Lust refers to an act of excessive desiring for something. That something can be money, power, sexual gratification or even food. How to overcome lust is one of the fundamental questions of spirituality. Spirituality is about transcending the material nature of oneself, taking help from different people and discplines of life, be it philosophy, exercise, literature, or any domain, in order to remove all questions from one’s life. The questions can be of an extremely personal nature, or of existential nature. The end goal of spirituality, for many people, is to not have any questions left in life, and to be in a state of bliss.
One of the ways that one can start their spiritual journey, can be to get rid of or overcome lust. There are other ways, sadhanas, or goals through which one can start their journey. The spiritual journey is extremely individualistic, and guidance should be taken from a learned Guru before embarking on such an arduous path. However, to overcome lust, is one of the basic goals that can be tackled without a Guru as well.
This article talks about the origins of lust, its need in our lives, and finally, talks about how to overcome lust. Several methods are given, incorporating which into your lives can serve as a supplement to your battle of going beyond the compulsive process of excessive desiring.
Table of Contents
Lust in a Human Being
Any desire, which is outside of your responsibilities, duties, and goals is lust. Most often, sexual desires that arise in our minds are an expression of lust. To lust for sexual gratification from the other species is a desire that has been ingrained within all of us due to our evolutionary memory. With the pain that is involved in the process of procreation, nature has provided pleasure in the process, so that people continue to procreate, ensuring the survival of the species.
While procreation is important for the survival of the species, lusting for any desire takes us away from our own goals and hinders our progress, be it in the form of wasting time, or wasting energy, which could have been utilized in a better manner. There is nothing abnormal about excessive desires, and it is completely normal for other animals, except human beings as well. On the spiritual journey, lust is one of the major hinderances that obstruct your path.
The journey of spirituality, is a one of transcending your biological limitations and realizing one’s consciousness. Lust, or your own biology, is one of the first challenges that you are going to encounter on this journey. It is important to not look at lust as a disdainful process, but to understand it in its entirety and look at it from a detached perspective.
Triggers While Battling Lust
There are many external stimuli present in today’s world that can engender the rise of lustful thoughts in individuals. Staying away from such triggers can help in the initial phase of your journey. While the mind is powerful, and there is no need to avoid the triggers to overcome lust, staying away from the triggers for a certain period of time between 30 to 90 days is considered to be a detoxyfing experience that can smoothen the rest of the journey.
Below are some of the triggers that you can face, from when you start pondering on how to overcome lust, till even after you are an experienced veteran in this journey of overcoming lust:-
- Media and Entertainment: Exposure to explicit content in movies, TV shows, music, or online media can trigger lustful thoughts and behaviors.
- Social Media: Images, posts, or profiles that are sexually suggestive on social media platforms can be triggering. Comparison with others may also play a role.
- Peer Pressure: Social situations and peer influence can lead to lustful thoughts and actions. It may be challenging to resist societal norms or pressure from friends.
- Isolation: Loneliness or feelings of isolation can trigger the desire for connection, leading to a focus on physical aspects and desires.
- Stress and Emotional Distress: Stress, anxiety, and emotional turmoil can drive individuals to seek comfort or escape through lustful behaviors.
- Personal Triggers: Certain personal experiences, traumas, or unresolved issues may contribute to the development of lustful tendencies. Addressing these underlying issues is crucial for long-term change.
- Habitual Patterns: Breaking habitual patterns and routines, especially those associated with lustful behaviors, can be challenging. These patterns may be deeply ingrained and require conscious effort to change.
- Lack of Boundaries: Undefined or weak personal boundaries can contribute to succumbing to lustful temptations. Establishing clear boundaries is important in resisting such triggers.
- Lack of Accountability: Not being accountable for one’s actions or having a support system in place can make it easier to give in to lustful desires.
- Unhealthy Relationships: Being in relationships that foster or encourage lustful behaviors rather than promoting emotional connection and respect can be a significant trigger.
How To Overcome Lust
Overcoming lust is a personal and often challenging journey that requires self-reflection, commitment, and the development of coping strategies. Realizing that the lustful urges are just a mechanical response (be it thoughts, emotions, or any physical response as well) of the human system to the external stimuli, and practicing not acting on the urges is essential in the process of overcoming lust.
Although the process can be deeply personal and individualistic, how to overcome lust is a topic that everyone ponders upon at some point. Here are some general tips that may help:-
Building A Support System
Keeping good company around yourself, perhaps other people who are interested in how to overcome lust, and are trying to apply it in their lives can help a lot in your journey. A support system can help with motivation, and staying focussed on your personal goals.
Indulging yourself in your work, making a to-do list and diverting your attention elsewhere helps a lot in controlling lustful urges. Staying in isolation or not channeling your energy anywhere often leads to lustful urges and can be avoided easily by directing your energies elsewhere, such as exercise, painting, singing, dancing, or just focussing on your professional work with a lot of intensity.
Overeating often leads to lustful urges in the human body. The extra energy that is ingested demands an outlet of expression. The outlet can either be of a creative process, such as painting, writing, or professional, such as indulging yourself in your work.
Apart from this, yogic practices and exercises can also be an outlet for this excessive energy. At last, lustful urges arise in order to release the extra energy. Fasting and regulating your diet can help in controlling your urges.
It is important to celebrate your small victories in this ongoing journey. Doing so gives you milestones and achievements. It gives you actual quantifiable metrics that you can aim to surpass or reclaim, if you falter somewhere on your journey. Surpassing your previous milestones helps a lot in increasing and intensifying your willpower.
This article has talked extensively on how to overcome lust. In concluding our exploration of overcoming lust, it is crucial to recognize that this journey is a continuous process of self-discovery and growth. By understanding the roots of lust, identifying triggers and cultivating self-awareness, individuals can pave the way for positive change.
Through the development of self-discipline, the support of a strong network, and the redirection of energy towards fulfilling pursuits, the grip of lust can be loosened. Embracing healthy realtionships, practicing self-care and celebrating your progress are intergral components of this transformative process.
Remember, progress may be incremental, and setbacks are a natural part of the path. The key is to stay committed, seek support when needed, and celebrate your victories along the way.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Why is Lust Bad?
The process of having desires is not bad in itself, in fact, it is the source of life. It is having compulsive excessive desires which is bad, however, it would be too big of a statement to call it a sin.
2. Why is Lust so Powerful?
Lust is powerful because it builds upon the fundamental desires and needs of an individual such as food and sex gratification. The process of lusting takes the desires that have been ingrained in us through centuries of evolution and turns them against us when we try to go beyond our materialistic desires.
3. How to Get Rid of Lust?
While you cannot get rid of lust, you should think about how to overcome lust. Realizing that the lustful urges are just a mechanical response of the human system to the external stimuli, and practicing not acting on the urges is the most effective way of overcoming lust.
4. Can Any Crystals Help in Overcoming Lust?
Crystals are one of the potential solutions that come to mind when thinking of how to overcome lust. Amethyst is a crystal that can help in this regard. For how to actually use crystals as a way of progressing in your journey, you should take the help of someone experienced with crystals.
5. What Does the Bible Say About Lust?
The Bible addresses the concept of lust in various passages, particularly in the context of sexual desire and relationships. In Christian teachings, lust is often viewed as a negative and sinful aspect when it involves inappropriate or immoral desires.