Anyone who knows anything about The Buddha knows that he wasn't very keen on us having desires. In fact, he was quite adamant about letting us know that the cause of ALL suffering is desire.
When I first heard this I couldn't help but think he was just a big kill joy -- the thought of going through life desire-less brings up images of a robotic world devoid of emotion. What would be the point? But I think I'm beginning to understand what he was getting at because there's desire and then there's DESIRE.
Have you ever had a big desire, but you believe that it will never come true? Now, that's what I call suffering. And I think this is what The Buddha is talking about. To go through life hankering for something and believing you'll never get it is one miserable way to live.
Pure DESIRE is when you have a dream, and it fills you with joy, and great expectations. It's the same feeling you get when you're in love with someone, and you feel the delicious anticipation of meeting up again when you're apart.
These kind of desires are live-giving. They are also the ones that come true, because they are fueled by the emotions of love and joy -- they are the rocket fuel that will turn you into a desire wizard.
Don't believe me? Then listen up to my story:
I once had a desire to live beautiful Rockport, MA -- my favorite place. It's the quintessential New England seacoast town with its quaint shops, houses and lots of ocean wrapped around it. On my weekends I would drive up to Rockport and walk around for hours dreaming and imagining that I lived there in one of the beautiful houses, and I'd spend hours walking along the beach. I did my food shopping there, dropped off my dry cleaning, rented out movies, and sometimes, I would even stay overnight at a B&B.
At the time I was living about 40 miles south in a crummy apartment in a not-so-quaint ocean-less town. And I was single and broke. But in my childlike way, I allowed myself to dream and pretend that I lived in Rockport with my dream husband. And here's the important part: I never once felt sorry for myself for not having this dream be a reality. I never felt resentful that I didn't have the house or the husband. In fact, I got a lot of pleasure out of the sheer fantasy of it all. My dream kept me alive.
Fast forward four months, and I end up meeting this great guy who invites me to his home for the day, and can you guess where he lived? Rockport!
I'll never forget the day I drove up to his house for the first time. It was a surreal drive. I didn't know at that moment that I would end up marrying this man, and neither did I know that I would end up living in his house in Rockport. But I had the distinct knowing during that drive that something big and magical was going on for me. I had a feeling that the universe was conspiring and orchestrating the future life that I had spent a lot of my time dreaming about.
Later on, when we were newly married, I asked Tim why he chose to live in Rockport, and why he had bought such a big house and why he hadn't gotten around to properly furnishing and decorating it?
His answer: Darling, I bought this house for you -- it's been sitting here waiting for you to move into it.
I was a 46-year-old woman who wanted a great relationship AND a home in Rockport. I had neither -- no man and no money, and I had no idea how it was going to come to me. But I ended up getting both.
Keeping your DESIREs pure, life-giving, and childlike has the power to create miracles in your life. It's the secret sauce. Never underestimate the POWER of intention, the power of allowing, the power of imagination, and a lot of help from the universe.
Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. -- Henry David Thoreau