Last weekend I was at lunch with dear friend, one step ahead of me in life, Anita. I think every woman needs a woman-friend who is one step ahead of her in life. Her children are grown and she is excelling in her chosen career. Anita is looking at life differently than I am looking at life. She looks at me differently than I look at myself. We talked for an hour about her and about me and about life. And then she said to me, looking in my eyes: Something is burning inside of you, Rachel.

And Anita cannot tell me what that something is. I am not even entirely sure myself. But I have been thinking about this conversation and her statement ever since. What is burning inside of me? I feel it! What is my truest desire for myself and for my life?

That is really what we’re getting into today with Brooke Castillo. So many incredible thoughts today!

I think we should start this discussion by defining what a “true desire” is and what a “false desire” is. And I am really going to rely heavily on Brooke here, to help us better understand this principle. And I will bold the parts that really spoke to me today.

“False desire is the desire for something that will alter your emotional state… And I know that many of you can relate to this in terms of food and alcohol and porn and social media. Any of those desires that feel compulsive, any of those desires that, when you satisfy them, make your life worse, those are false desires.

The way that you know if your desire is one worth acknowledging and pursuing is you play it all the way out into the future, ‘If I pursue this desire, if I satisfy this desire, will I be more of who I want to be afterward? Is this desire going to lead to the action and the result that I want?’

So, when you feel a desire for cookies or a desire for alcohol or drugs or social media … whatever it is for you. When you play it all the way out, does it enhance you and make you more of who you want to be? If the answer is no, that is a false desire. It’s literally from your primal programing… It will not serve you…

When you can be present with false desires without acting on them, you develop a discipline. You develop a connection with yourself that puts you in the power of your own life.

…Here’s how that works. When you’re living a life that isn’t your highest desire, it’s actually painful. It’s frustrating. It’s stagnating. And in order to tolerate it, many of us give into false desires to tolerate our undesirable life.

But when we learn how to allow our false desires (without acting on them), and let them go, what we are left with is back to our undesirable life. And when we’re left with that undesirable life and no false desires, true desire starts to bloom again for the life that we do want… And that provides that guide to where we can go.”

This is a lot, right? This is for me. What false desires have I experienced?

When I was a new mom, and a stay-at-home mom, I was introduced to a magazine called People, by a neighbor. At first it was just my “guilty pleasure” when I was bored, when the baby was sleeping. But then I found that it had a hold on me, even when the baby was awake. It was during the whole Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston/Angelina Jolie saga. I couldn’t put the magazine down. And while I was checking on those “friends” of mine, I thought I might as well check on Sarah Jessica Parker, and whoever else was in the magazine.

Then I started comparing my wardrobe to the celebrities’ wardrobes and my waistline to their waistlines, and their glamorous lives to my life as a stay-at-home mom, with spitup on my shoulder and stretchmarks on my belly. It was frustrating and lonely, and, in order to tolerate my long days, I turned to my false pleasure, People magazine.

When I realized what was going on – when I realized how undesirable my life had become – I did put that magazine down. I did learn to live with the desire, without acting on that desire. And it did make my life even that much more lonely and frustrating. But it gave me a direction to go in. Rather than sitting on the couch reading about people who looked beautiful, I started running again, and I bought myself a few new pieces of clothing, and I started trying to look beautiful again. For me. And as an example to my baby girl.

“You can’t be driven by false desire and get results.”

It was only when I put off that false desire to pour over People magazine, that I was driven to get the results that I wanted in my life. And, do you know what? Because I felt better, my relationship with my husband got better, and I made some new friends – dear friends! They were the women that I went to St Thomas with two weeks ago now.

“We must be honest with ourselves about the consequences of our desires, which follow as the night, the day.”

Neal A Maxwell

So, where am I at today? What false desires are preventing me from hearing my own self – from hearing and feeling my true desires? Where could I be next year if I heard myself again, and moved toward ME again?

“True dormant desires do not sound like comfort. In fact, they are very inconvenient. They require you to be uncomfortable, to grow, to expand… When you understand the concept of the 50/50, that you’re going to be uncomfortable anyway, whether you’re growing or not, you start to realize that you’d rather be uncomfortable in a way that moves you forward. You’d rather be uncomfortable in a flowing stream versus a stagnant one. So you keep saying yes to your desires!”

Publishing? Going back to school? Friendships with people that are not yet my friends?

“What are your dormant desires, when you stop giving in to false desires… When no one else is looking, when no one else has an opinion. What is it that you want for you?”

I want to talk a little more about this tomorrow, and about the difference between gratitude and wanting what you already have. Did you know that there’s a difference?

Sleep well. I’m excited to continue this discussion tomorrow. Good night.

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