April 18


Today's quotation:

We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes.  The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant.  We have not managed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us around it, led us past it, and then if we turn around to gaze at the remote past, we can barely catch sight of it, so imperceptible has it become.

Marcel Proust

Today's Meditation:

It's nice that we grow up.  As pleasant as the idea of holding on to our childhood is, there are many nice things about maturing and gaining a strong sense of perspective on the world.  Our perceived wants and needs change, and the things that used to seem so important to us, the things that we allowed to cause us so much pain, later seem to be completely unimportant.  All of the time that we spent worrying or agonizing over them now seems to be wasted time.  And hopefully, we mature enough not to repeat that kind of mistake.

One of the greatest joys of growing up and maturing is the strengthening of our ability to let go.  When we let go of our desire for things, our desire to have other people do and act as we wish them to, our desire to "take care" of things no matter what they are, we grow stronger, more peaceful, more aware, and more able to spread our peace to others.  We're able to pull away from competition for things that don't truly matter, saving our energy and our focus for things that do.

Today's desires one day will seem small and insignificant, but that doesn't diminish their importance for us today.  But we don't have to diminish something's importance to be able to face it with a clear mind and a readiness to take care of it.  If we can back off and look at it from a perspective of seeing a bigger picture, though, and realize that it won't be the end of the world if this desire goes unfulfilled, then we'll be able to put this desire in its proper place.

Questions to consider:

What do you want right now?  Do you want someone to change, or do you want some material item?  Will getting this change you or help you as a person?

Think of a desire from two or three years ago.  How did it affect you then?  How important does it seem now?  Would it affect you in the same way today?

What would life be like without desires?

For further thought:

Moderate desires constitute a character fitted to acquire all the good which the world can yield.  Those who have this character are prepared, in whatever situation they are, therewith to be content and have learned the science of being happy.

Timothy Dwight

more thoughts and ideas on desire



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