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What Are You Hungry For?

What are you hungry for?

Second question – was your first thought about food?

If so, that wouldn’t be a surprise, since that’s perhaps our most recognized craving, and it’s generally what people mean when they say, “I’m hungry.”

But maybe you really want something else. As the character of Famine said in an episode of Supernatural, “Hunger doesn’t just come from the body, it comes from the soul.”

Different types of hunger

This is why, when Famine (i.e., one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse) rode into town, people didn’t only turn to food.

The effects seemed so disconnected that it took a while for the main characters to sort out what was happening. Couples killed each other out of love. Some people drank or ate themselves to death. Others overdosed on drugs or sex.

Eventually, the angel Castiel realized the truth when he started craving hamburgers – not the norm for a heavenly being.

Castiel: [This town is] suffering from hunger…, specifically famine.

Sam: I thought famine meant starvation, like, as in, you know, food.

Castiel: Yes, absolutely, but not just food. I mean everyone seems to be starving for something. Sex, attention, drugs, love.

We all have these deeper hungers, although we may not always recognize them. We may instead turn to food, mistaking other needs for an empty stomach. After all, admitting to other desires is not always socially acceptable, even if they are real and valid.

Saying we’re hungry for love, for instance, might make us sound needy and possibly co-dependent, not necessarily something we want to advertise.

For a woman to say that she craves sex or physical affection can frankly be dangerous, or at the very least, it could earn her a bad reputation and generate unwelcome advances.

If we admit that we want attention, we could be considered self-centered and egotistical, even if it’s only some of the time.

Hunger for food, though, is expected, normal, and therefore safe to admit. We all have to eat to survive, and hunger is part of that package.

Hunger is about more than survival

But is it only about survival? What if we want to truly live and enjoy ourselves?

For that, those other types of hunger are just as necessary as the craving for food, and it’s not something that we should ignore. If we do, we risk becoming like Dean in the episode. He was immune to Famine’s presence, not because of any virtue or special nature, but because he no longer felt hunger for anything. He had become dead inside.

But if we pay attention to our hunger, no matter what form it takes, we may find that it reminds us of what we truly love. Then, instead of becoming an overwhelming need, hunger can act as a seasoning, allowing us to lead rich, vibrant, and joyful lives.

So I ask again – what are you hungry for?


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