Some people find the things they love with ease. Others must go on a long and sometimes intense journey of self-discovery. Often, the things we love get hidden underneath stress, busy lives or painful emotions and memories. But we can find the answer deep inside of us. If you are struggling to find what you love, consider taking a creative path to get your answer. These simple ideas may get you started.
The concept of art therapy is often misunderstood. Many people imagine a therapist carefully studying pictures and revealing secrets from their subconscious. While your stick figures might actually be connected to your deep seeded trust issues, the reality is, art therapy isn't that mysterious. The process is fun and anyone can do it.
Art therapists help you understand your own art, even if you have never had any formal training in painting or drawing. The idea behind art therapy is that through the images we create, we can convey ideas that aren't easy to express in words. A good art therapist won't tell you what your art means. They will simply ask you the right questions to get you thinking about what your subconscious is trying to tell you. Your art may reveal a surprising answer to the question, "What do you love?"
Dreams are powerful in that they allow our unconscious mind to speak to us. Sometimes, it may seem like our dreams are just noise, echoes and bits of information that are filtering out after a long day. However, if you pay close attention, you may find recurring themes in your dreams. There may also be symbols, people, messages or images that mean something deeper.
For most of us, as soon as we wake up we start forgetting our dreams. Take a few moments in the morning to write, draw or journal anything you remember from the night using as much detail as you can. Make special note of people, places, ideas or feelings or you had. Repeat this exercise every morning for a few weeks and look back at your entries to see if you can make any meaning of the information. You might be surprised to find hidden desires trying to communicate with you in the dream world.
Spend Time With Your Alter Egos
All of us have personalities that we hide inside. Maybe you show the world that you are a type A go-getter, but perhaps there is a part of you that wants to escape your 9 to 5 job and open a taco stand on the beach. Getting in touch with our alter egos is hard. We hide them away for many reasons. Maybe we don't have the confidence to let them shine. Maybe they are so shockingly opposite of who we usually are that they surprise or scare us.
Take some time to think about all the different versions of you that might exist. Imagine walking down the street and meeting all of them. Which personalities do you like and want to spend time with? Which do you hurriedly walk by? Try to learn more about the versions of you that you are drawn to. Spend an hour or a day as one of them. Do the things they want to do; dress the way they want to dress. Give that side of you a voice and the opportunity to show itself. You may just find that the thing you love is already a part of you.
Make Time For Tomorrow, Today
Everyone has a list of things they are going to do "one day." One day they will go back to school. One day they will quit their job and start their own business. These thoughts nag at the back of our mind for one reason and one reason only. They matter to our hearts.
It's easy to shut down our inner desires. We come up with excuses like not having enough money or time to pursue our dreams. But, in life, we don't always have to follow an all or nothing approach. This means instead of seeing your life as it is today and your future as something that is far away, you can take small steps to live the life you want and pursue your passions right now.
If your dream is to be a singer, enroll in singing lessons once a week or even once a month. If you want to be a chef, buy a book and teach yourself new skills. The reality is, there will never be a "perfect" time for any of us. Life changes each and every day. But if you don't start working toward the thing you love, you will never have it. It may not be the ideal situation, but there is almost always a way to move in the direction you want to 1% each day.
Try New Things
Often, we don't do the things we love because we don't know what those things are. Likewise, the answers don't seem to make themselves very clear through looking at our inner nature. When in doubt, don't be afraid to simply try something you have never done before. Just like your mother used to tell you at the dinner table, "How do you know you won't like the peas until you try them?"
Make a list of things you always wanted to experience but never got around to. Start at the top of the list and try each one by one. You will find that some things on the list don't stick. However, you may also find your passion somewhere on the page.
Revisit Old Things
If trying new things doesn't appeal to you, spend some time with your inner child. Think back to when you were a kid. What used to bring you joy? Was it spending time outside? Reading? Playing with your dog? Chances are the things that used to make you happy as a kid, may make you happy as an adult too. In fact, one of them just might be the thing you love to do.
Finding what you loved in childhood isn't always easy. Rely on your memory as much as you can but when in doubt, reach out to your family for help. Ask for old pictures or videos of you as a kid. Listen to your family tell stories about how you used to play and what you liked. Look through old yearbook entries, diaries or artwork to see what mattered to you. Use what you learn as a jumping off point for more exploration.
Do Just The Opposite
Our brains are wired to notice things we don't like. However, sometimes finding the thing you love may be as simple as looking at the things you hate. If you don't like spending time outdoors, maybe the thing you love is being inside snuggled up with a book. If you don't like cooking, maybe your passion is eating. Sometimes the things we dislike speak to us so strongly because they are that far removed from the thing we love the most. Try looking at activities that are polar opposites from those you can't stand to see how they feel.
New opportunities present themselves all the time. Unfortunately, many of us get so stuck in our rut that we pass them by without a second glance. The next time someone asks you to do something you have never done before or go someplace out of your comfort zone simply say "yes." Even if the activity sounds terrible, you won't know for sure until you try it for yourself. Challenge yourself to seeing how many new experiences you can take on in a week, a month, or a year. You just might accidentally stumble upon the thing you've been looking for.
We spend every minute of our lives inside of our own head. However, outside perspectives can help us see things in new ways and discover things about ourselves that may be right under our nose. If you have spent time dwelling on what you love and can't find an answer or have an idea of what that thing might be but aren't sure how to put it into practice, reach out to a licensed counselor like those available through BetterHelp.com. A counselor can work with you to help you better understand what you love, why it matters to you and what you can do to manifest it more fully in your life.
Finding what you love can be hard. It's often a process of looking deep into your heart and mind or relying on trial and error. It's important to know that it might take a while to find what you love. This is completely normal. You may even find that the thing you love changes over time or is something completely unexpected. These creative tips are just some of the ways that you can unlock your heart's inner desire. The process of discovering you is all your own.