What makes me tick?

What do you know of yourself?  What do you know of your deeper self? Asking the questions, what makes me tick, who am I really, what do I know about being alive can be portals into your very essence.  

In our heart of hearts we humans want . . . hunger for - living free from suffering, free from the ache of depression, the struggle of anxiety, the relentless choke of addictions and the underlying fear and aversion to pain and our inevitable death.  We, consciously or unconsciously seek the truth of what we are beyond our “every-day” selves, knowing our inexpressible suffering from being disconnected from direct contact with life.

And, oh, the irony of ironies about this.  It is in the very facing of this suffering, the very felt sense of this confusion and disconnect that we can find the very peace we desire.   In fact, further irony; it is in running away from our suffering that we sadly create more suffering. 

We come alive, blood flowing through the veins alive when we are free to feel the real heartbreak of loss, the real pain of missing out on your life, and the agony we feel when we crush innocence.  We become acquainted with something essential when we open into direct contact with life, with messy, ever-changing and creative life.

What if hunger, yearning, restlessness, fear, loneliness . . . suffering itself is calling you home to direct contact with yourself – calling you back to your waiting-for-you- wide-open heart?  What if desire and aversion themselves are wake up calls to what you deeply know in your innermost heart and mind?

This freedom from suffering comes from the deeply silent place, from a wide-open heart. We get so lost in our thoughts, our made-up world, lost in the forest of bewilderment and suffering, convinced of our beliefs, we miss the truth beating in our hearts, showing and opening the path to what we truly are.  The primitive/limited human mind cannot see clearly into reality.  It is not possible. It distorts, it is self-serving, by its very nature. Reality is perceived through the quiet small voice of the innermost heart and mind. 

Be brave; be willing to go under your defenses and to admit to yourself when you are hiding, when you do not know.  Listen to what has stayed underground and stay open to spiritual insights . . . be still enough to hear the music calling you. 

Follow the path of suffering, of pain and discomfort – adhere, stay, commit until you find and can dwell in ease.  Feeling lonely, being lonely can be a siren song.  You have looked for something or someone to fill the vast abyss of loneliness.  You have looked for the thing that will make you feel better.  You have looked for the song that will keep you company at night.  Take hold of the notes and delve deeply into yourself, following the sound and the resonance of what you most deeply desire.  When you touch, when you taste the wide-open space of your heart’s desire you will realize how familiar it is.  You will remember wholeness with fondness. 

Stop talking . . . figuring out, attempting to understand or control . . . and listen.  Open your ears to the conch – listen deeply and always.  Listen to the strings and beat of your heart. Listen – there is a drum beat in your being, calling you to yourself.  Turn towards yourself.  Turn towards the unspoken, the unknown. 

Do not be swayed by the noise and chatter of what you have been taught, to the limits of your conditioned beliefs.   Do not be persuaded by what is “out there”.  Turning towards your inner world can be one of the most important movements you ever make.  Something inside might just say “I’ve been waiting.” 

Stop moving and be still. 


“ . . .  and one’s body is filled with desire and one suffers. One does not know and one knows.  Yes, vaguely, one realizes that it would be good, that the world would be beautiful, that it would be a paradise, happiness for everyone and joy.  To be guided by one’s blood, let one’s self be beaten, explored, let one’s self be carried away by the galloping of one’s own blood to the infinite prairie of the heavens smooth as sand.  And one would hear galloping, galloping, beating, beating, exploring, exploring, and the thundering drum beneath the great black palm of the pulsating blood.

     But it would be the dance, the true dance, one would obey, with true obedience.  One would do what the body desires.   All these calls of the blood would be calls of joy. Whereas here, one does not know, one is not sure if one ought.  One knows that one ought, but one dies not stir, one is bound.  And from the hollow of the breast one is also bound, that dance music, and the calling blood, it as though one were torn in two.  Because the poor body no longer knows.  Because the young blood that is just made knows. “

The Joy of man’s Desiring 

Jean Giono