I used to play this game with things that I wanted, and maybe you can relate to this. When I wanted something, I would pretend like crazy that I didn’t want it. I’d create a whole list in my head about why it wasn’t that great, or how I’d be better off with something else. I would even go as far as denying it to other people, even when they offered it, or asked directly. Why did I do this? Because somewhere deep down, I believed that if you admitted you wanted something, you would never get it. That to desire something was wrong, so the best way to get it was to pretend you didn’t, and then wait until it was close enough to grab, and snatch it up. Sounds crazy when I write it down, but I know I’m not alone.
When I played this game I often missed out on getting what I wanted, and when I did get it, I felt kinda guilty. Talk about a recipe for misery. I’m going to share with you today the one thing that helped me unlearn this pattern of guilt and denial, and what I discovered was the best tool I had for creating magic in my life.
The most important magical tool we posses
I wasn’t even aware that I had this pattern until I learned that the most important magical tool I had was my own heart. By magic I mean the ability to create and affect change in the world around me. Why the heart? Because our heart is the one organ in our body that feels that magical thing we call desire. Desire is absolutely necessary if we are going to create happiness. Here’s the key: the first step to getting what we want, is knowing that we want it! When we get real with what it is that we truly want, we become more powerful at making that truth a reality.
It sounds so simple, and it is, but it’s not always that easy. We are shouldered with so much baggage about desire that it’s hard to see past it sometimes. It’s wrong to want things, desire paves the road to hell, if you just do what you want everything will fall apart. Sound familiar? Think about it: What unspoken beliefs do you have about desire?
Whatever they are, and where ever they came from I’m here to tell you that most of them are just plain wrong, and they are keeping you locked in misery. Here are some thoughts about Heart’s Desire to counter all that cultural baggage that we carry around with us.
Our heart connects us to the Divine.
In Chinese Medicine, which I practice, the heart is understood as the seat of consciousness. It is often referred to as the emperor of the body. I like to think of it as the queen. The implication behind this is that the heart is the part of us that is closest to the divine: The part of us that has direct access to our own higher calling. The part of us that is most capable of knowing why we are here, and what we are here to do. Why would you mistrust that part of yourself?
Our heart keeps us grounded in the present:
I like to think of the heart as being the only part of us that is truly capable of being in the present moment. Our brain likes to dwell in the past or the future. Thinking ‘if only’ or ‘what if’, but the heart knows the truth of every single present moment. Have you ever made a wrong decision and just known in your heart that it was wrong? Your brain couldn’t explain why, but your heart just knew. Why? Because your heart perceived the present moment in its full truth.
The Heart is undeniable.
I think this is why it scares people so much. We can learn to change our thoughts, we can learn to change our habits, but when we try and change our desires we make ourselves sick. The longing of the heart always finds a way.
The heart always seeks the highest good.
When I hear people argue that following desire creates pain and misery I think of this: Whenever I’ve done something directly hurtful to someone else my heart did not feel good about it. The heart does not take joy in misery. But it also doesn’t sit well when I sacrifice my own desire’s for someone else’s’. Our heart challenges us to be true to ourselves, but also to serve a greater good. Sounds a lot like a queen right?
How do you know when it’s not heart’s desire?
Heart’s desire is hardly ever a physical object, a material good, a specific person or even a particular situation. Those things can all be good indicators of what lies in our hearts, but they are rarely the thing itself. There is a certain line of spiritual thinking that states that material objects are somehow lesser than spiritual riches. I disagree, but I do think we need to recognize the limited nature of material things to really satisfy our hearts. Usually the object of our desire is just a clue, a doorway into what we really truly want. So as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else, it is never wrong to want that new piece of jewelry, that fancy computer, or that vacation to Hawaii, but we must ask ourselves what lies underneath that desire or we will be missing the point. Do we want to feel beautiful? Do we need re-charge? Do we need to feel the power of being capable and having more access to the world around us? Those qualities all strike closer to our heart’s desire than the objects themselves. And by all means, go for the jewelry, take that vacation, get the computer, but also take the time to recognize the deeper desire the fuels that want, and give it some attention too.
Here is the divine paradox of the heart:
If we cannot find that which we seek inside ourselves, we will never find it without. The path of the heart is a circular one, always leading us back to ourselves. So while we see manifestations of our heart’s desire all around us, eventually we realize that what we seek is inside us all along. The desire to feel beautiful? It is ours to give ourselves, and while jewelry, a lover, great clothes, or a new haircut can help us awaken to our own beauty, if we never realize that we are already are beautiful, those external things will never be enough. In this way, our heart leads us in a dance of divine union with ourselves.
Discovering these truths about the heart, and getting real with my own desires was the single most important step I took towards creating a fulfilling life for myself. When you open to desire, always means you open yourself to disappointment too, that’s just part of life. But getting and enjoying the things you truly want, and creating a more satisfying and fulfilling life is so worth it.
Want to get real with your own desires? Leave a comment below about how cultural baggage has affected your heart’s desire.