In the book of Psalms it states that if you ‘delight yourself in the LORD, He will give you the desires of your heart’. For a long time I asked God to introduce me to my husband so we could get started on the family I’ve had tucked away in my mind for at least the past ten years! Recently, in one of my discussions with God a thought popped in my head that although I had requested my God given husband many times, this had not truly been my heart’s desire. I didn’t quite understand this immediately but as I continued to marinate on the thought it became clearer as to why what I thought was my heart’s desire to usher in love was actually quite the opposite. When in relationship, my thoughts and actions did not align with someone seeking to give and receive love from a man. They were the actions (many times) of someone bitter and highly suspicious of anyone of the male persuasion. If introduced to a guy one of the first things I would wonder was what was wrong with him or immediately pick apart things I didn’t seem to like about him in an effort to keep myself from wanting to get close.
I can honestly say that I’ve had men in my life that truly loved me (as best they could) and for a long time I focused on the negative effects of the one mentally and physically damaging relationship I had many years prior instead of recognizing what was before me. They had offered me love and I did not truly accept what they offered. As a result, the relationships were dead before they began, buried under a mound of past hurts, insecurities, frustrations and fears. Of course there were other issues at play, but I know this was my biggest part in the demise of our relationships. I could see love, always just over the horizon and thought I was eagerly paddling towards it but since I refused to do the soul work of breaking through the waves of the past love always seemed to remain at bay.
I had based my theory of love on the relationships I knew about which mainly consisted of womanizers, women that seemed to have perpetually broken hearts and first hand experiences of dealing with men that were not mentally mature enough for a relationship. I accepted these ideals, ingrained them into my mental perception of what ‘all’ men were and lived them out through my speech and interactions with men. Men were dangerous, they would cheat on you and never stick around. Throughout my life I began to accumulate the burdens of distrust, insecurities, over-analyzation, fear and judgement some through my own experiences and many through observation and they continued to grow larger and heavier. So when love did present itself I acted from a place of a woman laden with baggage instead of one free to love. The bright side is that eventually, I became a woman eager to lighten her load!
When I take stock of my actions in relationships and in relation to men in general I can see that my heart’s desire was not for love. The desires of my heart were for the perpetuation of what I had known in the past and so that’s what I chose to live out. I didn’t trust men, spoke extremely negatively of them and always seemed to focus on the worst possible outcome, for example if I texted my boyfriend and he didn’t text me back within a certain amount of time my mind automatically flooded with thoughts of him cheating (a bit cray, yes I know). So in an effort to ensure that my heart and head are on the same track I’ve been taking the time to focus on the positive, to accept what is and truly grow in love (starting with myself).
If you are wondering if your heart’s desires are truly matching up with your thoughts I would recommend doing the following
- Do a soul check: Regardless of what your heart’s desire is, be it a job, a house, a baby or relationship, take some time to sit and think about how you truly feel concerning these things. Ask yourself if this really is what you want in your future? Do you want it because you’re on societies time table and think you should have them by now or are you receiving pressure from a source outside of yourself to push for these goals? Make the all too common pro/con list. If it turns out that these are things you really do want ask yourself if you are profiting in some way by not having them or is there a false fear that comes along with having what you truly think you want. For instance if you want a new job but are afraid of leaving the security of the job you currently have or maybe possess anxieties around job interviews or change in general. In my case, I am working through a tremendous fear of someone else attempting to control me, giving up freedoms I have grown accustomed to and being cheated on.
- Flip the technique: Once you know some of the mindsets holding you back, begin to counteract these by speaking life into your situation. In other words turn the negative thoughts into a positive one. For instance with a job, there is the possibility (and hope) that you will be much happier in your new position and or have increased job security. In my case one of the things I try to focus on is trusting men and always acknowledging the security and contentment that will come along with my desired relationship. If you tend to focus on the negative always remember to envision the flip side of the outcome. Condition your mind to focus on the positive shifts whenever a negative fear based thought attempts to thwart your progress.
- Take action: Take some action consistently towards your desire, set a goal of daily, weekly or monthly action steps or whatever will fit your schedule and work towards your desire. It could be applying to a job a day, attending resume workshops or joining a toastmasters group to improve your public speaking and interview skills. For me, taking action to better myself in relationships isn’t quite as concrete, but I chose to begin by loving me and consistently taking stock of my feelings and thoughts when in certain situations. I have begun a daily meditation practice in addition to reading scriptures, prayer, affirmations, loads of videos and podcast but mostly taking the time to fully love and accept myself while expressing love to the people God places in my life.
Sometimes our heads and hearts won’t agree and that’s life. But if we are the only one’s holding ourselves back from our goals we can always get them on one accord! Here’s to your dreams!
Let me know what other things work for you in the comments!