Lost and Found Chapter 2: Struggles with Lust
What is lust? I highly doubt any adult reading this needs any clarification of the word. If one refers to Merriam-Webster, I believe the definition that will resonate with most of us is described as usually intense or unbridled sexual desire. This illustrates very well what lust feels like for the majority of us.
When I lust after someone, it is a very strong carnal desire to have that person physically. It can completely take hold of my body, my mind, and often times my better judgement. It is an animalistic attraction that we all possess and when I feel it I become a woman obsessed. It's as if I put common sense on the back burner and all I care about is conquering the feeling. The need I feel to gratify my desire becomes paramount; it's like an insatiable itch that has to be scratched.
I normally encounter lust with someone I have very strong chemistry with. It's perfectly normally to desire someone you are highly attracted to in a sexual way. But when interactions go from trying to build genuine connections that include sex secondarily to flimsy associations that are predominately about sex, there becomes an imbalance. Subsequently, the journey through relationships and love becomes one of ego and conquest rather than humility and true understanding.
I believe the reason for the imbalance is because anything that provides us with instant gratification customarily speaks to and fuels our egos. Interestingly enough, the definition of lust I referenced from Merriam-Webster is not the first definition listed. Prior to that explanation, lust is defined as pleasure, delight. I find that be very insightful, because I believe that those two words best describe the outcome of a situation that is based on lust and not love.
Lust is about conquest. It is about feeding a desire that we do not necessarily need to feed, we want to feed it. Think about the last time you were in lust over someone. You become territorial and dominating (if the sexual connection is amazing I DEFINITELY can be), as if you own that person. You will put up with incompatibilities just to keep getting that high, to keep feeding that inner monster, and sometimes just to keep that person from doing it with anyone else. Seriously, how many times have you had NOTHING in common with the other individual on any other level other than sex?
In actuality, lust without love is just a distraction. Anything that pulls us away from what it is that we truly want is ALWAYS a distraction. Lust provides temporary consolation for the deep seated yearning that every person has for love. It feels good to be physically close to another, to kiss and feel someone on such a personal level. Lust is mistaken for love constantly; hence we have the phrase catching feelings. Of course people catch feelings, sex was designed to unite souls not just our bodies.
Like anything that feels good in the moment, it is providing pleasure; not happiness. We fool ourselves into thinking that lust is truly fulfilling us, but it is not. On a superficial and surface level it may feel great. Yet how long does that feeling last? Is it a feeling that provides longevity, comfort and security? Can you call this person and confide in them all your deepest secrets? In an emergency? Or is the connection more like trying to stay at a certain level of physical intoxication, that once it wears off you're reminded that you are indeed still without the real thing, without love. The connection is based off of nothing other than a physical gratification that quickly wears off after the sex has ended.
I think lust coupled with genuine love is amazing. It then becomes an expression of a much deeper feeling that is grounded in trust and sacrifice; I sacrifice my vulnerability and heart to another and he does that for me. Yet lust in lieu of love causes confusion, heightened ego and insecurity. We allow someone to access us at our most vulnerable, personal level without the blessing of a genuine connection. How can we let someone touch us so intimately when his or her interest in us is truly for physical gratification and the fleeting stroking of one's ego? This causes the confusion. We are seeking to fill a void, a band-aid to soothe us until the real thing comes along.
Here it comes. That deeply unsatisfied feeling. We are laying next to the person that is stroking our egos and bodies for now and we know deep down in our souls we are settling. Maybe it does not feel as black and white as it seems when writing about the subject, but scenarios founded in lust or situationships do not really feed us in the way we truly crave. It's like being hungry and eating something that tastes amazing but does not give us nutrients. It subsides the surface feeling, but it does not sustain us in the way we really NEED.
There is a saying, " You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." We are made of energy and spirit, our bodies are simply the casing. So when we settle into a situationship, we are not sustaining our true selves. We are merely scratching the surface of what we genuinely need. And we need love.
Love is the universal energy we are comprised of and it unites us all. It is what fuels us at our core. So when we look to feel that closeness, that comfort; we are looking for love. Lust will never be able to replace love because it does not feed our true selves; we are truly settling for less than we deserve. And like with all things worth having in life: don't settle.