Your Heart’s Desire

It's February—the month of Valentines, hearts and love. May it bring you your heart's desire, and peace and harmony to the world.

Your heart's desire—what could it be? So many people, including many of my clients, are searching to know what would satisfy them, to give their lives focus and direction.

As Marsha Sinetar says, in Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics: “To find in ourselves what makes life worth living is risky business, for it means that once we know it we must seek it. It also means that without it life will be valueless.”

Every day in the counseling office, I help people work through problems of dependency and addiction. Did you know that problems with compulsive eating, substance abuse, destructive addictive relationships, and obsessive behavior are most often misguided attempts to satisfy the heart's desire?

We are such amazing miracles of creation. Within each of us is a driving force, that will NOT give up and go away. We can attempt to drown it out with loud, raucous living, to anesthetize it with food, drink or drugs, to avoid it through some zealotry or other, to ignore it by working obsessively, to be too overwhelmed with drama and agony to notice it; but as soon as the unavoidable quiet moment happens, there it is, urging us on.

Often, people misread this uncomfortable inner restlessness and call it “fear” or “loneliness”, but it is only the call of the heart. Until it is acknowledged, it will not allow us to be at peace. It is as if the heart is filled with purpose and meaning which will constantly press us to discover our true desire and act upon it.

I find that many people are afraid of themselves—I call it autophobic. They are afraid of feeling emotion, afraid of being alone with themselves, afraid to find out what is actually inside them. It actually comes down to fearing the power within.

You can run very fast, and hide in many ways but you just can't escape who you are. The philosopher Joseph Campbell wrote: “If the person insists on a certain program, and doesn't listen to the demands of his own heart, he's going to risk a schizophrenic crackup. Such a person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a program for life, and it's not the one the body's interested in at all. The world is full of people who have stopped listening to themselves or have listened only to their neighbors to learn what they ought to do, how they ought to behave, and what the values are that they should be living for. ...we would rather feel alive than be alive. Sometimes it kills you, to feel so alive out there on a battlefield somewhere, or in a corporate environment where it's quite clear that you're heading for a heart attack, and you don't change your course because you are living in that stream of energy and aliveness. You wind up bargaining your life away for it.”

Many of the greatest and wisest thinkers in the history of humankind insist that the costs of denying your heart's desire are far greater than anything that could happen by following it. When my clients overcome their reluctance to know who they are, they release an inner power that transforms their lives. I have seen the beauty of these changes over and over again.

Here is Dr. Campbell’s advice about how to find your heart's desire: “You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. ...If you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen... Where is your bliss station? ...try to find it. ...put on the music that you really love, even if it's corny music that nobody else respects. Or get the book you like to read. In your sacred place you get the “thou” feeling of life ...for the whole world. ...if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.”

I invite you to get acquainted with your heart’s desire, so you can follow your bliss. Join me in a resolution to surrender, to slow down and find out what is inside you, straining to get out, longing to make contact with you. Take time with yourself, little by little, and listen to your heart. Perhaps it will change your life, as it has so many others.

© Tina Tessina, 2008 adapted from: It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction (New Page) ISBN 1-56414-548-4


Author Bio:
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 11 books, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction (New Page); How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free  (New Page); The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again (Wiley)  and The Real 13th Step: Discovering Self-Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs (New Page.)  Her newest books, out from Adams Press in 2008: Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage and Commuter Marriage. She publishes Happiness Tips from Tina, an e-mail newsletter, and the “Dr. Romance Blog” http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/ and has hosted "The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the  subconscious" a weekly hour long radio show.  She is an online expert, answering relationship questions at www.CouplesCompany.com and Yahoo!Personals, as well as a Redbook Love Network expert and “Psychology Smarts” columnist for First for Women.Dr.  Tessina guests frequently on radio, and on such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC news.
 
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All material copyright © 2001-2008 Tina Tessina. All rights reserved.