Desire, and how you respond to it, determines the substance and quality of your life.
Desire is the juice of life. It courses through you like a river, carving its way through the soil of your psyche. Desire is powerful. It moves and shapes you. But desire can also seduce you.
Some desires motivate you to better yourself. These are the light and bright desires; constructive and positive motivations that lead you to a life of excellence and integrity. Your other desires — the darker ones — are caustic. They consume, corrode, and corrupt, your finer intentions. Knowing how to tell the difference between the two is the key to turning your life around.
Desires that are good for you
Desires that are good for you are constructive. They feel easy and light on your spirit. There are no catches in your psyche as you contemplate them. They expand and improve your life by developing your natural strengths and talents. Following the call of these desires leads you to greater heights of personal, spiritual, and professional fulfillment.
Some examples of good desires are:
The desire to…
- Take a course to further your career or personal development
- Indulge your creativity or hobby interest
- Go on an awesome adventure
- Spend less time working and more time with your spouse and children
- Follow your heart and empower your passions. Have some fun
- Handle money responsibly and enjoy the benefits of that
- Enjoy the simple and timeless treasures that life offers you each and every day
- Be grateful for everything you have
- Live a healthy lifestyle
Desires that seduce you
These are the desires that will destroy you if you act on them. They have nothing to do with your happiness or success. They are quick fixes for damaged emotions. Their “feel better” effect is short-lived. Their destructiveness is long-term.
They seduce you with instant satisfaction, taking the edge off your struggle — and you are hooked. You know that it won’t last but you can’t resist. Because it doesn’t last, you come back for more. You think, “this is only temporary. Tomorrow I will do things differently, but for now I need to feel better.” Then you crash, you get seduced again, and the cycle continues. Your life spirals out of your control.
Some examples of seductive desires are:
The desire to…
- Escape from your problems by distracting yourself with mindless entertainment
- Be romantically or sexually involved with others to avoid dealing with your present relationship issues
- Fill the void within you with food.
- Raise your spirits with alcohol and drug abuse
- Repeatedly enter destructive relationships as an affirmation of your self-image
- Accumulate money and possessions as a measure of success
- Control others to replace your lack of true empowerment
- Use debt to purchase a life you can’t afford to maintain
7 ways to stop the seduction
If you know that you are acting on desires that are not in your best interests, here are 7 ways to turn it around and stop the seduction.
- Admit that you are being seduced by your desires. You don’t have to announce it to the world. You do have to clearly say it to yourself though. Project ahead in time and understand where your current path will lead you. If it isn’t where you want to be end up, then…
- Identify your true and proper path. You know who you really are. You know the best that is within you. Project that person ahead in time to see what can be. How does it feel?
- Make a list of changes that will put you on the right track. What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to do more? Keep it honest. Don’t hide from the truth anymore. No one has to see your list. It is for your eyes only.
- Take small actions every day to break the seduction. Be aware of your desires, and one by one, replace destructive desire with constructive desire, and then act on it.
- Revel in the results of positive action. Learn to equate your sense of satisfaction with the good feeling you get when you do the right thing. The results from your positive actions may not be immediate — but they will be real, and they will be permanent. Take pleasure in this, because they will bring you happiness and contentment.
- Reward yourself for successfully changing each item on your list. Your true reward will come automatically, but do treat yourself with a little extra when you know in your heart that you have earned it. Make it your way of acknowledging and affirming your new direction.
- Ask for help if it becomes clear that you are not breaking the cycle. If after a few weeks, you find yourself repeating destructive habits, despite your best intentions and efforts, then seek some assistance. It is difficult to say that you need help, but it is far easier than spending the rest of your life on a continuing downward spiral.
Accepting that you have harmful habits and destructive desires is a good first step, but it doesn’t solve the problem. This is personal, and it is important. So, you have to ask yourself…
Am I being seduced by my desires? Where will they lead me? Do I want to go down that road? What would a better road look like? And, what will I do to turn my life around?
Over to you now…