Love the Life You Live: Harnessing Your Wild Side
- Monday, October 04, 2004
The Secret to Managing All This Power
Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot. – D.H. Lawrence
To put it bluntly, if your anger and sexual impulses control you, your life will become a living hell. In their natural state, these feelings are totally undisciplined, frighteningly unpredictable, and arrogantly demanding. They can make you a miserable, selfish, impossible person.
But if you tame them, bring them under strict discipline, they can transport you to your fondest goals with the speed of a rocket.
If you tame them!
To do so, you must stay in control, channel all that potent energy, and remain confident about the end results you’re pursuing. Psychologically, you must stay in command with your cognitive or thinking powers. When these urges build up steam, you need to think rationally, remaining aware that how you handle the situation will be crucial to your happiness or your sense of failure.
Here’s a word picture to help you envision this process. Imagine yourself on a stagecoach moving across the dusty plains from Kansas City to Los Angeles. You have a team of eight horses in front of you, and you hold the reins. These young and spirited horses are rearing to run, and their strength seems unlimited. The trail stretches before you – hilly, narrow, and treacherous – but the prize of reaching Los Angeles will be well worth the journey.
If you let go of the reins, these mighty horses will run way too fast. They will inevitably choose the wrong fork in the road, run too close to the edge of the hill, and ultimately wreck the wagon, destroy the mission, and jeopardize your life. But if you steadily and wisely guide these energized animals, they’ll power you right to Los Angeles – and fast!
The Potential for Triumph or Tragedy
Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see. – Bernard M. Baruch
This point is so critical for your own health and for your journey to unswerving authenticity and balanced relationships that we’ll say it again: Intense anger or sexual feelings can propel you like a missile toward success or failure, victory or defeat. When you experience these strong emotions, you will inevitably act either brilliantly or destructively. Therefore, how you manage your anger and sexual urges will largely determine your quality of life.
Consider your sexual feelings for a moment. Let’s assume that you’re a man who’s been married for fifteen years to a woman you met in college. The two of you love each other and are committed to spending the rest of your lives together. Periodically, though, your sexual needs are stronger than you are able to express and satisfy in your marriage. Sex is constantly on your mind, and your fantasies are unrelenting. Sometimes you feel like you can hardly control your urges.
If this is you, you’d better pay attention! You may try to stay naïve and innocent, but you need desperately to grab hold of those reins. You must know precisely how you want to direct those raring horses. This is especially true when a work colleague – a bright, pretty, divorced woman – suddenly begins showing up at your desk “just to chat.” Before long, you notice how she stands closer to you then she needs to and happens to arrive at the coffee machine at the same time you do. Then when she suggests you meet over dinner to discuss an upcoming presentation, her intentions are unmistakable.
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