The arrival of spring has brought perky bundles of vibrant farm-fresh asparagus into my kitchen. I love to quickly roast the spears until just tender-crisp then eat them as finger food (my version of French fries!).
There was a time many years ago when I denied myself this simple pleasure. At lunch one day with a new business partner, I mentioned how much I loved asparagus but never bought it because my partner didn't care for it. She gave me one of those "that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard" looks while exclaiming "So what if he doesn't like it?!"
This was, to say the least, a real light bulb moment for me. I quickly resumed my relationship with asparagus and wouldn't you know, it soon became one of my boyfriend's favorite veggies.
The Lesson in Suppression
The significance of that conversation stuck with me. It powerfully illustrates how easily we can suppress our desires when they aren't supported by those around us. And, at what cost?
Sure, not actually eating asparagus didn't have huge ramifications on my quality of life. However, my decision to not eat asparagus did. That's because how you do one thing is how you do everything.
If I was holding back on this simple desire, where else in my life was I suppressing my appetite? Where was I stopping myself from having what I yearned for because I feared inconveniencing or disappointing others, creating conflict, embarrassing myself, or, worst of all, being rejected?
Stifling Always Backfires
When we stifle our desires they don't disappear. Instead, they often surface as unwanted behavior or conditions such as a cranky mood, anger, over eating, chronic dieting, digestive woes, low energy, body tension, migraines, and so on.
What Do You Hunger For?
Take time to reflect on where you're denying yourself what you long for. What hungers are you suppressing, either consciously or subconsciously? It could be something as seemingly small as a slice of cake, dance classes, a pet dog or beach vacation or as big as an intimate relationship, career change, cross-country move or child.
As transformational coach and best-selling author Debbie Ford would say, "You don't have desires you aren't meant to fulfill."
What simple step can you take today to start honoring and fearlessly feeding your hungers?