Desire and the quest for self

I blogged ages back about trying to build some sense of self. So much of my default behaviour has been reactive, not any kind of ‘me’ and I’m trying to fix that. I’ve mentioned T Thorn Coyle’s Make Magic of your Life a couple of times this week, because it chimed for me in a number of ways, and this is another one of those. One of the concepts driving the book is the importance of desire in defining who we are and what our work in this world is.

What do I desire?

I still have trouble being honest with myself about what I need, and seeking that. I spent too long in circumstances where needs were not being met, and I learned not to think about it too much. I’ve been working on this one, and on being able to want things. Again, historically there were issues about being able to choose for myself – food, clothes, ornamentation, and other personal things. When I was much younger the issues were financial, in later life I found myself under a lot of pressure to be what other people wanted. I didn’t know how to resist that. Now, there is nothing to resist. I can go into clothes shops and wonder what I might wear. I seldom buy anything, I’m just trying to imagine some preferences and feelings. Those are coming. I’m working on letting myself want small, ordinary things, and I’m progressing, but desire?

I want to know what is most essential to me. I think that uncovering and understanding what I desire would go a long way to helping me establish that, and I like the idea that questing after my heart’s desire is a good way of figuring out what my work should be. I love writing, but that’s like saying I love breathing. I feel crap if I don’t do it. There are all manner of things around my relationship with my bloke that fire my imagination, my senses, my intentions. I’m remembering how, when I was much younger, I believed that my work could make a difference and add something good to the world. The loss of that belief crushed a lot of my desires around writing, but I’m rebuilding.

I want to help, and do good stuff. I think a part of what blocks me is disbelief. There’s a partner to desire, a necessary second for that dance to work – some sense that it is possible. Hopeless desire for unobtainable things will not get a person out of bed in the morning. Might as well lie there and dream the day away, and avoid the real life disappointments. Some kind of belief that there is even a shred of a chance, is necessary for undertaking any work. I can do what is necessary as an ‘in the moment’ thing, but I can’t do anything bigger, and as I crack that idea of desire open, the need to do something that makes a difference is clear to me. Doesn’t have to be earth shattering, but it does have to be real, and worth enough to make sense of the effort.

So I think what I desire most at the moment is hope, and I think I’ve got to build that for myself, but that’s something to be working on while I figure out other stuff.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

6 responses to “Desire and the quest for self

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