If Only I Had…: The Impact of Craving in our Lives

“But Amy, I would do anything to get her. She is smart, beautiful, and kind but, no matter what I do, she won’t give me the time of day.” Mike, 22

“I can’t do it. Yes I want to lose weight, yes I want to fit into those skinny jeans, but I cannot give up sweets.” Sarah, 35

“Money; I need more money. I know I can make more. I’m so behind the other guys my age!” John, 60

“This summer I need to re-hike some 14ers, raft down my favorite rivers, and visit all those climbing spots. I can’t miss any of them.” Martha, 45

Craving comes in a wide variety of forms—people, experiences, or things. Often what we’re really wanting is either the presence or absence of a feeling. Mike is completely focused on this woman at his job to avoid feeling overwhelmed with his new responsibilities. Sarah spends her days dreaming up elaborate desserts and her afternoons creating delicious concoctions. She’s not ready to transfer the pleasure she receives from desserts to something else. John is a go-getter and has made more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetime, but it’s never that magic number. He is continually trying to fill the hole inside himself that says “I’m not enough.” Finally Martha is the consummate mountain woman. She loves summer and works hard to enjoy every second of sunlight. She craves the high she feels during and after a really strenuous activity, even if it means she misses out on other parts of her life.

I believe craving takes a healthy desire and subverts it in order to avoid a different part of our lives. Once Mike addressed his fears at work he was able to notice Samantha, a woman who was interested in him. Sarah found joy in making desserts for her friends instead of herself. John decided to set a 5 year money goal for himself, and then address his feelings. Martha has yet to figure out balance but I’m betting that, if she doesn’t notice soon, her teenagers will get creative about how they “ask” for her attention. How does craving impact your life?