Desire often inspires action, but discernment is what helps us consciously choose whether we want to act upon a desire.
Can you recall getting so angry in the middle of a conversation that you wanted to smack somebody? Yep, me too. The desire was stronger than a mufukuh, but discernment brought the realities and potential consequences of that option to the forefront. Mind you, desire and discernment are not opposites, nor do they have to show up as enemies in our minds.
For example, it was my deep desire for a different type of life, a different daily flow, that led me to the life I enjoy today. Had I used discernment as an excuse not to do what I desired, I’d be sitting up in somebody’s law firm right now, well paid and deeply unhappy.
I was talking to a friend today about desire and discernment. She and I (along with about 7 other people we love) are on Day 4 of our 21-day vegan/raw/vegan feast. These first 7 days are when we eat vegan meals and give ourselves time to transition from our meat-eating norm and into this space of unprocessed, meat and dairy-free foods. The next 7 days will consist of all “sun-cooked” foods, meaning nothing heated, cooked, or processed in any way. The last 7 days will be a repeat of the first 7 (though some of us will be doing 7 days vegan and 14 days sun-cooked aka raw).
My friend said she smelled coffee and chicken at a nearby restaurant and naturally, it nudged her desire for those foods. She was actually jokingly eluding to her increased sense of smell, particularly the smell of the foods we choose not to have during our feast period. We giggled about it, and we talked about being okay with having a desire, and then celebrating the privilege of being able to consciously choose whether to act on a desire.
So many of us are either run by our desires, or defeated by our guilt around our desires. But those are our only options. We can choose to celebrate desire and choice. We can choose to think of all the people in the world who have less choices than we do. The ones whose environments or circumstances rob them of simple choices like whether they will eat today. Or whether they will drink clean water today. Or whether they will be abused in some way today.
My point is this: when we choose something deliberately, we inevitably opt out of other choices. When we take leadership of our circumstance by deciding what we will and will not do, we may not change the environment, and we may not even be able to change our desires. But we can shift our attention toward celebrating our ability to choose. We can see desire as natural, and decision as a privilege.
What will you decide upon for and about yourself today? Whatever it is, I send you love and light as you work with its energy and use it to design your own joy!