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Surrendering to Desire

Giving into desire is to allow something to happen and trusting the outcome.

Desire often arises from an unconscious place. This means that our desires choose us. Having desire results in a strong yearning for something, whether it is an event, person or thing. Surrendering simply means the act of stopping the fight for desire. If you surrender to desire, it means allowing something to happen. Surrendering to desire is not about not taking action, it is about allowing things to unfold in a natural way, trusting the universe with the outcome. Because desire is unconscious, we cannot easily rid ourselves of certain desires, but we can learn how to master them, nurture the healthy ones, and temper the less healthy ones.

Desire as it pertains to sexuality leaves much room for discussion. There is a school of thought, perhaps more within religious circles, proclaiming that desire is an unhealthy trait. My thoughts on the subject are that, in order for intimacy to occur a certain amount of desire must be present. Intimate desire or lust between men and women and lovers, originates from different places in both sexes. Man’s desire for example, is typically more rooted in his physical needs, whereas a woman’s desire for intimacy is often connected to her state of mind. Most women, need to be in the mood for sex and/or to feel some sort of mental or emotional connection with their partner. A woman’s mind needs to be an integral component of the encounter. Women also have a deeper need than men to be desired, while men have more of a tendency to be needed. It is very appealing for a woman to want a man who desires her. For a woman, to be desired offers a sense of eroticism. If a woman is with a man who does not desire her, her mind might separate from her body, resulting in a sense of detachment.

There are many ways to surrender to desire. One way to surrender to desire is to practice mindfulness causing you to remain in the moment. Similar to mindfulness during other moments during the course of the day, practicing mindfulness during intimacy is one way to slow down the moments resulting in a deeper sense of gratitude. Further, being physically present leads to being more mentally and emotionally available which helps to bridge the body, mind and spirit gap. I once heard another tip about how to surrender. The writer suggested that when you choose to let go and surrender, try to visualize yourself in a boat, paddling down a river. When you are ready to surrender, drop your oars and allow yourself to float down. Even though you will be headed in the same direction, you have dropped and released the baggage attached to experience. Thus, while floating downstream, you will feel much lighter. You will feel as if you have released a huge load, perhaps one that has been dragging you down for a very long time.

Researchers have studied the brain’s insular cortex, (or insula or “sweet spot of the brain”), claiming it plays a vital role when it comes to desire and love. The insula plays a role in emotions by giving meaning to them. In fact, the anterior and posterior parts of the insula may have different functions. In 2014 a study conducted by neurologist Stephanie Cacioppo, the Director of the Center for Cognitive & Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, found that the posterior insula affects sensation and motor control, therefore influencing feelings of lust and desire, while the anterior insula plays a role in the more abstract representations involved in love.

Equally interesting is a study conducted in 2012 by Concordia University’s psychologist in Psychologist Jim Pfaus and published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine claiming that emotional attachment can grow out of sexual desire. Pfaus’ study with both sexes showed that lust can transition into love and visa versa. In other words, love can grow out of spontaneous sex, which is something I have believed for a long time, therefore I am delighted to see the results of this study. In conclusion, be sure to surrender to desire because it might lead to a significant relationship and/or tell you something about the other person that you did not already know. But remember to always follow your heart and instincts to guide you on your way.

More from Diana Raab Ph.D.
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