These days, it seems that as soon as the holiday items disappear from the stores in January, the shelves fill up with chocolates and red and pink hearts in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. This day, originally named after a Roman saint from the early centuries of Christianity, has now come to be associated with a hyper-focus on romantic partnership, sensual indulgence and an excuse to spend money. The day could be celebrated in a true spirit of open, compassionate love for all, but instead it becomes a hollow feast of wanting, encouraging people to create sky-high expectations of romantic satisfaction which are rarely met. Those who are not in romantic partnerships feel diminished and forgotten, in many cases amplifying their sense of wanting and disconnect as well.
As such, we thought it would be a good month to discuss the topic of wanting. As Lama Catherine explains in her article this month, wanting could refer to a genuine heart’s desire (and Sandra O’Brien focuses on this idea in her article), or it could refer to the grasping mind’s tendency to believe it is lacking something (explored further this month by Parvati Devi, Rishi Deva and yours truly). Julie Daniluk points out how diet sodas don’t address sweet cravings.
At its worst, wanting can be a profoundly destructive force, as we have seen in recent reports of violent sexual assaults. It’s our hope that this issue can help to shine a light into the dark places within us all that feed suffering on the planet, so that we can all awaken to the reality of our interconnection and know that we want for nothing.
Pranada Devi is a communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She is the Managing Editor of Parvati Magazine, and serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvati’s various projects.