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Everything That Distresses You is Irrelevant! Desire vs. Attachment (Part 1)

Limiting-Beliefs-Fear-Self-EsteemDistress, worry . . . irrelevant!? Most people are interested and puzzled by this proposition – some angered! How can I not be worried or  distressed about being unemployed, sick, or because of a significant loss?

I find in working with clients that the main causes of confusion about the needlessness of distress relate to 4 main issues:

1) Confusion about Desire vs. Attachment
2) Limited Self-concepts
3) Unrecognized Nature of Fear-based Thinking
4) Confusion about Cause and Effect

Briefly, here’s my take on these,

1) Confusion about Desire vs. Attachment

I find many people believing themselves to be basically “sinners” think their desires are selfish and therefore wrong. Yet they can’t give them up so they feel distressed in the pursuit of them. Since they are wrong, they feel ashamed and guilty. Since they are selfish, they have to be covert and manipulative in their effort to satisfy them.  Very distressful orientations, indeed!
How’s this – it’s natural to have natural desires and to meet them with ease and self-respect. Natural desires arise from simply being alive – life desires what it wants to celebrate being alive. Respecting life, being grateful for life, means being respectful of and grateful for the guidance of natural healthy desires.
Desire is not the problem. Grasping at desires is the problem. Grasping is a problem because you can’t grasp a desire, all you can really do is squeeze your guts. Squeezing your guts is the actual activity (to put it politely). What we think, what we hallucinate, is that we are grasping our desire. But the actual squeezing is causing the distress. If you recognize the actual activity of squeezing you can evaluate:

1) how does squeezing my guts help me get my desire or
2) to get over not getting my desire

It doesn’t, clearly! Enjoy the desire with ease if you meet it. Move on, hopefully with a lesson learned (and gratitude for it), to other desires (enjoyable pursuits) if you don’t.  No squeezing required!

Good luck!

You can also check out the other posts in this series: Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

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