I sleep all day.
And I stay up all night working or watching YouTube videos.
This means my days never go as I picture them in my head, that the desires of the heart continue to be unmet. Turns out I just needed a little perspective shift.
Discovering the Desires of the Heart
Seeing Your Desires from the Outside World
I really want my day would look like this:
7:00 a.m. Wake up and check in with myself, see how I’m feeling
7:30 a.m. Practice my morning skincare routine
7:45 a.m. Take the dog on a brisk walk, enjoy the outdoors
8:30 Eat breakfast
9:00 a.m. Get fully dressed
9:45 a.m. Make the bed
10:00 a.m. Open my computer to work
10 a.m. til 2 p.m. Work with a snack break built in
2:00 p.m. Stretch or practice yoga
3:00 p.m. relax until dinner time
6:00 Eat dinner together at the table
7:00 Spend time with family
9:00 Take a leisurely bath
9:30 Practice evening skin care
9:45 Read a book
10:00 Go to sleep
That is the picture of health, of wholeness, in my mind. And I can’t seem to stop comparing my current reality with that picture.
Processing Emotions Helps Uncover Desires of the Heart
So, every day when I finally get out of bed, usually sometime between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., there’s a battle between grace and guilt waging war in my mind.
Guilt says I’m not taking care of myself and letting myself down.
Grace says my body needs rest to fight the inflammation that has claimed my insides.
Guilt shakes a finger at me, trying to shame me for sleeping during normal waking hours. It compares me to today’s thought leaders who are sharing encouraging videos every day on Instagram and imparting sage advice to help you through these extraordinary times, and asks why can’t I do that.
Then, one day grace responded with this comforting quote,
“And the moon said to me – My darling, you do not have to be whole to shine.”
Something about those words reminded me of all the ways I am indeed showing up, and even shining, despite not being well.
Like providing a home to my parents while they’re in transition and taking over menu planning and grocery shopping for my mom during the pandemic.
Or turning a bedroom into a makeshift office so my husband can continue his counseling practice from home.
Guilt surrendered to these realizations. At least for a little while.
When that nagging voice rose up again, I recognized her. She’s my inner taskmaster. She is all about work, getting stuff done, and driving me the ground. It was so freeing to remember the advice of both my enneagram coach and my somatic experiencing practitioner. Both of them taught me to talk to her. To thank her for her service and tell her I can take it from here.
So, I did.
I didn’t hear from her again for a while. But, she did show up again. She’s relentless.
Taking on this battle alone eventually proved to be too much, so I turned to my husband. I shared that not being awake with everyone else makes me feel like a loser and a failure. He reminded me nothing is normal right now and asked me if enjoy my time alone.
“I love it.” I had to admit.
I went on to confess how discouraged I am that when I do finally go to bed, I need twelve to sixteen hours of sleep.
Then, I asked him, from a counselor’s perspective, if he had any insight.
“Yes. Don’t try to change anything right now. Just take the next step with your doctor and go from there.”
He also asked me if I would tell someone else who was dealing with inflammation and who stole the alone time she desperately needed when she could that they were a loser.
“No. I’d tell them the same thing, to just take it one step at a time with their doctor and let everything work itself out.”
So we agreed that’s what I’ll do.
What I Really Want
Without the burden of self-judgement weighing on me, I realized I need to cut my ideal day down to what I’m capable of at the moment. It’s not easy, but I’m gradually letting go of picture perfect and trading it in for realistic.
I’m also asking myself what is the desire of my heart beneath that idyllic daily routine. Why does it upset me so much to miss out on the natural rhythm of daily life?
- Connection – I crave community. I need to feel connected, bonded to others. That’s not easy when I think I might be one of very few people who are awake in the middle of the night, or who is sleeping when the rest of the world is awake.
- Contentment – My ideal daily routine represents health, wellness, rhythm, and enjoyment. It signifies fulfillment and satisfaction. When I’m able to carry out that routine, it will mean I gave myself room to become and find contentment with myself and my life. In other words, I’m no longer anxious and striving. I can say it is well with my soul.
- Consistency – There’s security in consistency. I like the idea of all the areas of my life flowing together and complementing each other. That rhythm feels authentic and natural, as if that is how life was created to be.
I feel confident these are good desires. That I was created with these needs. Connection, contentment, and consistency, to me, are part of the human experience. I believe I was created with these needs. I’m meant to long for community. I’m called to be still and know. A sense of ease, no matter what is going on around me, is a gift.
Deep down in my soul, all of this is saying, “I’m ready, willing and able to live a life of ease.” Thank you to my coach, Galina, for giving me the words to my express my soul.
Daring to Hope for the Desires of the Heart
Knowing the desires of my heart gives a little substance to what I’m hoping for.
What’s interesting to me about hope is I recently became aware of the fact that I’m afraid to hope.
There’s a scripture that says hope deferred makes the heart sick. I’m all to acquainted with that feeling. Of waiting only to have my heart broken by disappointment. I always felt put off, forgotten or left out.
Again, I was listening to the wrong voice, the voice of inferiority and low self-worth.
When I listen to the truth, that I’m beloved, delighted over, and a part of something bigger than myself, I begin to come out from the shadows of dismay to discover hope.
For me, grabbing onto hope is an act of decluttering my soul and making room for the desires of the heart to become reality.
So, I’m going to keep holding on to my picture of an ideal day. Having a vision gives me something to hope for and inspires me to keep taking the next right step.
I think understanding the destination isn’t the goal is key to realizing the desires of your heart.
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Because we’re in this together!