How well do you know yourself?… that’s not the question the title is referring to; that’s just an introduction question to generate interest. You don’t want to start off with the real one, or there’s no reason to keep reading… not that this blurb is helping… The real question is: What is your heart’s desire? This is one of the most important questions we need to be able to answer, and yet if you ask most people this question the typical answer is, “Uh…” The one big exception is the people who say they want to be rich and famous, but that isn’t a heart’s desire; that’s pride. Determining your heart’s desire is important because what we want or think we want will influence our choices and lifestyle. Most people have an idea of what they “want”, but this is typically surface level stuff. Wanting another cookie or drink, to travel, to pay bills, or to see friends is surface level whereas a heart’s desire is deeper, and typically involves some sacrifice of surface wants in order to attain. This deeper desire can help keep our hand out of the cookie jar because what we want is fleeting whereas our heart’s desire is a deeper need. When allowed, our heart’s desire can give us a reason to say no to our surface wants. It’s ultimately what we need to consider because it is the underlying need that can help us feel fulfillment in life and make it easier to be happy. At least it can be a helping factor if we don’t bury it under our surface wants and superficial musings that distract us. Thus, we ultimately need to know what our heart’s desire is in order for it to have a chance of winning. Knowing what is the surface and the heart’s desire is a challenge. For instance, in the following situation, what is the true heart’s desire, which I write below as ‘root’?
- Surface: I want to be famous
- Root?: I want people to like me
- Root?: I want to like myself
- Root?: I don’t want to be invisible or a failure
- Root?: I want to have an adventurous life
- Root?: I want my life to have value
- Root?: I want to be good enough
Unfortunately, there is no simple mathematical or philosophical deduction to this question. Even worse, your heart’s desire can be corrupted, and may need to be changed. For instance, wanting to be ‘good enough’ is a corrupted desire because this is a never ending question to answer: when are we ever good enough? As far as determining what your desire is, when do you know when to stop digging and you’ve found the root? There is no definite answer. It’s pretty subjective. Fortunately, you should be able to have a pretty good guess as to what is the real root or not by thinking about it. For instance, if I was to look at my list of potential surface versus root ideas:
- Surface: I want to connect with and help people
- Surface: I want lots of people to like me because that will help allow me to be a therapist and writer for my career
- Surface: I want a good career because that can help me be a good provider for my family and to be as happy as possible for them
- Surface: I want to be responsible so I don’t hurt the people I love, and not be a slave to them
- Root: I want to use the talents God has given me in a way that’s responsible and wise
The above list isn’t a perfect breakdown from one idea to another, especially since the first part of the root seems to come out of nowhere. I was able to cheat because of all my time spent journalling and self reflecting (two excellent past times for being self aware) I already knew where part of my heart’s desire came from. Ultimately, I know I won’t be happy unless I somehow use the talents I have developed, but at the same time I know that I don’t want my wife and family to have to suffer for me to do this; I need to be more responsible than selfish. For me, my heart’s desire is double sided because I need both to be as happy as I can be. And since I know this, I can make better choices for my life.
This week may you discover your heart’s desire and figure out how to best pursue it in a healthy way.
Specialties: Individuals, Couples, Families including Teenagers
List of potential issues: Repairing relationships including infidelity, liking ourselves and those around us more, better understanding and handling emotions whether anger, guilt, jealousy, fear, anxiety, and depression, addictions including pornography and food, healing the past, self esteem, handling conflict, weight loss, faith issues