I can imagine that Charlie constantly lives his heart’s desire. If he wants to chew on a bone, then he chews on a bone. If he wants to antagonize the Alpha dog, then he antagonizes her. If he wants to bark at the phantom cat down the street, then he does so. Eating, sleeping, playing is done whenever Charlie decides he wants to do that activity. The only thing not within his control is when we go hiking. If Charlie does not get his weekly hike and/or swim, he drives the rest of us absolutely crazy (in other words, he has trained us to fulfill his heart’s desire of running and exploring in the Black Hills).
I have wondered what it would be like to fulfill my heart’s desire on a daily basis and have started to work to create more of this in my life. Human brains work slightly different than a dog and our desires seem to be more complicated or harder to tap into. What I have learned so far is, in order to discover and honor the heart’s desire, adult humans have to look deeper to hear the inner guidance that leads to the core of the heart.
An important and powerful basic need for people is to experience acceptance and belonging. We need to know that we are connected to others and have satisfying relationships. Unfortunately mistaken beliefs develop that tell an individual, “I am only acceptable if I act or believe a certain way”, which leads to feeling like “I am not good enough”. Fear of abandonment, rejection, or criticism emerges and approval seeking becomes the new way of life. Facades or masks surface because it has felt as though it hasn’t been acceptable or safe to be true to self.
It is my belief that our true essence is the home of the heart’s desire. It is an essential part of self that, in an unconscious attempt to seek approval from or please others, often gets shoved away into a dark closet and forgotten. Rediscovery of the true essence takes time, patience, and compassion with self and others. Start this quest with awareness, curiosity, and openness to possibilities. It is an unfolding to become more authentic, open to intuitive powers, increase in emotional intelligence, and letting go of unnecessary fears. Gratitude blossoms and expectations decrease. There is no “right” way to embark on this journey since each person has their own path to follow. Failure does not occur when you follow your heart; only lessons, growth, and opportunity.
Discovering the heart’s desire is not an easy journey, and sometimes it will seem a little scary. There will be tests, road blocks, and detours along the way disguised as the most unbelievable challenges. Remember, the fear of suffering is actually worse than suffering itself. When you persevere through the tough times, the other side offers rich and rewarding experiences to help your world take on new meaning.
Charlie is the poster doggie for experiencing joy in all he does – so it must be from his heart. And I want more of that in my life, too. So my journey to experience my heart’s desire continues; and it has been worth it every minute of the journey!