The Cycle of Endless Desire…

The cycle of endless desire is hard to break. When we’re in the midst of desire’s seductive grip, we can neither think clearly, nor resist the powerful impulses running through our minds and bodies screaming for us to act them out. And, if we don’t interrupt this cycle it becomes hardwired, automatic, and therefore happens by default without awareness. In short, it becomes habit.

We learn through habit. For example, why do you have the accent you have? Your accent is hardwired. It’s a force of habit. Why do you walk the way you do? Force of habit. These hardwired characteristics aren’t usually an issue. But when this same pattern follows a triggered reaction, like acting on a craving, the result can be quite damaging. Whatever we do repeatedly gets stronger and stronger, and spins faster and faster until it spins automatically by itself.

When we have an addiction, a habitual pattern, an automatic reaction, it becomes an ongoing raging battle inside of us. Should we give in and act out, or hold off? Can we hold off? We have that choice, but are we able to see it, to see the pattern of behavior before we act on it?

To get a practical understanding of how this works, think of something you repeatedly feel compelled to do, that you’d like to stop doing. Then, consider the following pattern:

The Trigger:  Often we are triggered by an event that sets off a chain reaction, shifting our feelings and physiology.

The Void:  Next comes a sense of something lacking. This hole of neediness is exposed, and a gaping void begins to appear. “I want, I need, I’ve got to have…”

The Fantasy: This feeling of lack then spurs on images of what we feel we’re missing, and ideas of how to get those things, (food/person/entertainment/drug, etc.). These images, ideas, and feelings churn around, and around, and around, making us feel more agitated and restless. The more restless and agitated we become, the further we slip into a trance state where it becomes hard to concentrate on anything else.

The Tease: We may try to distract ourselves from these thoughts and feelings, but they keep coming back. The addiction is like a phone ringing, ringing, ringing… It rings louder and louder. “Pick me up, pick me up!” We may then tease with the idea of acting on it. Answer the phone. Don’t answer it. Answer. Don’t answer. It gets louder, louder, louder…

The Breaking Point: Finally, something snaps. Our ability to resist caves in, and we surrender to the desire. The craving takes over. Everything else is meaningless. We may even know on some level it’s not a good idea, but the will to stop is no longer enough. Our reason and logic, in considering the consequences, is silenced by thoughts like, “I may as well just do it,” or “It doesn’t matter, I need it,” or by one of 10,001 other justifications for acting on our cravings. The phone must be answered.

The Payoff: We ‘act out’ and fulfill our desire. And it may feel good¾for a moment. A sense of relief and peace washes over us, and as the craving fades away we feel some level of freedom. Everything feels okay for a few seconds, minutes, an hour, a night…and then…

The Guilt: Once are cravings subside and our composure and logical mind resurface, we realize what we’ve done. We’ve given in to the craving. We’ve dug ourselves in deeper. We’ve caved! Again! Often at this point we start to experience the pangs of guilt and shame, even hopelessness, as if there is no way out of this ‘craving vs caving’ loop.

The “Aha”: The cloud of guilt and shame begins to dissipate, and for a brief time, we are able to see what this desire, this addiction, for what it really is¾an unhealthy habit that’s not serving our highest good. We may find we have greater objectivity when asking ourselves, “Why did I do that?”

The Resolution: At this stage we recommit to finally stop acting on this particular desire. We may make promises to ourselves, to God, or to others to “humbly recognize this is not good for me, and I’m going to do whatever I can to stop doing it.” Generally, this makes us feel better. We have renewed enthusiasm and courage for having made the decision to give it up and make a clean start.

The Next Trigger: But, all too soon¾maybe hours later, maybe days, or maybe even weeks later¾we may start feeling lonely, stressed, anxious, or distraught again. Then that sense of emptiness sets in like a void that needs to be filled, and the craving vs. caving cycle begins all over again. And we’re back to square one.

The cycle of desire can last a lifetime, maybe even many lifetimes. And, we don’t just have one desire and one cycle. We may have countless desires all going through their own cycles almost every day.

When we’re fully lost in the obsession, it’s almost impossible to break free and come back to peace. There is no point telling someone in Phase 4-6 that their desire isn’t a good idea. We all slip in and out of awareness during these phases, because when the mind is so fully distracted, almost nothing else seems real.

The good news is that, once we understand the cycle of desire, we can witness ourselves from a higher place, and start to master our hearts and minds to overcome our addictive desires.

We can avoid slipping into these trances in the first place by applying whatever methods we know that will serve to empower us, and to remain free.

That’s why it is so important to have some method, some way that helps us act from a place of empowerment, self-motivation, and hope and helps to not be triggered by feelings of fear, guilt, and shame.

We can stop these cycles!

The secret is awareness.

Catch it at the beginning.

Move away from what you were doing. Shift your state and hold your ground…

And it will pass.

It will pass.

It will pass.

And success is yours!

Freedom is yours!

You are awesome.

Congratulations in advance on your success.

Much love