I think that the better part of mortal coil is snarled in reckoning with how we desire to feel, and what we can’t bear to feel.
Knowing how you want to feel is half the journey to liberation.
But a funny thing often happens on the way to clarity. We get clear on how we want to feel, and then we muck it all up with self judgment. A story…
I was jamming with a client whom I adore. She’s kind-hearted, she’s willing to look at her shit and her gloriousness, and she’s excellent at what she does. And, as it tends to happen, I slid in one of my favourite backwards burning questions:
“So in terms of ‘success’ how do you want to feel like?” I asked.
“I… I want to feel important,” she admitted. And then it came, the back-paddle, squashing of desire: “But is it wrong to want to feel that way? Shouldn’t I want to feel something else?”
Freeze frame. Is it wrong to want to feel a certain way? Why would it be wrong? Who says? What would happen if you let yourself feel a certain way? How about starting with being okay with wanting to feel a certain way and seeing where that leads you? Back to the convo:
“Is it wrong to want to feel important?” I echoed back to her. “Well maybe some therapists would think so. Could be your wounded inner child ‘n all that, but let’s work from here and now. In terms of your business, what would make you feel important?”
“Celebrity X would be photographed in my product. And the editor at that big magazine would decide to put me on the cover for the next issue. I’d be front and center at the gala. And my cheap clients would stop pestering me for cheaper product, and I would be working with the people who really value what I do.” She was on a roll. Her voice was clear. I imagined she was sitting up straight.
“Uh huh. Well, that sounds like a rocking business to me. So, what do you need to do to help ensure that you feel important?” And with that, a very concise to-do list rolled off her tongue and the future looked brrrilliant.
“You know, just talking about what I’m going to do to make myself feel important makes me feel… important,” she concluded. That’s what happens when we take control of our desires. Moving toward gratitude helps you feels grateful. Aiming for power gets your power circuits firing. Planning for love makes you feel warm and fuzzy. And so it goes.
I used to have intense guilt for craving creative freedom–and then life forced me to go solo and I learned in one fell swoop that my guilty craving was a very divine calling–with all the rewards I was hankering for.
Enough with feeling guilty for wanting to feel the way you want to feel. Follow your desired emotion. Don’t analyze it too deeply. Just let it roll and rumble a bit. It may be there to humble you, expand you, heal, surprise or reinvent you. Anywhere it leads, it’s there for a divine reason.