The lesser your cravings with your desires, the more fulfillment with your rewards
Have you ever wondered how do you handle yourself when it comes to your desires and cravings? Here's my story.
Recently I came across a quote from one of my friends. It kindled my memories of my daughter's arrival.
"The lesser your cravings for your desires to get fulfilled, the more fulfillment with your rewards.".
For couples who are becoming parents with their first baby, the curiosity about whether they would have a boy or girl is always immense.
When I first became a parent in 2007, as our son arrived, I was more anxious as it would usually happen with any parent. I was only concerned about the safety of both mother and the baby through the delivery process. I naturally preferred a girl baby, though.
In India, unlike many other countries, parents cannot know whether the baby is a boy or a girl until it is born. Knowing the gender of the fetus is legally prohibited. You can read more about the legality here.
To all the anxiety that I had through the delivery process, we had a baby boy. It was a blissful moment for me as a father to hold the baby in my hand. Both mother and the baby were sound and safe without any issues.
It was 2013. We were ready for our second baby. As expected, my anxiety about whether we would have a boy or a girl kept increasing over days, weeks, and months.
Every day, I would pray for a baby girl. My desire naturally inclined towards having a baby girl. And with every one of those prayers, I would sincerely ponder over some of my thoughts. Thoughts that why am I choosing a baby girl. What makes me desire that? What if we would have another boy? What difference would it make if it's a boy or a girl?
For all those questions, my conscious response would be that "I think I am fine with a boy or a girl. The desire should be that both mother and baby do well through the delivery process.".
Though I would give myself such a response, my heart would inadvertently long to have a baby girl.
Every time those conflicting thoughts kept rising in me, I would try to silence my mind. And tell me that I should try to keep myself away from the desire that my heart is craving for. I believed with no doubt about the law of desires and pains, or to say, the law of expectation and disappointment. When our desires don't get fulfilled, we generally feel empty and become unhappy.
Frequently, my mind would go into rational thinking. Questions and thoughts like "Would it matter if I pray now?", "Would anything change?", "If it's a boy, it is a boy, and if it's a girl, it is a girl.", would rise in me.
I would also get curious about the belief that we hold on to in our lives. Would our faith have the power to change things if we sincerely prayed and desired something?
Is there anything wrong with desiring? Desiring is natural in humans, but only a handful of us have the wisdom to detach ourselves from our desires and accept all that we receive with immense gratitude.
I would call that period as a phase of intense inner life experiences. I tried my level best to keep myself far away from the desire while my heart and mind were going behind the desire all the time.
The delivery day arrived.
My wife was taken to the operation theater. I was waiting outside with my parents, in-laws, and a few relatives. Through every minute there, I kept praying all should go well and both mother and baby should be safe.
After almost 2 hours, we heard a baby cry. The baby kept crying for a while. After a few minutes, a nurse came out and told us, "Both mother and baby are doing well. Baby is having a bit of jaundice and doctors are trying to address that. Once the baby stops crying, we would let you know.".
I did not ask any questions.
All my relatives were telling me, "With the voice of the baby, it seems like it is a baby girl.".
No one asked the nurse whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Even I did not.
After a few minutes, the baby stopped crying. Our gynaecologist doctor came out and spoke to us. She mentioned both baby and mother are doing well.
I was still silent, holding all the turbulent emotions within me. I looked at everyone and then, the doctor.
I finally came out of silence and asked, "Doctor, could you tell us whether it is a girl or a boy?" to which she said, "Oh no. You did not know that yet. Didn't the nurse tell you? Of course, it is a baby girl.".
Hearing the much awaited good news, everyone became joyful, cheered each other, and congratulated me.
I sat down for a moment and closed my eyes. With deep gratitude, I expressed my heartfelt thanks to the almighty. It was the most gratifying moment of my life.
I kept inquiring about myself post that event. What if we had a baby boy? How I would have reacted? The honest answer that came from me was that I would have been in the same ecstatic state because I had tried my best to keep myself away from the desire or the craving to have a baby girl.
That experience slowly grew a pearl of wisdom in me. It was, "Whenever we desire something in our lives, we can give our best and sincere efforts (if it is in our control) and then, leave the rest to the nature. We could also visualize with the outcome going in both ways. That way, we shall get ready to accept the reality when it happens.".
I had often visualized myself having a baby boy or a baby girl in my hands and feeling that joy. By doing so, I had become ready to receive the outcome despite whatever it may be.
That experience changed me as a person. I started never fixing myself with the results/desires/outcomes after that incident. Yes, I have goals and dreams; I work through them. I keep visualizing the outcome. Despite everything that I do towards that outcome, I tell myself that the result may go both ways, and that very thought detaches me from the results.
That experience also taught me that our efforts become very focused, sincere, and deep with the things that are in our control. At the same time, we can only pray and hope for matters that are outside our control.
Every day, as part of our lives, we all are driven by desires. In fact, most of the energy that drives our acts comes from our desires. We work hard to ensure our desires get fulfilled.
All our desires come true? No, not at all.
Could we expect it to be so? No, not at all.
What could we possibly do?
Detaching ourselves from our desires is the only way.
By doing that, you become content and fulfilled with all the happenings in your life.
You become more joyful and experience blissfulness by living that way.
As the famous Buddha quote goes, "The root of suffering is attachment.", we suffer more when we attach ourselves to the results or the outcomes. Instead, if we focused on what's within our control, we can function far better as human beings and make better decisions all the way in our lives.
May everyone have more meaningful desires, with zero attachment.
Happy Living to you!