I can remember the first time I was able to say, out loud, that I wanted to end my marriage. It was merely a whisper, but to my ears, it sounded like a shout. And it shocked me: to hear the words, to hear myself speak them, to know in a no-turning-back sort-of way that they were true. It took me another 5+ years before I acted on them; before I had the strength and self-trust to allow them to embody reality, lived-honesty, and my desire.
I could spend an inordinate amount of time beating myself up for this delay (which believe me, I have), but increasingly, I choose to be compassionate with this part of my story, realizing that no movement from desire to action is risk-free; that it is no wonder following my heart feels full of consequence. It is!
I’m guessing you can relate. It is one thing to admit, maybe only to ourselves, what we most want, need, and deeply desire. It is another thing entirely to trust that we might be worthy of such, to give that internal voice any semblance of credibility. And even if we can surmount these challenges, we are then faced with the vast and treacherous chasm between desire and action, between longings and results, between hope and its manifestation. What lies in wait between the two is assumed if not pre-determined consequence.
Our desires will most definitely cost us.
So it was for me. To think that leaving my marriage would not cost me – nearly everything – would be a lie. To think that the subsequent impacts were not significant and excruciating would be naïve. But to leave it at that would be short-sighted; not nearly a broad enough perspective to understand the larger story.
For in the throes of my separation and divorce, I found courage and heart I never knew I had. I was sheltered by a God who acknowledged and affirmed my choices. And I stepped into a brand new world in which I my intuition, voice, and desire was felt and experienced in palpable, generous ways.
Much like Eve.
In our rush to tell her story, we leap from a clandestine conversation with a snake to a bite of forbidden fruit and a swift banishment from all that was good and perfect. But in that haste, we lose sight of small movements, of Eve’s desire, of an honoring of a woman’s deep knowing, and of a God whose compassion and care never ends.
In our rush to tell her story – a trajectory from desire to disaster – we quickly shut down our own. We stop ourselves before we even start. We hold back. We play it safe. And we shudder to think where our desire might have actually taken us, had we given in to its tempting hiss.
And so it is here that I invite you to s-l-o-w down, to step back, to take a deep breath, and to allow Eve to teach you something of small steps and big dreams; of bold risk and your undeniable capacity to not only manage it, but thrive; to learn of a God who says – again and again – “it is good.”
A more generous look at Eve’s story allows us to consider that perhaps we’ve made a mistake in thinking, simply, that when Eve gave in to her desire and ate the fruit, that perfection disappeared; that this was the beginning of the end. A more generous look at Eve’s story allows us to consider that perhaps perfection was never the formula or the intention, at least in a no-problems, no-disturbances, no-heartache kind of way. And a more generous look at Eve’s story allows us to consider that perhaps her very desire was just as God-given as her DNA. Even more, that perhaps all of these things are true about our story, as well.
What we strive for
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
and then nourishes
~ David Whyte
Eve invites you to consider that feeling disturbed, feeling the tug of desire within is a good thing, maybe even a “perfect” thing; an indicator that there is more to be understood, more to be learned, more to be experienced. Eve invites you to see those very stirrings and rumblings and even subtle feelings of discontent as what you should pay the most attention to, rather than quickly sweep under the rug. And Eve invites you to see that these are, in fact, your God-given ability to know – at a deep and irrefutable level – what is most true, most delicious, most worth tasting and having.
Desire is not bad. Nor is it an end, in and of itself. Desire is just the beginning of life, just the beginning of all that awaits, just the beginning of worlds that will open before you to challenge and stretch and birth and nurture.
This is what Eve knew. This is what Eve reached for. This is what Eve enabled. And this is what Eve invites.
This is what you, Daughter of Eve, have the capacity to do, as well.
Is following our desire easy? No. It is risk or consequence-free? Hardly. But is it the very way in which we evolve as close to the image of God within as possible? Yes, I believe so.
[Desire] is the apex of our expanding consciousness. It infuses us with the courage to do the most noble acts, to sacrifice, and pursue, and wrest ourselves away from darkness to move into the light…Through our wanting, we come to know more of ourselves, each other, and life. Desire is our divine impulse to evolve. (Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map)