Wikipedia definition:

Lust – lechery (Latin, carnal “luxuria”), is an intense and uncontrolled desire. It is usually thought of as uncontrolled sexual wants, which leads to adulteryrapebestiality, and other immoral sexual acts. However, the word was originally a general term for desire. Therefore, lust could include the uncontrolled desire for money, food, fame, or power.” 

Going by the classical definition the root cause of lust is extreme uncontrollable desire. It’s not actually an evil thing to desire something. It’s losing focus and letting that desire hone in on unimportant, trivial, or destructive things that leads to trouble.

In my experience, intense desire is neutral in terms of good and evil. It’s like a superpower, it has to be developed to use properly. And, if it’s developed the wrong way you suffer. At least, I have in the past.

Over the past year and half, I have gotten very good at identifying more and more of this element in my life. I think in the past, I lacked the discipline and courage to actually stare back at myself in the mirror for long enough to recognize the instances of this feeling.

I have found that it’s not entirely possible for me to remove “lust”, but rather I redirect it. My “lust” for cigarettes, for instance, is just a biological and chemical urge or want for the release that nicotine gave me. I have found a similar release in deep breathing patterns, exercise, and focused meditation.

So, I have not entirely removed my “lust” for cigarettes, I have just redirected that focused desire elsewhere. When I get lazy, that “lust” returns. So, I have to be vigilant, disciplined, and understanding with myself.