How focused are your desires?

I remember being in a session with my spiritual director one sunny afternoon in Nairobi when she asked me to "focus my desires".

I had a visceral reaction, thinking that she must have asked me the wrong question. In the world I had grown up in, desires were evil. They were to be shut down in favor of God's will, which was assumed to be in direct opposition to anything I would want.

What possible good would come from focusing on my own desires?

Imagine that you had a desire for pizza. You can smell the crust crisping to perfection and the warm cheeses getting to the exact right stage of meltiness. Your favorite prosciutto pairs its flavors perfectly with the fresh, local ingredients. Tuscan music wafts in on the breeze as you look over an orange-hued sunset lighting up the vineyards.

And, in fact, those preparing the pizza are longing for you to stop by. They've already built a whole restaurant, purchased a table and chairs for you, collected the ingredients, and hired the staff. Everything is ready for your order. They are expecting you!

So, you would not enter the restaurant begging and pleading with the owners to sell you a pizza, either from a sense of unworthiness or undeserving, or from a sense of special entitlement. You have nothing to prove. When you know what your heart's desire is, be it pepperoni or pineapple, you simply go to the right place and make your request.

And if you prefer sushi, by all means, ask for it at a place that has the sushi all ready and waiting for you.

When you have a clear vision of what you want, rest assured that there is a matching possibility being prepared out there. You can step into the silent realm where all possibilities exist and let your desires become very clear and very easy to communicate.

Some people find that still and quiet place where true desires are focused while praying, while riding a bike, swimming laps, taking a shower, or running their fingers through their child's hair. Whatever methods you use to become still, it's about finding the quiet space between the thoughts.

From that still place, you can announce your intentions to the source of all creation. By imagining all the details from every angle, including scent, color, sights, and how it would feel, you co-design your dream with One who has already created every good thing and who longs for you to be part of it all.

That's focusing on the desires, and trust that our good, good parent wants to give you every good and perfect gift. The Creator has the table and chairs, napkins, and cutlery all set up. The feast is piping hot in the kitchen.

What's your desire? How will you listen for it? What does it look like when you recognize it clearly?

With great love, 

Loving-kindness or compassion?
Are your tears sometimes fake?


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