating for cheating on your spouse or moving to Africa on a whim. I'm saying you need to LOOK at your desires. Examine them. See what they're made of. There's often a lot of juicy info about yourself there.
We're too afraid to look at our desires because we're afraid of what that'll mean about us and where they might lead us. YES it's scary and uncertain and erratic. But so is passion. So is excitement. We need to invite the uncertain and erratic to really LIVE.
The power of examining your "shadow desires" is this - when you compassionately examine them, you learn what you really need and you take back your power in the process.
When you get the desire to cheat on your spouse you can go deeper into the desire and examine "What exactly do I want? - in detail. Why am I really feeling this way?". We get to know ourselves on such a deep level when we do this. We can actually sort out what things we really want (maybe more intimacy, excitement, etc) vs. what's just a placeholder (perhaps the coworker you're fawning over)
We can often have all kinds of conflicting feelings. They're just a part of you, not necessarily how you 100% feel
All your desires deserve compassion. Should you take massive action on all of them? Of course not. But what we all don't want is to cheat on our spouse or end up moving to Africa on a whim and then getting there going "Why did I do that?? I'm not happy. There's still something missing. (Insert meltdown here)"
Write about your desires in a journal and don't hold back!! Go full on crazy and resist that "I shouldn't want this" mentality. Just get curious and let yourself dream. This will be the jumping off point that will help you figure out what you really want. This will help you get to know yourself. And I promise, it's weird but it feels SO good. Who doesn't like a little indulgence?
To examine your deepest, darkest desires is to go inward, into the caverns of your heart, and to get to know the high ceilings, the twists and turns, the small back room. To make time and space for your shadow desires is to show yourself the deepest compassion, curiosity, and most importantly love