We all want stuff.
Some of this stuff is big – like houses, businesses, children, meaning – and some of it small; think wine, clothes, hugs or attention.
But how do we know we want the right stuff? Is there such thing as the right stuff?
We live in a world, particularly in Australia as a consumerist/capitalist society, that is constantly trying to stoke desire. Whether it is messaging around not being enough because you use the wrong lipstick or you’ll be hotter with this bag, to the more insidious ideas of failure because you haven’t yet made it financially or should have had kids by now, our cultural paradigm is based on an economic model that relies on us living from a place of insecurity.
So, naturally, I don’t really trust it.
Instead, I take my definition of desire from the East; namely India.
In Yogic philosophy, it teaches there are two types of desire: righteous and unrighteous desire.
This doesn’t mean that some desires are inherently bad or good. It means we must know where that desire comes from for it to be ‘righteous’ or beneficial for our lives.
As an example:
Choosing to purchase something because you agree with the ethos of where you are buying it from, it reaffirms your sense of self and you love it – righteous.
Buying something because its on-trend right now and you feel like you have to conform to fit in, potentially at the cost of the environment or even your own values – unrighteous.
This is a micro example of a macro discussion, but it is predicated on a degree of self-awareness and engagement with our subconscious.
Understanding where desire comes from takes discipline and attentiveness: summed up as discernment.
It comes from knowing who you are, why you make the choices you do and ensuring they come from a place of love opposed to fear.
Sometimes I like to think of my life as a boat floating out on the vast ocean of existence, occasionally buffeted by seemingly endless winds of challenge but seeking the pure sunshine of deep, reverent joy and contentment.
Desire can be the current that moves us towards either the crystalline shores of our dreams or the treacherous tides of despair.
But you are the one with the hands on the oars, deciding in which direction you go and how fervently you paddle.Return to issues