Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Need Something That I Want

When I have a goal, I’m saying I have a Desire.  I need something that I want.  It might be something for myself or something for someone else.  I have realized the WAY I Desire that goal can be Balanced or Imbalanced.


It has helped me understand myself and my kids so much better by visualizing this Balance on a compass.

So if my Desire is Balanced, it’s in the North.  It’s full of hope, motivation, and trust.  However, it’s usually the case that my Desire gets skewed to the Northwest or to the Northeast.  In this blog post, I’ll focus in on North vs. Northwest Desire.
 
If my Desire is skewed to the Northwest, I feel demanding.  I mean, I am demanding.  My whole Process demonstrates DEMAND!!  I work to my maximum level--work until I break (and it usually doesn't take long for me to in actuality break).  In the NW I might be attracted to blog posts like "11 Things Ultra-Productive People Do Differently" (and this was in fact an article at forbes.com avertised to me this week via LinkedIn).  It's all about my work ethic and I don't give much thought to grace--my Cause, my other team members.  Just get 'er done.  Hmm...yeah, this sounds a lot like where I hang out much of the time.


I read this story lots of times when I was young
so you see how my mind works... 
"Not too hard, not too soft, but just right!"
In studying this compass model, I can see the NW as being too much and the NE as being too little.  Balanced is just right.  Some of the words that I found that represented "too much Desire" were obsession and fanaticism.  At that point, I had to take a step back to study the difference between a North and a NW Desire.  Was my intense-never-gonna-give-it-up Desire in actuality NW Desire?  To answer this question, I studied the words:
  • Obsession
  • Fanaticism
  • Addiction
  • Preoccupation
  • Fixation
  • Passion
#Excavation
These normally carried a negative connotation, at least for me.  But I saw something inside of them.  I saw that I could excavate out of them the core meaning that I valued as GOOD (#Balance).  Brush away all the dirt and grime and there was a pure word underneath!

  • Hope
  • Perseverance
  • Tenacity
  • Determination
  • Staying Power
  • Steadfastness
  • Resolve
  • Single-minded
  • Passion

I have noticed the words desire and passion have both a positive and negative connotation.  We see them as good when we’re asking, “What is your desire? What is your passion in life?” Or when we say, “I’m passionate about what I do.” But we see passion as bad or selfish when we talk about it like this:  “Bridle all your passions” (Alma 38:12).  And we sometimes use passion synonymously with anger.  Both the words desire and passion are often paired with the concept of the Natural Man:  "A person who chooses to be influenced by the passions, desires, appetites, and senses of the flesh rather than by the promptings of the Holy Spirit" (Guide to the Scriptures: Natural Man).

But when I use these words, I'm referring to the true, honest, pure desires and passions of our hearts.  Jesus also used the word desire in a positive way when he was talking to his disciples during the last supper:  “With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).

 

It was said of the people on the American Continent who saw Jesus after his resurrection that “they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3 Nephi 19:9).

One more: 
The Savior says to those who pray for his help, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation” (D&C 6:8).

I knew my Desire was passionate, resolute, single-minded, and determined but I didn’t think it belonged in the same category as NW Obsession.  In fact I saw that if I did evaluate something that was good as bad, that was bad (Moroni 7:14).  I have concluded that words are descriptors that we put on meanings that independently exist.  And sometimes we use the same words to describe Northern Desires as we do to describe NW Desires.  So confusing!  If we believe all passion, intensity, desire, and feeling are bad, we could be resisting real-true-pure Desires born of the Spirit, born of God.  If we believe they’re bad, evil, and something to be avoided in order to be RIGHT-(eous) I am sure that we are taking the “plain and precious” things out of our lives, which leaves us starving and unprotected (1 Nephi 13:29).

This reminds me of the evil guy in Hunchback of Notre Dame:  Judge Claude Frollo.  I think the reason he was trying to obtain Esmeralda in that vile way was because he was denying himself of the right way to obtain Sustainable Attraction in marriage and calling that VIRTUE.  He was doing this IN THE NAME OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Check out the video clip of this.



Who Decides?

So who decides whether my Desire is North or Northwest?  Is it the neighbors?  Is it the people at church?  Is it my parents?  I believe it's me.  Other people who love me (especially my Cause) may indeed be able to diagnose my signs and symptoms but I need to be the one who realizes where I am.  

The General Balance is in Yellow.  We sense it.
This doesn't mean I decide where the General Balance is.  That is always in the same place--straight North.  I define my Desire by that pre-existent General Balance.  The General Balance actually issues me this question:  Where is Balanced Desire?  I answer that question by sensing where my Desire is IN RELATION to it and then responding accordingly.  Can I tell when I'm Northwest of it?  Do I allow more grace into my life if that's the case? Can I tell when I'm in the North with it?  Do I recognize that I need to keep going like this to achieve my goal?  Am I even paying attention?


Might As Well Face It, I’m Addicted To Love

In studying the words for Desire and the meaning inside of me, I saw that I could be addicted to good things.  Usually I think of the word addiction to describe a bad thing.  When I'm  addicted to people or substances that are unable to sustain me but instead suck the life from me and leave me worse off in the end, this is BAD (#ConflictingCauses).  

But I am literally addicted to the Effects of Jesus Christ.  I cannot end this relationship.  I don’t mind if I’m “stuck” with him forever.  In fact, go ahead and chain me to him and throw away the key (#Paul’sChains).  It’s too late for me to turn back anyway (#Lot'sWife).  It’s too late to apologize (2Nephi 31:14).  When we are addicted to people or substances like water and healthy food (#LivingWaters and #BreadOfLife) that are able to sustain us continuously, giving us greater life in the end, this is GOOD.

 I can't fight this feeling anymore
I've forgotten what I started fighting for
It's time to take this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars forever

(Don't watch this.  Just listen.  It's weird.  It's the 80s.  But the song is timeless.)

  

So there are GOOD chains and BAD ones;  There is the good kind of passion, desire, and addiction and there is the bad kind;  there are good habits and bad ones;  good relationships and bad ones; good covenants and bad ones; good Causes and bad ones.  The difference is the bad ones lock us into a prison (#Belly of the Whale) and the good ones attract us to them eternally in an everlasting relationship which gives us safety, certainty, the freedom to love, the freedom to act and continue developing, and the freedom to experience Sustainable Joy at the level we personally desire.