Over the past 15 years, my personal healing and growth primarily focused on letting go of limiting behavioral patterns—smoking, taking others’ comments personally, comparing myself to others, envy, etc. Although these habituated old behaviors once were useful, they no longer served me.
Not so long ago, I blogged about three levels of ‘letting go’. The first level, releasing tension—physical holding patterns—in my body, kept me inspired to sustain a decade-long yoga practice. The second level—releasing attachment to my thoughts and feelings while recognizing I create them, not the other way around—inspired and sustained my 14-year meditation practice. These two disciplines created both physical and mental space for peace, love and joy to exist within me. Furthermore, I experienced the physical exit of depression and anxiety from my body—two huge WOWs in my life!
Today, I revisit the third layer of letting go—relinquishing desire. Just as staying present in the moment once seemed impossible, so can rerouting my conditioned pursuit of ambitions and desires. The dictionary defines ambition as a strong desire (feeling of wanting) to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. In my young adulthood, most who met me could clearly see my desire and determination. In fact, many of us attribute our life successes to our ambition. However, after achieving my career ambitions in my 30s, I still found ‘something’ missing which motivated me to consider this final letting go.
Yesterday to inspire my blog writing, I mind mapped about letting go of desire. When I’d finished, I discovered a quote from Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) written at the bottom of the page.
Where they love they do not desire
And where they desire they do not love.
I am not a biblical person nor would I call myself a Christian, but the following words popped into my mind, “Ask and yea shall receive.” I was looking for an answer, and Freud’s quote appeared. The connection was not immediately evident to me nor did I trust the ‘synchronicity’ between my mind map and his quote. I could not see the causal connection, but somewhere inside me I could feel the tug of truth within Freud’s words. For someone whose mission is transforming fear into love, I was feeling the pinch of my own fear in the form of self-doubt.
Would you interpret Freud’s words to be telling us that desire and love cannot occupy the same space? Where one is the other cannot be present? If so, what desires do you need to let go of in order to create space for love?