Between Desire and Fear

One month down, the days are flying by. How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? According to folklore we’re supposed to break all of our resolutions by Twelfth Night, which was January 6. Apparently, we would bore the gods if we actually succeeded in our goals for the year. I say it depends on what your resolutions are.

If it is, as mine is, to be like Lilith, bolder in living, loving and learning, there might yet still be some entertainment left for the gods.

I often sign off with “Love, Lust, & Liberty,” and I do that because I truly wish it for you and for me. Sometimes, though, Love, Lust & Liberty seems so elusive. When it does manifest in life, it is so ephemeral. We catch glimpses of them, maybe feel as if we have them in the moment, and then as time passes, we find ourselves missing them. Missing the Love, the Lust, the Liberty.

What we do have always is desire and fear. Desire is that which we want (the very essence of wanting it means we don’t have it, we are left wanting). And then there is fear, the threat of danger or pain. Sometimes the object of our desire and our fear is one and the same.

My life is lived within the tension between desire and fear. I want it, I fear it. Or rather, I fear rejection, or exposure, or humiliation, or more tangibly, a backlash toward me and my loved ones from my community, if I was exposed as one who has such a deviant desire. But oh, I want it! I desire so much to live, to be free, to love, to lust, to be liberated, and to liberate.

So I walk the tightrope between my desire and my fear. Often, fear dominates, and I live a life less than. I tone down my desires, muffle it, put the fire out. I pretend I don’t want it. I convince myself it doesn’t matter to a life well lived. I disassociate. My fear cuts me off from my desire. I accept everything that is thrown at me. Boredom, violence, work, inundation. I get to work. I see everything as work. My duty.

I feel blessed that the person closest to me is a squeaky wheel crying out for me to live, to take the leap with him, to take initiative. Desire wins for a moment, but always in the context of approval. Is this okay? Am I still okay? I haven’t lost you, have I?

I should more often and more adamantly ask myself the same question:
I haven’t lost me, have I?

May Ling Su

I wish I could say that I kicked off the year with a bold new me that, like Lilith, is bigger than my fears. I didn’t. Every initiative I took toward my desire was awkward, nervous, weird. I completely lose my cool when I’m around someone I find sexually attractive. I ramble like a fool. I walk away wanting to kick myself in the head. But it’s still better to exercise those nerve endings and put myself out there than to play it safe.

Fortune favors the bold. Take a deep breath, keep calm and boldy go.

Love, Lust, & Liberty,
May Ling Su

5 ways to be like Lilith in 2016

For centuries Lilith was depicted as an archetype of the negative side of woman. According to legend, she dominated Adam, left Eden of her own volition, and refused to return despite threats from angels sent by God to retrieve her. Cautionary tales against lust and stories of Lilith strangling babies abound in folklore.

Over the past few decades, though, women have come to invoke her name as inspiration for feminism and the gender equality movement. Lilith has become an archetype of the liberated woman: assertive, determined, and takes no shit from anyone, not even God.

And since we’re coming upon the beginning of a brand new year, I’m making my New Year’s resolution to be more like Lilith in 2016. Wanna join me? Here are a few ideas to get us started, based on the way I portrayed Lilith in my book, Lilith: Queen of the Demons.

  1. Devour everything life has to offer here and now. Show no reserve. Life is short and changes so quickly. You will never have the exact same elements and circumstances aligning for you again. Seize the experience. Waste no opportunities. Yes, eat the fruit. Now.
  2. Learn everything that you can. The many ways to make love, make pottery, weave fabrics, build a house, tend a fire, read and write, astronomy, advanced spells, computer code… follow your curiosity. The world is an inexhaustible mystery. The more you learn, the more there is to learn.
  3. Follow your heart completely. The wisdom of the heart is often set aside in favor of the conscious mind, which is governed by fear, guilt, and duties.

    “Love is strange. It has no rules. We do not control love. Love takes a grip of your heart and you are changed forever. Do not weep if you have love in your heart. Trust your heart. Follow the love you have inside you.”

    – Kishar in Lilith: Queen of the Demons

  4. Tend to the fire of mischief. Life gets boring without laughter, surprise, and delight. Play tricks, say something outrageous, do something unexpected. Stop being so goddamn serious.
  5. Be clear about what you want, then boldly go forth to make it so. There are two parts to this. The first is being absolutely clear about your goal, thinking things through from beginning to end, with all (or at least as many as possible) things considered. The second is going forward boldly and unwaveringly. Sometimes I let people stop me because they bring up issues that cause me to realize I had not thought things through as clearly as I thought I had. Know the difference between constructive criticism and bullying. Revise, then keep going. It’s the second part that is most important and most difficult. I know I could get stuck in the planning stages forever, afraid to make the leap. Go. Fortune favors the bold.

May Ling Su New Year's Resolution is to be like Lilith

Love, Lust, & Liberty in 2016!

Cheers!
May Ling Su