Consumed by the Flames of Obsession

What is obsession? What does it mean? What is its purpose? It must have a reason for hooking us, and reeling us in like helpless little fish. At first it is beautiful, a shiny, irresistible lure, teasing us, winking flirtatiously, and playfully dancing before our eyes, inviting us to grab hold of it. We bite, and, as soon as we do, we begin to regret our decision to do so. We want to let go of it, but we can’t, it seems as though we are no longer the one holding on, that it is now holding on to us.

Escape from obsession is possible, but the only way to do it is to find a new obsession to replace the old one. Sometimes freeing ourselves from obsession becomes our new obsession. We evolve from a helpless little fish into a large and powerful fish, a shark, or a marlin, fighting furiously at the end of the line, refusing to be captured, but fighting can exhaust us to the point where even if we do manage to free ourselves, we feel too tired to enjoy our freedom.

What obsesses you? Is it an object, a treasure for which you long, which you are certain has the magical power to transform you and your life? Is it the taste of something sweet, delicious, and so moreish that it sends shivers of exquisite delight rushing through your body? Is it a sight of which your eyes can never get enough? A sound which transports you to another dimension, where you are wild, free, and infinitely happy? A touch so gentle that it melts every tension in your muscles, especially your heart? A person who seems to hold the key to love? Or someone who appears to possess the life you long to have, you want to be them, to live as they do? A celebrity perhaps?

Celebrities go out of their way to make us desire them. They spend hours and hours of their lives making themselves as physically attractive as possible, even allowing a masked person with a sharp knife to drug them, and cut them up when they are unconscious, and the results aren’t always an improvement. They turn their homes into castles, then show them off ‘Look where I live, don’t you wish you lived here?’. They travel to exotic places, have beautiful friends, and do things which only the special few can do, then they tantalise us with their lives, in magazines, on TV, on the internet. They want us to yearn to know them so that some of their glow would rub off on us. They want us to want to be them, so that they can sell us their products, and we will buy those products believing that this will transform us into them. They want us to need them, because they need us, without us they would not be famous, and without fame they would lose their balance, fall off their pedestal, and break into a million little pieces. Have you ever noticed that when you grow bored of a celebrity, that person suddenly appears everywhere, on magazine covers, in the news, in adverts, stalking you, desperate to bring you back into the fold of their fans. It is as though they are saying ‘Please, please, please, don’t leave me, you need me’. Who needs who more? We know what celebrities get from our obsession with them, but what exactly do we get from our obsession with celebrities?

Each obsession holds a gift for us, something extremely valuable which will enrich our lives. It’s as though we are a star which fell to Earth, and, as we fell, the entry into the atmosphere broke pieces off of us, those pieces were scattered throughout the planet, and, once we landed, we realised we were missing parts of ourselves, that we needed to find those parts, and reintegrate them into us to make us whole again. The way to locate and recognise our missing fragments is to follow the compass of our heart. Our pieces may be buried within another person, what we see in them which we find so desirable is actually a part of us that needs to be repossessed, not by ripping it out of them and gluing it onto ourselves, but by allowing them to inspire us so that we can absorb the particles of stardust which are our own. The same applies to the tastes, sounds, sensations, and sights, to which we are attracted, there is a subtlety held within them which awakens within us, and draws home to us, the pieces of ourselves that are lost.

What beautiful part of yourself is hiding, waiting for you to find it in your obsessions?