When the word "love" is mentioned, it immediately conjures up images of hearts, Valentine's Day, roses, the color red, and all of the different images we've come to associate with romantic love. When the word "lust" is mentioned, images of sex, nudity, passion and porn come to mind.
In the heat of the moment, during the course of dating someone new, pheromones are strong and hormones rage as an almost animal magnetism draws you and your partner together with an almost uncontrollable urge for physical passion. Sometimes the dating progresses into a relationship and other times, after the honeymoon phase, emotions and passion fade and the interaction between two people that started off with such intensity, dissolves and fizzles away.
As the quote states, "The past is a memory, the future is an idea, the only time we really have is now. That's why it's called the present." In the perpetual exercise of being present and living in the moment, our minds exhibit an effortless tendency to think about the past or future. We often find ourselves asking where the time has gone, saying things like, "This year really flew by" or "I can't believe it's Christmas already, where did the year go?"
As important as is it to plan for the future and reflect on the past, it is tremendously more important to live in the present. In terms of relationships, the context of time offers clarity in making sense of our feelings and interactions towards our partners. When we look back with a fond heart on memories with someone special, this is closer to true love than some non-guaranteed future. There is a lasting connection between you and the other person. For all the time and great things that have been experienced, those specific memories are shared with someone who was there with you the very moment those memories were made. Those experiences that were shared, can never be changed or altered and will stay with those two individuals for the rest of their lives. The fondest memories will be cherished and carried forward throughout a lifetime with care and gratitude in the hearts of both people.
With the acknowledgment and memories of wonderful times shared together, completely releasing any wish to change the events that happened, we accept and honor those past interactions with a grace that uplifts our spirits and raises both people to a boundless lightness of Being. This is why looking back with fondness and standing presently with cherished memories is truly love.
When it comes to lust, there's so much imagination, creativity, any desire associated with it. Because we envision what hasn't happened yet, when we lust for something, we are looking towards the future. Although lust is most often associated with things on a carnal and sexual nature, lusting for something is not just reserved for things having to do with sex.
When there is a result we want to experience with such deep desire and passion, to the point where it consumes us and it's all we think about, this could be considered lust as well. Wanting to sleep with someone, wanting to become a millionaire; lusting for something could even come down to something as simple as a craving for pizza at 2 in the morning.
Lust is characterized by an intense desire or an uncontrollable appetite for something. Its frame of reference is in the future and we are constantly trying to drive towards something. In a sense, some of the greatest achievements in a person's life, or even the history of the world, would not have happened if there wasn't a lusting for a specific result. The drive of Steve Jobs to change the world with technology, of the Wright Brothers to perfect the world's first flying machine, of Michael Jordan to be the greatest there ever was in the game; none of these tremendous achievements could have been made if there was not a lusting for a result.
There is something raw about lust. The unadulterated nature of lustful behavior provides a telling glimpse into the most animalistic nature of people. In many ways, the future facing and driving nature of lust is what has advanced the human race so powerfully forward since inception.
The past, present, and future are in existence all at the same time. Even though there is frequent encouragement of maintaining a healthy balance, it would be more productive to say there is an optimal balance depending on the result looking to be produced. With a past rooted in love, a present empowered with the ability to put in work, and a future created with a lusting for achievements, the ultimate balance always lies in the knowing the context and understanding the tools at your disposal.