Off the Mat Yoga

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty for Wanting More

What is desire? It’s more than a feeling, more than simply wanting. Desire goes deeper. It’s felt in every muscle, bone, and cell of your body. It’s felt in the mind, body, and soul. It lives simultaneously in the heart and the belly. It grows from the core of our being. It’s not who we are, rather what we value. Desire is pure, raw, unadulterated energy. Desire is powerful.

If there’s one thing desire is not, it’s selfish or evil. We’re allowed to want things. Simply because we are living we can desire things and people and places. And, better yet, you don’t need permission to desire. There’s no need to question whether or not your desire is worthy of being desired and receiving your attention. Simply because it exists, it is worthy.

So, let’s cut the crap.

Where do we get off thinking that we can’t have what we want? What grump didn’t get what he wanted and decided that for all humanity after that it would be decidedly selfish and unfair to desire? That’s the true root of unfairness in our relationship to desire – the guilt and shame around simply wanting something in life. Desire is a natural human emotion. Simply because you are alive and breathing, you are allowed to desire. Whether or not you feel guilty about it is entirely up to you. Either way, you will continue to desire. The choice is yours.

I invite you to stop wallowing in guilt for wanting what you want. Own it. Want it with your whole, entire heart. It’s natural for guilt to pay you a visit on the road to your dreams, visit with it for a bit, welcome it like you would anyone else, then put your foot down and tell it to keep on movin’ before it overstays its welcome. Don’t banish guilt. Sit with it. Experience it for a moment. Then, close that door. Move beyond the guilt to open the door to your desires, the door to your dreams.

Desire is a powerful, transformative emotion. It points to what we most value in life. When you want something with every ounce of energy in your being, that energy, that wanting is pointing you towards what is of supreme importance to you. Do you desire to leave your desk-bound, 9-5 job with your demanding boss? Perhaps that’s because freedom, spontaneity, space, and compassion are of supreme importance to you. Do you desire to find a partner to share your life with, with whom to have children, and weekends filled with gardening and games in the backyard? Perhaps that’s because family, connection, simplicity, and ease are of supreme importance to you. Whatever it is give yourself permission to desire it. Listen to your desires. They are trying to show you what is truly important to you.

Desire can shift too. Past, present, future – your desires will change. All that you wanted at 25 may be vastly different than all that you desire at 45. Our lifestyles, our aspirations, and our desires can change over time. The person you are today is surely much different than the person you were ten years ago. That’s okay. In fact, that’s great. You’ve grown. You’ve matured. You’ve learned a lot of shit about life and about who you are as a person. If we’re allowed to change and shift, we have to make space for our desires to change and shift as well. Once we have given ourselves permission to desire, we have to also give our desires permission to shift and change as needed.

Desire is a powerful, natural force. Embrace it. Embrace your innate human ability to desire whatever the hell you want. Dream big. Live loud. Get shit done.

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Lisa Rogers

    August 2, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Beautiful! I often get caught in the cycle of wanting more and then feeling guilty because I know I should be happy with what I already have. This was a great reminder that it is okay to want more.

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      August 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Yes, I have been in that same cycle myself. Sometimes we simply need a reminder that desire isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing!

  2. Megan Reddix

    Megan Reddix

    August 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Thank you for this, Lisa! I just went through feeling guilty for doing something that I wanted. I had to take a step back and remind myself that I have so much support and love surrounding me, and what I am doing isn’t hurting anyone (if you are hurting other people, maybe the guilt should take presidence!) Most importantly, you absolutely cannot make everyone happy. It is best to start with you. Make sure you’re happy in life, then worry about making the people around you happy. I struggle with this, but learning every day!

  3. Amanda

    Amanda

    August 2, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Yes! It’s okay to want and it’s okay to receive. And we can be grateful for what we have now while at the same time wanting to experience more of what the world has to offer. 🙂

  4. Pála Margrét

    Pála Margrét

    August 3, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Beautiful article! Thank you 😀

    I´m done with guilt. I´ve decided to take another road in life. Thank you for this 🙂

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      August 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      You’re welcome! So glad to hear it. Banish that guilt, girl!!

  5. Avatar

    Joanne Tanner

    August 6, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Thanks to a pretty difficult childhood (emotionally, not financially) I was taught that desire of any kind was selfish and wrong. To this day I find myself quashing even the thought of desiring things and have to check myself to remember that I am a person of value who deserves good things. What’s funny is that I’m a life coach and have no problem teaching others to value themselves! It’s a daily battle but it’s one I will win! Thanks for a great article.

    1. Brandy

      Brandy

      August 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Joanne, I love what you said about being a life coach and finding it easy to teach others to value themselves, but struggling to the same for yourself. I always say that one of the most challenging aspects of my role as a body positive activist and yoga instructor is recognizing that I can’t ask my clients to live big, bold, courageous lives and then fail to do so myself. I can’t just talk the talk. This girl has got to walk the walk too. And, ooph, sometimes that harder than I could have ever imagined.

  6. Avatar

    Collen Reynolds

    September 13, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Great article Brandy! It’s a great reminder that we don’t need to feel guilty for desiring, for appreciating what we have, feeling blessed for what we have but wanting, desiring more. There should be no guilt, apologizes or explanations. I desire it, I deserve it, I am worthy of my desires therefore they shall be mine! 🙂

Leave a Reply