any times we crave something and find that even after getting that certain something, we still aren't satisfied... I recall, in my late teens, I would start craving dried fruit at "that time" of the month... So I would gorge myself on dried figs and dates, but the craving didn't go away.
When I started reading up on natural health, I found that when a woman is premenstrual, her body craves calcium. So what I mistakenly took for a craving for dried fruit was actually a craving for calcium. The next time I felt the craving, I ate a food with lots of calcium, and the craving went away, and I didn't get the negative side effects of gorging myself with dried fruit which, while healthy, is loaded with sugar.
In the same way, we often crave something (whether it is a new TV, a new car, a certain food, a relationship) only to find once we "fulfill" the craving, that we still aren't satisfied... We may have thought that the new car, job, diet, etc. would make us happy, but lo and behold, it didn't. What we ultimately find out is that once the newness wears off, we still are "craving" something.
Craving the Experience of Love
We think something will make us happy so we spend time, money, and energy on attaining it, and when we have it, it doesn't quite fit the bill. Why? Because the object of the craving was only a symbol of what we really needed. Because what we are really seeking is not a "physical" or material thing. What we seek is more of an internal experience. Perhaps what we seek is simply this: to feel the experience of love.
Let's look at some examples. OK, so you crave chocolate, or potato chips, or sugar... You eat that and are temporarily sated, but then the same craving comes up. In some cases, it may be your body that is craving a certain nutrient (which may be present in the food you're eating), but more often it is the emotional body that is craving a feeling of well-being.
Some Food Cravings Represent a Loved One
I know that I associate certain foods with happy occasions. My favorite ice cream reminds me of my grandmother who always had some for me when we went to visit on Sundays. If by chance she was out of it, she'd send me over to the store to pick up a quart of it. Certain foods remind me of my mother and the extra time she took to prepare these "special treats" for us...
Thus, for me, these foods represent love. When I crave these foods, I am really craving the feeling of unconditional love that I received as a child. As an adult, I can "treat myself" to these foods, but I am aware that the food itself is not what I am seeking -- I am seeking the feeling associated with it.
Addictions Seek to Fill a Craving
This may be the story of your life... There is always something deeper than what is obvious. If someone is addicted to a certain food, stimulant, drug, then what are they really trying to fulfill with that item? Their craving is really for an experience or a feeling, and the addiction is a misguided attempt to fulfill the need.
It was found years ago, that many alcoholics are diabetics... In other words, the sugar they crave is found in the process of converting alcohol to sugar in the body... Thus they may become addicted to alcohol, but it is really the sugar that they are looking for. However, what is a diabetic really craving? Louise Hay in the book You Can Heal Your Life, says that the "probable cause" (or metaphysical cause) of diabetes is "deep sorrow, no sweetness left"... Thus the craving for sugar corresponds to a craving for "sweetness", or love.
How Can You Fulfill Your Craving?
When we look at the things we "crave" or "really really want", then we might we well served to look deeper... What do we think this thing will fulfill in our lives? If we simply "cut to the chase" and go for the root, then we'll be much happier.
While not being a diabetic, when I find myself craving ice cream (sugar), I realize that I am really craving love... so I look at my life, and see where it is lacking. Usually, of course, I first tend to look outwards (i.e. who isn't giving me love), but eventually I must come around to the real source -- myself. And I then find that I haven't been loving to myself, either by not eating well, working too much, not taking enough time for me, being angry at myself for something, etc.
When love is missing in our lives, we must look at ourselves and see how we are not being loving to ourselves and to others. Since what we give out comes back, then if we're short on love, we need to give ourselves and others love, and then there will be plenty of love to go around.
A Limitless Supply of Love
If you try to fill needs with "things" or time, these are commodities that are, by their very nature, limited. But if you give love, then you will never run out.
Isn't it wonderful that the very thing that we all need can never run out, since we all have a limitless supply in our own hearts. What a treasure! So rather than trying to fill our children's needs (and our inner child) with material things, perhaps we need to get to the root of the matter, and give what is really needed.
Every Action is a Call for Love
I do believe this is a universal concept: every action is a call for love... If we applied this truth on all levels of our life, things would be much different. If we could see that the disgruntled customer or co-worker is really crying for love, then we might deal with them differently. If we saw that our boss is actually wanting love and respect when he/she has "an attitude", we might choose to react differently.
Now some people may misunderstand this concept, and think that I am suggesting that you let yourself be run over. Not at all. First of all, you must love yourself, and if you do that, you do not let others "run over you". Yet you must also "love your neighbor as yourself" which means that you treat your neighbor (family, co-worker, world citizens) the same way you'd like to be treated. If we applied the Golden Rule to all situations, our life and our world would be much different.
What Does This Craving Really Mean?
So where do we start? With ourselves. We start by paying attention to our cravings, to our wants, to our desires, and seeing what it is we really want. We have been lulled into believing that the new car, the new toothpaste, the new whatever, would bring us love. Just look at the commercials. They usually are focusing on the pretty girl or the happy couple in the commercial, not really on the product. What they are selling us is the illusion that the product will give us the happiness (or love, beauty, or sex) that is shown in the ad.
We need to strip off the veil of illusion that covers our actions and our life. We, in the "Western world" live a life of luxury (compared to other countries), yet we still don't feel it's enough. We feel we need more of everything, or bigger everythings... The population of the US is grossly overweight, while people are starving the world over. Perhaps if we looked at what we are really craving, then things would fall into balance. If we saw that what we crave is love, and gave more love, not only to ourselves and to our families, but to our "neighbors" the world over, then we would act differently. We would perhaps gorge ourselves less with food and "things", and do more for the world.
Going Back to Basics
What has taken place in the last century? We may have gained "efficiency" and modernization, but we have lost intimacy, the companionship of neighbors, the comfort of feeling safe and secure in our cities, the feeling of support in our communities. The statement "it takes a village to raise a child" is a very true one. In recent years, the attitude has developed that we have to "stay out of other people's business"... So people have detached themselves from each other... We don't dare comfort someone else's child for fear of being accused of child molestation. We don't dare show "love" to strangers -- they might think we're "coming on to them".
I remember as a child, growing up in a rural area, my father would always wave to everyone we passed on the road. Most of the times, it was someone we knew (it was a small community), but sometimes I would say "Who was that?" and he'd reply that he didn't know. And I would wonder why he had waved to them if he didn't know them... Yet that is symbolic of how life "used to be"... Everyone was considered "a friend" until proven otherwise... These days, it seems we tend to consider others "an enemy" until proven otherwise.
It's A Small Planet After All
Since we all "crave" love, let's start sharing it with the people me meet... Then perhaps, we won't need to try to fill that craving with material things, and perhaps we can all work to creating a better world than the one we have now... We now live in a world of "haves" and "have nots"... because our measuring gauge is material... But perhaps if we start changing the measure we use and use love as our rule, then we can all become a world of "haves"...
Let's start living as if we're in a small village. Talk to the people in line with you at the grocery store, at the bank, wherever. Rather than standing isolated and closing yourself off from the people around you, smile, say hello, make some comment -- on the weather, anything... Open up, communicate, share "love" (friendship) with the people in your life... whether you know them or not... After all, a stranger is only a friend you've yet to meet...
"What the world needs now, is love, sweet love... No not just for one, but for everyone...." We can do it, one heart at a time... We are already doing it, we just need to keep expanding the radius of our love, of our light...
InnerSelf Recommended Book:
Constant Craving A-Z: A Simple Guide to Understanding and Healing Your Food Cravings
by Doreen Virtue.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com