January is about Renewal. February is about Love. So many expectations connected to this month and in particular special day of Valentine’s Day. Like New Years Day being the day of New Beginnings, I find it challenging to declare this one day, the day of Love. Why cant every day be Valentine’s Day? Isn’t love the basis for all our happiness. Why not strive to be a source of love every day to our friends, family, neighbors and community. I suppose we may have the intention to share our love on a daily basis but with our lives being so busy, we need a big fat reminder: “Today is the day to express our love”.
Not all of us might find ourselves in the most happy and loving place at this time of the year. We may be in a relationship but might not be happy and or feel loved. Or we may be looking for the perfect partner and feeling adrift in a sea of challenging emotions including loneliness, doubt and sadness. With this Hallmark infused ‘Month of Love’ come so many expectations that so often lead to heartbreak and or disappointment. Once again I’m not speaking only to those individuals who are single, but also to individuals in relationships where the expectation of the perfect day can bring the familiar feeling of let down, disappointment and feeling unloved.
But the one thing I think we can all agree on is that we want to feel loved, connected, as these are common to the human condition. We may even Desire to feel love and connected. Do we allow ourselves to feel the Desire? Do we associate Desire with negative outcomes? As it is so often connected to failed expectations, when we begin to feel Desire we feel the need to push it away. We may associate it with heartbreak and disappointment and therefore deny ourselves to truly feel the longing and Desire. But we can cultivate a relationship with healthy Desire. That is the key term, healthy. So often we have an unhealthy attachment to our Desire. We crave love and all those associated feelings but so often come from a hurt and wounded place. If we can begin to love ourselves, we can begin to receive love and develop a healthy relationship to Desire.
Many of us have an expectation that we will only feel truly loved when we are in a relationship. This goal ‘to find the perfect One’ is like many other goals, an external focus. As many coupled people will share, they can be in a relationship and not really feel loved and or connected. In contrast an internal focus is to connect with ourselves and love ourselves. I believe that it is possible. I believe we can even relate to Desire in a healthy way. But how do we move from wanting to feel a certain way to actually feeling this way. This is tricky. Some people recommend affirmations, while others recommend declaring what we want. There are many paths, some easier than others.
Ultimately I believe first we need to know how we really want to feel. There are so many different feeling states that can help us feel uplifted and or happy. Danielle LaPorte, the author of The Desire Map, speaks so wisely to this challenge that so many of experience. We want to achieve certain goals, certain external accomplishments but we don’t focus on the internal feelings that we are ultimately striving for. The first step in The Desire Map, is to answer ‘How do you want to feel?’ She offers a guide to uncovering our Core Desired Feelings. Core Desired feelings are different than our day-to-day reactive based feelings. Moment to moment we may experience feelings, but our Core Desired Feelings are a reference from which to base all our movements, actions, steps from day to day decisions to life long dreams.
From this point, this understanding of a Desired internal state of being, we can move forward with more clear intentions. For example if you want to feel more connected and joy in your life, the task is to inquire and be curious. As you move throughout your day, week and year, you can ask yourself, ‘Is taking this step moving me closer or further from my Core Desired Feeling?’ For example, for me to feel more joy in my life, I ask myself what can I do today to move me closer to this feeling? It might be a simple thing such as buying flowers or calling a friend. Having this Desire mapped out allows me to also question if going to a party tonight will bring me joy, or drain me and lead to unnecessary anxiety. Maybe today I need a quiet night at home. If I go to the party because I think I should, I will be moving further away from my Desired feeling of joy. Another inspired way that I can use my Core Desired Feelings is to review if taking a new job or leaving a current job is moving me closer to how I really want to feel.
Coming full circle, I offer these ideas as a new tool from which to create a fuller, more Desired life. I strongly believe that a key component to healing is strengthening ones connection to oneself. Investigating and uncovering one’s Core Desired Feelings is a tool that can not only help us in getting to know oneself better but can move us closer to fulfilling our life’s purpose. This is my intention, to help you move closer to living your dream. While identifying ones Core-Desired Feelings is a good start, it is a process. It takes courage. But I do believe it is possible to feel love and love your life, every day…