Desire is the voice of your soul calling you to your own becoming. Capacity is the power you are able to draw on at any given moment, to bring your desire to fruition.
There are times when your soul calls you to increase your capacity so you can embrace and fulfill your true desire. This call arises whenever you’re creating something new, something you haven’t done — or done in quite the same way — before.
You may experience this call as a sense of urgency, a push from within to begin writing or painting or taking the concrete steps to create that thing you’ve been dreaming about for years — to bring your vision out of the realm of dreams and into physical reality.
Other times, your capacity will ask your desire to bend down and kneel in order to embrace it. This can happen during a global crisis like a pandemic, or at times of great stress in personal, family or communal life, when your resources are taxed to their limits.
You’re likely to experience these limits to your capacity most strongly at certain thresholds and phases of your life — when you’re parenting small children, for example, or caring for elders; are ill, or experiencing the liminalities of grief, loss, uncertainty — events that draw heavily on your inner and outer resources.
During times of stress, your capacity diminishes, becomes less elastic, harder to access.
In times like these, desire must yield to capacity, and find a merciful accommodation that honours both your vision, and the realities of limits and boundaries that define your capacity.
Neither is superior to the other; desire and capacity are always in relationship with each other, just as your extended soul and your incarnate soul are inextricably intertwined. Desire lives in the realm of both your extended and incarnate soul. Capacity is a function of your personhood, and of the boundaried world in which your life is embedded.
Creative relationship calls for harmony between desire and capacity.
You can create harmony in ways that are unique to you. You know yourself better than anyone else. You know the press and lift and loft of your desire. You know the limits and edges of your capacity, where your capacity can be gently extended; what kind of support you need in order to expand your capacity; and when it’s important to pull back and let yourself rest in the mercy of what is.
Pay attention to the dance between desire and capacity within you, and calibrate the relationship between them until it feels harmonious to you — remembering, always, that this is not a fixed or static relationship, but a relational dance, renewed from day to day.
If you’re struggling with procrastination or fear of beginning a project or a creation, ask yourself which needs to lead and which must follow; which requires ascent or descent — desire or capacity.