How to Speak Your Desire (Not Its Impostor)

by OneTaste Living Library  Aug 17, 2011

I want

How often do you actually experience a desire at the exact moment you are stating it? If you are like most people, the answer is “rarely.” Before a request is even out of our mouths, our attention shifts to the other person’s reaction.

And not just their actual reaction. Well before we witness that, we have been thinking about their potential reaction. We anticipate and prepare to counter their objections. Mentally we may compose many drafts of our request, in the hope that if we get the words, the tone and the timing just right, the response will be affirmative. Or, if not affirmative, at least not aghast.

Merely being disappointed is not our worst case scenario. On top of being disappointed by a refusal, we could feel humiliated for having asked at all. As we see it, the other person is in control of what we are about to feel, and the only remedy for this alarming state of affairs is to get control over the other person.

As our minds fill up with strategy, the desire itself fades into past tense. When we finally get around to stating it, we are describing our memory of a desire that, in the moment, we do not feel.

Beneath its simple surface, the first step of OM - the request - is inviting you to do something quite extraordinary, perhaps even unprecedented in your experience: to feel a desire in the moment of stating it. When this step goes well, you get turned on by asking your hoped-for partner to OM with you. Instead of fading into the past, the desire that first moved you to ask comes into full bloom at the moment of asking.

What the other person feels coming from you at that moment is your desire itself. Not your memory of it, your concept of it, or your strategy about it. Desire itself.

Desire is gorgeous. It is gorgeous without exception. Can an ant find fault with a peony? Can a hummingbird disapprove of honeysuckle? The blossom doesn’t negotiate with the bee, set conditions for opening its petals or releasing its fragrance. The blossom manifests desire, is desire, and draws forth the desire of the bee.

Between blossoms and bees there is no such thing as unrequited love. When they get it on, it is impossible to say who started it, who is the seeker and who is the sought. All attractions are mutual.

But what does this glorious inevitability have to do with human attractions which, often as not, go unconsummated? Setting aside the many practical or moral reasons you choose not to get it on with every flower in the garden, you can probably think of times when you simply didn’t want someone who wanted you, or vice versa. You might even say that you found someone’s desire for you repellant.

Take a closer look at such episodes. My guess is that what put you off was not the desire, but whatever your pursuer was doing instead of desiring. They were likely intent on controlling your response. They tried to flatter you, or bully you, or exploit some vulnerability in you. Maybe they were bombastic and boastful about their desire, or maybe they were apologetic about it. Maybe they presented it as a sort of affliction upon which you were meant to take pity. One way or another, what you felt coming from them was anxiety, not desire.

Pure desire is as radiant and life-giving as the sun. It is the life force: how everything living came to be, and sustains its life. To feel anything but wonderful when the life force shines on you is impossible. You could no more be repelled by it than a fish is repelled by water.

If something that calls itself desire makes you want to run like hell in the opposite direction, you have encountered an impostor. It is desire’s impostor that have given desire a bad name.

What would your desire look like, expressed raw and unimpeded?