We are so bombarded with advertisement telling us how inadequate we are and what would make us happy that we have lost touch with our real heart’s longings and our individual life’s purpose.
Is it any coincidence that there is a continual rise in cases of anxiety, depression, psychic disorders - all related to feelings ranging from inadequacy to total despair? The always striving never arriving, because there’s always something more you could be, do or have is exhausting and eventually soul crushing.
So how does one determine true desire and purpose? The objects that you yearn for, not just once or twice, but the ones that you continually mention in conversation, the ones that are pictures on your vision board or on the list of your self improvement strategies, are clues.
Meet Joe. Imagine you are Joe. Joe wants a supermodel girlfriend. You maybe want a million dollars. An important job title. A baby. A body like a supermodel. Joe dates very intelligent, interesting, attractive women, but they are not supermodels. He doesn’t allow himself to have meaningful relationships because the women are not measuring up to the standard in his fantasy. You may have constant feelings of longing and discouragement because there seems to be an unbridgeable gap between where you are and the object of your desire. When Joes is asked to do an imagining exercise—imagine a supermodel walks into his life right now. Are you ready to have a relationship with her? Is your life set up to have her in it? Joe discovers some interesting things.
See yourself having or being your desire. What does it feel like, in your body? What does it mean that you have this object/achievement? Who is the person having the experience? What are the responsibilities that having and maintaining this object of your desire entails?
When Joe sees himself dating a supermodel, he feels special, important—like his worth has improved. When asked, ‘What does it mean to have this type of girlfriend?’ Joe feels it means he deserves admiration, respect, envy. It would mean that he’d ‘made it.’
Joe admits he feels inadequate, unworthy, that he doesn’t feel as important as he wants to feel. He also sees that a supermodel girlfriend can not make that a reality for him, that these are things that he needs to cultivate in himself. Joe also admits that he probably does not have the energy to keep up with the expectations and needs of a life with a super model. What about you? Is your right-now self prepared to be/have what you desire?
It is not the outward ‘symbols’ that give us status or the worth, it is what we believe about ourselves that determines how we show up in the world. The objects of your desires are very important clues as to what your real self is truly pursuing. They are ‘representations’ of how you want to feel and who you desire to be.