What does it mean to desire, to “own your wanting”? What gets in the way of owning it, of saying “yes, this is what I want and I won’t feel bad about my wanting”?
We tend to want based on the wants of those with whom we’ve grown up, of the desires we’ve seen modeled. If we have lived in perpetual states of “no” vibrations, of being told not to want, that what we feel is not okay, that wanting more than we have is selfish and greedy, that we have so much more than so many others and how dare us!…then, of course, we would feel conflicted around our desire. We would have built-in blocks telling us we cannot desire, that desire doesn’t get to look like that.
I hear this so often it’s a wonder anyone lives the life they really want to live. It’s painful, the ways we have been disenfranchised from our powerful visions of our lives, of the things we know we are here to do, of the sexual desires that would free us of our shame and smallness, of the freedom that would flow from our following our wanting.
Most people can’t follow the wanting because they don’t even know what they want. They don’t know what they want because they’ve been told for so long not to want it. They judge themselves for their desires. They tell themselves all sorts of stories about them, largely because they just haven’t seen anyone model what it looks like to have it.
I came out late, when I was about 20 years old. I know I would have come out earlier and perhaps explored my attraction to women as well as to men had I had that modeled. But I was a teen in the 80s and there were no role models, there was no Ellen, there were no people who were “out” and any depiction of gay people in movies was to make fun of them. So, understandably, I didn’t see it as an option and tried to fit my sexual desire and awakening into the cultural model I was fed over and over.
This happens for us about all kinds of things. If you’ve only ever seen people in your family and community get heterosexually, monogamously married and have kids, then you think that’s just the way you do it. Maybe you don’t even think there is another option. Or if you want something else, there must be something wrong with you. It’s painful how we squelch our true desires because we lack permission for them.
The truth is that you are the one to give yourself permission, to embrace your wildest, kinkiest, most out-of-the-box desires and to follow them. Yet, without seeing others do the same, it’s hard to know how sometimes. How do you ask for a thing that hasn’t been done before in your world, to your knowledge? How do you assert yourself differently than everyone else about the most sensitive, personal aspect of who you are? This is hard enough for young people to do when they want a career their parents tell them they shouldn’t want, never mind around sexy fantasies.
Own your wanting. Stand for it. Stand in it with pride and curiosity. Be in your places of discovery where you know there is something else, something new, even if you don’t what it is or what to call it. Find your new “yes.” Let yourself be in the unknown of your wanting, open, ready to find out what is there for you.
That is how you develop who you are as a sexual being.
That is how you have new experiences.
That is how you expand what is possible in a world that loves to tell you about everything that’s not.
If you need some role models, go find them. They are out there.
Desire is the fervor of your life force birthing itself into its own dreams, visions and possibilities. How could that be bad?