Lust has mostly been considered a dirty, low frequency word by most and yet it is the cardinal passage to cross on our journey to understanding love. It has often been described as a raw emotion without any discipline, but love, it is refined. Do these two emotions co-exist in a healthy relationship?
Love or lust?
Most of us, especially the ones who got married early, find it hard to distinguish between love and lust and we don’t even consider it as something important to delve into. After all, if you are happily married and getting your regular dose of sex, why bother to understand whether it truly is love that is binding you together or lust that is keeping the marriage intact? Mind you, both are essential.
Lust is the fire, love is the fuel and without one the other doesn’t last for too long. Lust is raw, love is refined.
We mistake the heights of passion as love and yet when those plummet after the initial euphoria of a new relationship/marriage wanes, what remains is what is real. Often, by the time the kids arrive and we are snugly attached to the marriage, it’s safe, sane and convenient to call it love.
Related reading: 10 ways to know lust from love
It wasn’t love
But here is the paradox; going through those throes of passion is essential to nurture the love inside us as well but there is a need to discern one from the other in order to truly understand the meaning of true love.
It took me 16 years to realise that what I felt in my marriage wasn’t love.
It was an illusion of love. And the funny thing about illusion is that it looks and feels exactly like truth…the ‘maya’. And yet my soul knew from the beginning that there was something missing in my marriage, although it was hard for me to decipher what.
Two lovely kids, secure life, a caring husband – it all seemed perfect and I called it love.
Related reading: “We’re in lust, not love,” she said
There’s a difference between lust and love
Isn’t that all I ever wished for? But it was all in the shadow – all darkness, the light was still far away. Although it was all churning in my unconscious, my consciousness had still to acknowledge it…my awareness had yet not kicked in.
So after 16 years of being lost and apparently happy in a marriage which seemed perfect to the outside world, I came to understand the missing link.
I could separate the love from lust like chaff from wheat. The threshing was a revelation.
As I became a fiction writer, confronted myself through my writings, interacted with other men, formed deep friendships with them, the truth dawned.
I knew I didn’t love my (now estranged) husband deeply enough. If I did, I would want to be with him – not for the sake of the kids but for him and us.
Marriage is not love
I also realised the dichotomy of marriage and love. They were two different dimensions, which could overlap and merge at times, but they were distinct from one another. The former being an arrangement, the latter being a vibration – our highest frequency as humans.
Trying to fit this powerful vibration into a living arrangement is like capturing the early morning, fresh, invigorating mountain breeze in a jar – such a waste to even try.
You need to feel the fire between bodies; you need to feel attracted to each other – no matter what your age or the age of your relationship, and that is the catalyst for experiencing love. Yet you should be able to understand one from the other, even if they are finally meshed.
Lust is the physical desire – to be around someone, to touch, to feel their presence. Love is the soul; the body is the temple and lust is the expression of that divine temple.
I’m older and wiser
Now, nearing 50 and in love, I understand love on a different level compared to what I did in my 20s. Surrendering to lust has taught me so much about the power of empowering and unconditional love.
Lust is pure, unadulterated desire of the body minus the mishmash and burden of emotions. It’s the sacred fire needed to strip one of all illusions which mask love. You have to be unafraid of experiencing lust to unravel the true gem of love from the buried depths of your being.