Famous Poets

Security โ€“ William Stafford


Tomorrow will have an island.

Before night I always find it.

Then on to the next island.

These places are hidden in the day separate and come forward if you beckon.

But you have to know they are there before they exist.

Sometime there will be a tomorrow without any island.

So far, I havenโ€™t let that happen, but after Iโ€™m gone others may become faithless and careless.

Before they will tumble the wide unbroken sea, and without any hope, they will stare at the horizon.

So to you, Friend, I confide my secret: to be a discoverer you hold close whatever you find, and after a while, you decide what it is.

Then, secure in where you have been, you turn to the open sea and let go.

~ Security โ€“ William Stafford




A man has to learn that he cannot command things, but that he can command himself; that he cannot coerce the wills of others, but that he can mold and master his own will: and things serve him who serves Truth; people seek guidance of him who is master of himself.

It was to carry the American democratic journey beyond these failings that Black citizens and civil rights workers risked unemployment, violence and death.

As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them.

The U.S. Census Bureau acknowledged this fact when it reported that those with a bachelorโ€™s degree earn on average $1 million more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!

The U.S. Census Bureau acknowledged this fact when it reported that those with a bachelorโ€™s degree earn on average $1 million more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma.

More than 26,000 lives may be lost to the effects of drug abuse this year. This tragic impact is felt in communities across this great nation. Sadly many of these deaths occur among our young people.

It was to carry the American democratic journey beyond these failings that Black citizens and civil rights workers risked unemployment, violence and death.

Americans of our own time โ€“ minority and majority Americans alike โ€“ need the continued guidance that the Voting Rights Act provides. We have come a long way, but more needs to be done.

In the same vein as these events, National Minority Health Month also serves as a reminder of how much work needs to be done to eliminate health and healthcare inequities.

By providing students in our Nation with such an education, we help save our children from the clutches of poverty, crime, drugs, and hopelessness, and we help safeguard our Nationโ€™s prosperity for generations yet unborn.

The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along lifeโ€™s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.

I like university professors, but you know, we shouldnโ€™t hold them up as the high-water mark of all human achievement. Theyโ€™re just a form of life, another form of life.

A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man.

Humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them round to dinner. That man is the noblest creature may also be inferred from the fact that no other creature has yet contested this claim. The capacity to suffer varies more than anything that I have observed in human nature.

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be

Our true nationality is humanity.

Letter To My Husband

Remember When Those Times


Theย greatest gift you can give someone is your time, your attention, your love, your concern.

Everybodyย needs just a little love, lots of hope and unshakable faith.

Lifeย is short to hate anyone so forgive often love someone smile often and do everything that makes you happy.

Love is patient and kind; love never dishonours others. It not self-seeking, it keeps no record of wrongs

Be completely humble and gentle, be patient with one another in love.

Whenever Iโ€™m afraid, I trust you to harbour my inner essence.

Treasured in my heart is pure, honest destiny


JUST LOVE me the way I am ~



Love me on Xmas day
Love me on New Yearโ€™s day
Love has no holiday.

Love me on any day
Of the year
Love me from any place
In the world
Love me at any time
By day or night
Whateverโ€™s the day
Wherever you are
It is the day
It is the place
It is the time
To love me
So just love me
And nothing else

Love me anyway

Howโ€™s your new man ~


How is life with your new bloke?
More straightforward, I bet. Just one stroke
of his quivering oar and the skin
of the Thames goes into a spin,

eh? How is life with an oarsman? Better?
More inโ€“out? Athletic? Wetter?
When you hear the moan of the rowlocks,
do you urge him on like a cox?

Tell me, is he bright enough to find
that memo-pad you call a mind?
Or has he contrived to bring you outโ€“
given you an in-tray and an out?

How did I ever fall for a paper-clip?
How could I ever listen to office gossip
even in bed and find it so intelligent?
Was is straight biological bent?

I suppose you go jogging together?
Tackle the Ridgeway in nasty weather?
Face force 55 gales and chat about prep
or how you bested that Birmingham rep?

He must be mad with excitement.
So must you. What an incitement
to lust all those press-ups must be.
Or is it just the same? PE?

Tell me, Iโ€™m curious. Is it fun
being in love with just anyone?
How do you remember his face
if you meet in a public place?

Perhaps you know him by his shoes?
Or do you sometimes choose
another pinstriped clone
by accident and drag that home

instead? From what you say,
heโ€™s perfect. For a Chekhov play.
Tall and dark and brightly dim,
Kulyginโ€™s part was made for him.

Imagine your life with a โ€˜beakโ€™.
Week after week after week
like homework or detention;
all that standing to attention

whenever his colleagues drop in
for a spot of whatโ€™s-your-toxin.
Speech Day, matron, tuck-shop, Christ,
youโ€™ll find school fees are over-priced

and leave, but not come back to me.
Youโ€™ve done your bit for poetry.
Words, or deeds? Youโ€™ll stick to youth.
Iโ€™m a stickler for the truthโ€“

which makes me wonder what it was
I loved you for. Tell me, because
now I feel nothingโ€“except regret.
What is it, love, I need to forget?

Beautiful Women

Because I Love You, Angel


One day, a young guy and a young girl fell in love.

But the guy came from a poor family. The girlโ€™s parents werenโ€™t too happy.

So the young man decided not only to court the girl but to court her parents as well. In time, the parents saw that he was a good man and was worthy of their daughterโ€™s hand.

But there was another problem: The man was a soldier. Soon, war broke out, and he was being sent overseas for a year. The week before he left, the man knelt on his knee and asked his lady love, โ€œWill you marry me?โ€ She wiped a tear, said yes, and they were engaged. They agreed that when he got back in one year, they would get married.

But tragedy struck. A few days after he left, the girl had a major vehicular accident. It was a head-on collision.

When she woke up in the hospital, she saw her father and mother crying. Immediately, she knew there was something wrong.

She later found out that she suffered brain injury. The part of her brain that controlled her face muscles was damaged. Her once lovely face was now disfigured. She cried as she saw herself in the mirror. โ€œYesterday, I was beautiful. Today, Iโ€™m a monster.โ€ Her body was also covered with so many ugly wounds.

Right there and then, she decided to release her fiancรฉ from their promise. She knew he wouldnโ€™t want her anymore. She would forget about him and never see him again.

For one year, the soldier wrote many lettersโ€”but she wouldnโ€™t answer. He phoned her many times, but she wouldnโ€™t return her calls.

But after one year, the mother walked into her room and announced, โ€œHeโ€™s back from the war.โ€

The girl shouted, โ€œNo! Please donโ€™t tell him about me. Donโ€™t tell him Iโ€™m here!โ€

The mother said, โ€œHeโ€™s getting married,โ€ and handed her a wedding invitation.

The girlโ€™s heart sank. She knew she still loved himโ€”but she had to forget him now.

With great sadness, she opened the wedding invitation.

And then she saw her name on it!

Confused, she asked, โ€œWhat is this?โ€

That was when the young man entered her room with a bouquet of flowers. He knelt beside her and asked, โ€œWill you marry me?โ€

The girl covered her face with her hands and said, โ€œIโ€™m ugly!โ€

The man said, โ€œWithout your permission, your mother sent me your photos. When I saw your photos, I realized that nothing has changed. Youโ€™re still the person I fell in love. Youโ€™re still as beautiful as ever. Because I love you!โ€

Calm ~


Do you know how to soothe your partner when they are distressed?



โ€œHe who is happy within, who rejoices within, and who is illumined within, that Yogi
attains absolute freedom or Moksha, himself becoming Brahman.โ€œ (Gita: V-24.) The highest
spiritual knowledge is Knowledge of the Self. He who has known himself, rather his self, for him
nothing remains to be known. The wisest of the Western philosophers Socrates, gave the highest
and the best of his teachings to his disciples in the injunction โ€œKnow Thyselfโ€œ. The Indian saints
likewise gave their highest teaching in the form known as Adhyatma-Vidya or Self-Knowledge.
Knowledge of the Self, which has been called the supreme knowledge by the wise men of all
ages, has seldom been recognised as a mystery by the ordinary man. He seems to know himself so
well that he does not think it even necessary to reflect upon himself. Not only does the uneducated, illiterate person think it useless to reflect upon himself, but the highly cultured modern man also
thinks in the same way. The greater the advancement of science and learning, the less we find in the
modern man a desire to know himself.
There are two opposite reasons that lead a man not to reflect upon himself: first, he thinks
that he knows the self too well, secondly he thinks it useless to think about himself, because the true
nature of the self can never be known. Some think that thinking about oneself is a morbid mentality.
This is a form of introversion from which one has to free oneself as soon as possible. The study of
dreams is corrective to such an erroneous view.
There was a time when psychologists thought, the less we thought about our dreams, the
better. The psychologists who take consciousness to be an epi-phenomenon still hold the same
view. Seashore, for instance, thinks that it is only abnormal people who think too much of their
dreams and that thinking too much about dreams leads to abnormalities. There is much in the
waking life to be attended to, and he who spends his time in thinking about his dreams is missing so
much of his waking life, and this contributes to his failure in life.
Now Psychology, however, has changed this point of view. It shows that deepest wisdom
comes through reflection on dreams. No one has known himself truly, who has not studied his
dreams. The study of dreams at once shows what a great mystery our soul is, and that this mystery is
not altogether insoluble, as some metaphysicians supposed. Dreams reveal to us that aspect of our
nature which transcends rational knowledge. That in the most rational and moral man there is an
aspect of his being which is absurd and immoral, one knows only through the study of oneโ€œs
dreams. All our pride of nationality and morality melts into nothingness as soon as we reflect upon
our dreams.
There is logic in our dreams or rather the logic of our waking consciousness is just like the
dream logic. The great philosopher Hegel constructed his logic without taking into account what
the dream logic has to reveal. Now logic, which at the same time claims to be a system of
Metaphysics, cannot be complete without taking into account the absurd constructions of dream
experience. Logic is only a tool of intellect, which enables it to deal with the waking experience
alone. This fact is revealed to us through the study of our dreams. The real must transcend all logical
categories; or the categories by which it can be comprehended have to be such as will not only
suffice to catch the waking experience but the dream experience too. This means that it
should be broad enough to comprehend both the conscious and the unconscious life of a man. To
conceive of such a category cannot be the work of waking consciousness. Such a category must
necessarily transcend both the waking and the dream consciousness. Thus, we are led to the
necessity of intuition or logical thought to comprehend Reality, when we begin reflecting upon
our dreams.
The modern study of dreams shows that they are not meaningless presentations. Every
dream presentation has a meaning. A dream is like a letter written in an unknown language. To a
man who does not know the Chinese, a letter written in that language is a meaningless scroll. But to
one who knows that language is full of the most valuable information. It may be the letter calls for
immediate action, or it may contain words of consultation to one suffering from dejection. It may be
a letter of threat, or it may speak of love. These meanings are there only to one who would care to
attend to the letter and would try to decipher it. But alas! How few of us try to understand these
messages from the deep unseen ocean of our Consciousness!
Why do we dream? Various answers have been given to this question. According to the
most popular scientific view, dreams are nothing but a repetition of our waking experiences in a
new form. A more thoughtful view regards them as productions of an organic disturbance
somewhere in the body, but more particularly in the stomach. To this view medical men stick more
tenaciously than any other people. Sometimes coming diseases appear in dreams. During an illness, dreams are generally more horrible than they are in the healthy condition of the body. These are all
scientific theories of dreams. We have here out of account the unscientific theories, e.g. that dreams
are premonitions or that gods or demons or spirits produce dreams, or that the soul goes out to a
sojourn in dreams etc.
The scientific theories have been very thoroughly exposed by Dr Sigmund Freud in his
Interpretation of Dreams. No physical stimulus, whether it is inside or outside the body, no
experience of the waking or sleeping state can explain the presentation of the actual dream content.
The same stimulus, namely the chime of an alarm timepiece produced three different kinds of
dreams to Hydrant at different times. Why should it be so if the physical stimulus alone is
responsible for the production of dreams?
According to Freud all dreams, without any exception, are wish fulfillment. The wishes are
actually of an immoral nature. They are revolting to the moral self, which exercises control on
their appearance. Hence, to evade this moral censor, the wishes appear in disguised forms. The
dream mechanism is very intricate. Very few dreams present the wishes as they are. Dreams
are partial gratification of the wishes. They relieve mental tension and thus enable us to enjoy
repose. They are safety valves to strong impulsion. Dreams do not disturb sleep but rather protect
it. The irrationality and the immorality of dreams make the morality and rationality of our waking
life possible.
The above statement of Freud shows that we know our animal self in a dream. But he does not
say anything about the spiritual life being expressed in a dream. This, it seems, has been done by
Jung. According to Jung, a dream is not causally determined as was supposed by Freud, but it is
teleological determined. Repressed wishes alone do not explain all our dreams. A dream
presents a demand to our waking consciousness. If rightly interpreted, it shows the way to be at
peace with ourselves. The dreams of the neurotics not only reveal the repressed contents, but they
also suggest remedies for the cure. A series of dreams sometimes occur to a patient, which reveal
the way to cure.
The dream consciousness is superior to the waking consciousness in many respects. Many
puzzles of life are solved through hints from dreams. All dreams, according to Adler, are
anticipatory. They show which way the spiritual life of a man is flowing. To know the
actual flow is necessary to correct possible errors. Dreams help us to discover the lifeline of the
individual and help us to give him proper advice for self-correction.
Thus, through dreams, one may know how one ought to act in a particular situation. The
dreams point out a path unknown to the waking consciousness. Saints and sages appear in dreams at
times of difficulty and show the way. The more one follows the dream intuitions, the clear they become.

Transform yourself


1. Look for things to appreciate.
This is common advice in, and for good reason. Itโ€™s a game-changer to develop a habit of noticing what we like about our other person.

Donโ€™t overlook this gem for its simplicity or mundaneness. If every time you engaged a critical thought, you turned it around by clocking something you appreciate about them, that relationship will skyrocket into fabulous territory. Shoot, I even did it by accident once.

2. Love them up old-school.
Remember how in the beginning you only had eyes for their perfection and were blind to faults? You can plug back into that original love vibe by recalling what you were so taken with about them, before contrast clouded your vision.

Just take a moment now to recall what drew you to them in the first place. Next write that down and keep it handy for occasional review, or be prepared to recapture this perspective next time you find yourself dwelling on less than fabulous thoughts.

The first time I laid eyes on Russ I had a strong sensation of coming home. It felt like Iโ€™d been on vacation all my life and Iโ€™d finally returned home sweet home. Recalling that brings me right back to the truth of whatโ€™s possible for us together.

3. Release your grudges.
If there are memories or stories youโ€™ve been hanging on to that you donโ€™t want more of (Iโ€™m talking resentments, grudges, grievances, etc.) consider letting that go. Your relationship will be handicapped as long as you nurse old wounds.

Thatโ€™s why itโ€™s well worth letting that old reality be exactly that โ€“ an old reality. Stop bringing it into your present experience and make room for something better.

When I find myself lingering on a negative memory of Russ, I quote dadโ€™s wisdom: โ€œI donโ€™t hold anything against anyone any more.โ€ It helps me shake off the negative past and create a more enjoyable present.

4. Give what you want to receive.
When we stop trying to outsource our happiness, and instead take responsibility for our own feelings, it gives the relationship breathing room to thrive.

Whatever we wish someone else would give us so we could feel better, we can give that to ourselves. You wish he was more considerate and respectful? Dial up your own self-respect and consideration. You want her to be more loving and attentive? Lead the way yourself.

I used to blame Russ for not appreciating me like I thought he should. When I gave myself the gift I wanted from him (by finding ways to appreciate myself more), I felt better right away and it didnโ€™t take long for him to follow my lead. Magic happens when we release the pressure weโ€™ve put on them for how we feel.

5. Distance yourself from drama.
If youโ€™ve got friends or family who chronically complain about their connections, limit your exposure to that energy. Donโ€™t overly entertain othersโ€™ relationship criticisms.

Be discerning about the conversations and people you engage. Make a point of talking about what you prefer rather than what you wouldnโ€™t consciously invite into your world. Because, as Jim Rohn said, we are who we hang out with.

6. Practice โ€œI love that about you.โ€
When you see something you donโ€™t like in your partner, try this little trick to turn that vibration around:

Say theyโ€™ve done that thing you just canโ€™t stand. Again. Instead of engaging your inner critic, simply say to yourself (or even out loud), โ€œI love that about you.โ€

Your Inner Being (aka Higher Self) really does love that about them, so when you think that thought youโ€™re connecting with the part of you that sees them as Source does. And thatโ€™s a delicious and immediate shift.

In my experience, sometimes this trick works wonders and sometimes it just takes the edge off the criticism. But even that is a vibrational improvement.

7. Love them like you got what you wanted.
Have you noticed how much nicer we are when weโ€™re fulfilled and satisfied? And have you noticed on the other hand how we sometimes withhold the goods when someone isnโ€™t delivering what we want? Letโ€™s suspend that latter routine, and instead lead the way to a happy relationship by conducting ourselves like we already got what we wanted.

My boyfriend works this magic on me sometimes โ€ฆ heโ€™ll treat me like gold for no obvious reason. And when he does, I rise to the occasion and meet him at that gold standard. Itโ€™s a reliable way to draw the best out of your partner.

8. Clean up your expectations.
Often times what blocks another from being really good to us is our knowing who they are. We can only get what we vibrate, so when we expect someone to behave badly (โ€œHeโ€™s a jerkโ€; โ€œSheโ€™s so needyโ€), itโ€™s a challenge for them to buck that vibrational current.
Practice seeing them at their best. As Abe would say, imagine their โ€œvortex versionโ€ and let any low-vibe expectations evolve into positive ones. People live up to and down to our expectations all day long. Give your partner something good to work with!

When I found myself expecting Russ to be mad or upset about something, he was. When I shifted my expectations, it was like a different boyfriend came home from work that day. He matched my thoughts so perfectly it was a little spooky.

9. Rethink the negative past.
This is master level manifesting, and isnโ€™t for all creators. Itโ€™s different than the tip to release a grudge, because what weโ€™re doing with this one is imagining our past problem never happened. Or at least that it unfolded differently.

I learned this from Lynne McTaggart, who suggested we can change the past by recreating the memory in our minds. Not as it happened, but the way we prefer it had.

We do that by simply imagining the past events differently. Thatโ€™s all. Tell a softer version of the past, and your present reality will adjust accordingly.

I practiced this once with a blowout that led to a five year estrangement with a loved one. Instead of thinking of that day as the big fight that ruined everything, I re-imagined that it wasnโ€™t that big a deal. I told myself it was clear there was still a lot of love flowing between us and that all was well. Within days I received a love note and we were soon on friendly terms again, as if nothing had ever happened.

10. Open to possibilities.
Sometimes the transformation thatโ€™s being called for in our relationship is an ending. When we resist or deny that, we prevent our expansion and end up sabotaging our true fulfillment.

It simply doesnโ€™t serve us when weโ€™re attached to a particular outcome, so letting go our ideas of whatโ€™s โ€œsupposed to beโ€ allows things to unfold in a way that serves everyone best. The name of this game isnโ€™t using books to keep this person in our lives at any cost. Itโ€™s about finding a way to feel what we want and let Universe sort the details that match.

When I question the future of a relationship and am not sure whether to work it out or cut it loose, I let Universe guide me. My job is to vibrate what I want, so I tune into the feelings of a healthy, rewarding, happy relationship. I donโ€™t necessarily know who Iโ€™m in this fabulous relationship with, but I do know how it feels. When I vibrate that, Universe makes things clear very quickly.

Happiness isnโ€™t what you want
Itโ€™s about loving what you have
You may love things
But you donโ€™t have to need things
Just be gracious for what you have

Lust, Sin vs Love


Psychology of Love

Do You Know the Difference?

How to tell the difference between love and lust.

Iโ€™ve seen how intense sexual attraction is notorious for obliterating common sense and intuition in the most sensible people.


Lust is an altered state of consciousness programmed by the primal urge to procreate.

Studies suggest that the brain in this phase is much like a brain on drugs. MRI scans illustrate that the same area lights up when an addict gets a fix of cocaine as when a person is experiencing the intense lust of physical attraction. Also in the early stage of a relationship, when the sex hormones are raging, lust is fueled by idealization and projectionโ€“you see what you hope someone will be or need them to beโ€“rather than seeing the real person, flaws and all.

Pure lust is based solely on physical attraction and fantasyโ€“it often dissipates when the โ€œreal personโ€ surfaces.

Itโ€™s the stage of wearing rose colored glasses when he or she โ€œcan do no wrong.โ€

Being in love doesnโ€™t exclude lust. In fact, lust can lead to love.

However, real love, not based on idealisation or projection, requires time to get to know each other.

Here are some signs to watch for to differentiate pure lust from love.


Youโ€™re focused on a personโ€™s looks and body.

Youโ€™re interested in having sex, but not in having conversations.

Youโ€™d rather keep the relationship on a fantasy level, not discuss real feelings.
You want to leave soon after sex rather than cuddling or breakfast the next morning.
You are lovers, but not friends.


You want to spend quality time together other than sex.
You get lost in conversations and forget about the hours passing.
You want to honestly listen to each otherโ€™s feelings, make each other happy.
He or she motivates you to be a better person.
You want to get to meet his or her family and friends.
Another challenge of sexual attraction is learning to stay centred and listen to your gut in the early stages of being with someone. This isnโ€™t easy in the midst of hormones surging, but itโ€™s essential to make healthy relationship decisions. Here are some tips to help you keep your presence of mind when youโ€™re attracted to someone. This neednโ€™t pull the plug on passion, but itโ€™ll make you more aware, so you donโ€™t go looking for trouble.


Watch for:

1. A little voice in your gut says โ€œdangerโ€ or โ€œbeware.โ€

2. You have a sense of malaise, discomfort, or feeling drained after youโ€™re together.

3. Your attraction feels destructive or dark.

4. Youโ€™re uncomfortable with how this person is treating you, but youโ€™re afraid that if you mention it, youโ€™ll push him or her away.

Over the years, Iโ€™ve spoken at womenโ€™s prisons and domestic violence centres. My talk, โ€œHow Listening to Your Gut Can Prevent Domestic Violence,โ€ focuses on showing women how to identify and act on their inner voice. The gut senses a potential for kindness and violence. Many women whoโ€™d been in abusive relationships admitted, โ€œMy gut initially told me something was wrongโ€“but I ignored it.โ€ The pattern was consistent. Theyโ€™d say, โ€œIโ€™d meet a man. At first, heโ€™d be charming, sexy, sweep me off my feet. The electricity between us was amazing. Iโ€™d write off the voice in my gut that said โ€˜you better watch outโ€™ as fear of getting involved. When later the abuse began, I was already hooked.โ€ Some gut instincts though, are anything but subtle. On a first date, one woman landed in the hospital with an IV, retching fromโ€psychosomaticโ€ abdominal pain. But did that stop her from seeing the guy? No. From these women, we gain a real-world lesson: no matter how irresistibly attractive someone appears, close attention to your gut will enable you to see beneath exteriors.

Itโ€™s so much nicer to be involved with someone your gut likes. Then youโ€™re not always guarding against a basic suspicion or incompatibility. You must also give yourself permission to listen to your gut when it says, โ€œThis person is healthy for you. You are going to make each other happy.โ€ To be happy, take a risk, but also pay attention to the warning signs I presented. This allows you to go for the fulfilling relationships you deserve wisely.

This series of Psychology Of Sex sets out the difference of Love, Sex, Sin, versus Porn.

How on earth do two people in love have a successful union for life when growing up without understanding a lifetime commitment to each other without the primary information

Sin, today folk are trying to understand the difference between Love and Sex and why we have become indoctrinated with the Belief to be in love ร— sex = Sin read on


Lust is one of the seven deadly sins or capital sins, whichever you prefer. But I donโ€™t think too many of us in secular or religious spaces really pay attention to lust. We talk about sex, and we talk about sexual attraction; we talk about desire, and we talk about constraint. But we do not talk about lust even when we have entire industries built around this human weakness; we ignore that there are deep individual struggles that many faces that are a matter of not biological or psychological weakness but rather a spiritual one โ€“ lust.
But what is lust? Before defining it, it is worth it to know what it isnโ€™t. Lust isnโ€™t sexuality or the acceptance of humans as sexual beings. And lust isnโ€™t the sexual attraction we experience when we desire someone. There is a certain stance among particular (religious) groups that the acceptance of sexuality in humans or the willingness to embrace that sexuality is somehow an offense against God and people. I differ as someone who tries to love both God and people, in all my weakness. Even the lay definition of lust describes it as a โ€œvery strong sexual desireโ€ or the like. I disagree on the basis that desire, even strong desire is not naturally bad. Lust is an overwhelming desire for a human being such that the human is transformed from a subject to an object that is solely meant to give one pleasure.
We all lust. And that is the tragic truth. So much of our sexual desires โ€“ which are in and of themselves not bad โ€“ get transformed into an unhealthy craving for anotherโ€™s individual body. So much so that sometimes we begin to see that human being as only their body. And not only do we begin to see the person as only their body, we see that body as something that is meant to satisfy our desire. Even when we may care for the person, our desire takes precedence over their being. But perhaps most dangerously in our lust for other people, we fail to see them as beings without a soul, a heart, a mind. We fail to see them for all they are.
Of the many issues I have with the porn industry as a whole which is so casual in its treatment of people as subjects, in the gaze and in the state in which many people view porn, they fail to see the person as a person. The viewer watches for the purpose of personal satisfaction and in so doing the person becomes the object by which they get their personal satisfaction. What that person is outside of that, whether that person feels and what they feel outside of that instance, ceases to matter. Indeed, I have lots of theories about how porn affects sexuality including one that proposes it actually diminishes sex between people in real life. Still, the one that makes me saddest is the negation of the entire humanity of the persons being gazed at.
Of course the way the individual lusts and seeks pleasure when viewing something exterior is very different from a real, live human being in front of them. Or perhaps not in front of them but a person that exists in their world, and oftentimes in their imagination. They may or may not interact with the person; they may even be in a relationship with the person โ€“ romantic or otherwise. And they may even seek to love them; they may even actually love them. But lust is not love, which is of course stating the obvious. But it is an obvious truth that needs to be stated.
The difference between love and lust is what counts so much in expressing authentic sexuality and emotions between persons. Lust seeks the pleasure of self, while love puts the pleasure of the other ahead of oneโ€™s self. Lust views the human at the moment as an object; in love, the human is always a subject and is always more than what they are At that moment. Lust ultimately is selfish, while love is selfless. There is no fine line between the two, but rather a bold one. And the soul, the heart, and the mind always know the difference.
When we lust after someone we simply cannot love them the way we often want to; the way they deserve to be loved. And it is already hard enough to love human beings in our human weakness. Lust, I believe, like most deadly sins, also chips away at our own humanity. How can it not? The ways in which we view others become the measurements we use for ourselves โ€“ we can and do objectify ourselves.
I propose then that we be more mindful of lust; that we keep ourselves more aware of making that leap from desire, from sexual attraction, to this deadly thing we call lust โ€“ this thing that reduces our humanness. At any and all times, but most especially when it is love that we are ultimately trying to cultivate.