Longing is the undulating hope of freedom ~Karyn, Move the Moss.
Five months into quarantine, with little to no change in my daily routine, I am not sure that I have a good grasp of what time is or whether I know how to access who I am or where I belong. Being with my family during this time has illuminated and coalesced just what I Long deeply to embody. Yes, I am ever grateful to be still employed, but I don’t know what I long for anymore, do you? I feel like I am in this fluid existence moving back and forth between what I have to do and what I want to do. I long for so much I just can’t have right now, and this has created a limitless longing within me and I have had to reach deep within to find belonging.
This time together has forced me to re-examine the ever-present need for time alone that I don’t get anymore, the constant questions, the barrage of noise and interruptions, and the level of demand from others that far exceeds my capacity to give. (Textbook introvert here) I feel stuck, stale, and stagnant, and I realize that I am not coping very well. I imagine the film on top of a pond that embeds in its stillness. I’m struggling with that feeling of stagnation. This has forced me to find ways to fill the longing within and find my place of belonging again.
I Long to show up, just as I am, most authentically and truthfully, and use my voice, perspective, and gifts to help people find and honor theirs.
There is an uneasiness in the collective that captures all of us in this story.
Longing: Reaching Within to Find Belonging
As we open our hearts to receive the gifts of what’s around us, we can bend and flex with what comes our way and what doesn’t, and it creates this avenue that naturally clears the stagnation. When we aren’t changing our environment or changing how things feel and look around us, we cannot understand the gifts of stagnation. It is a pause. A pause in who you are. Not seeking outside of yourself for anything more than what you can cultivate within and the stagnation is really about getting comfortable with that which you cannot change.
It’s essential during these times to nurture a deep sense of who you are. There is a deep part of who I am waiting to be born. However, it is not on my timeline, yet I am cultivating the energy in this new life within me.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. ~Fred Devito
Being unsure of your self-evolution is ok. Are you showing up on days when it is hard, and life is cloudy or fuzzy and sad? Growing forward is about touching the embers within your heart that keep the Longing alive—cultivating a mindset for growth—going beyond the day to day to stretch your edges and expand your capacity for holy humanness.
As I learn to adapt to these new challenges, I am finding it is the Longing that aches in my bones and can’t be captured in a single word or feeling but radically moves me forward to envelop a deep sense of who I am.
When we feed the Longing within us with genuine connection, we sit just on the edge of who we are. Longing is not filling a void that you may be feeling today. Longing comes from an untouchable space, and asking the questions:
Who am I?
From where do I come?
Why am I here?
How can I be in service to humanity?
Longing: Searching Within
What are we searching for when we Long for something? We’re searching for acceptance; we’re seeking to feel human and be part of the whole embodied human. We search for real Longing placed on our heart, and the seeds planted in this lifetime or many prior lifetimes. The challenges arise when we try to fill the Longing with “something” that never will. The connection to our devices or the thirst to connect and long for what someone else is has or is doing, and is not based on our existence.
Comparison is the thief of joy ~Theodore Roosevelt.
As we face mounting distractions in our lives, we have an opportunity to feed the Longing that lives deep within us or surrender to the distractions of any moment.
Consider this: just 20 years ago, most people did not own a personal device, or need it. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, did an extraordinary thing when he created a personal device you didn’t know you needed, but can’t live without now. It caught on, and now, I bet you can’t you imagine going one day without your hand-held device. It is how you live, thrive, and exist. The challenge with this is we have lost our ability to cope and Long from a deep space within. Our attention spans are shorter, our thought processes are scattered and distracted, and we have shut off our internal compass. How many times do you walk into a room in your house only to forget and have to backtrack to remember? The Longing felt and held deep within the heart is a whisper heard only in your stillness and pause.
The limits around Longing exist when we feed the illusion in our head. Fear feeds the illusion, which limits the Longing. Aligning with your Longing keeps you on the path.
For me, it is about finding ways to connect with Source, finding ways to continue my writing, continuing to be creative, finding ways to evolve my contemplative, meditative practice, so I can continue to stoke the fire of my Longing.
As you align with your Longing, consider these questions:
- How do you continue to feed the Longing without feeding the illusion?
- How do you show up unbounded by distractions?
- What does it feel like to trust the path and move forward in a direction that supports you and your highest truth?
Two ideas for continued growth toward your Longing and Belonging
Keep the Fire of your Longing Stoked by a Supportive Internal Dialogue.
- It is easy to be critical of yourself, but it is harder to be kind to yourself. When you are on the negative thought train, practice reframing your thoughts towards positive daily musings, and remaining curious about why you lean towards being critical. You can start with “I am” statements, like “I am loving, or I am worthy,” or looking deeply into your eyes in the mirror and being kind and sharing the immense gratitude you have for the human staring back at you. Often it is about recognition of the hardest parts of ourselves that light up the space for continued evolution.
Create Boundaries that Support your Evolvement toward Belonging
- You are in control of you and how you spend your time and who you allow in your life. Take a step back and listen to what your heart asks of you as you integrate and grow toward your Longing. Often this involves releasing habits, people, and practices from your life that no longer support you. Place your Longing in front of your desire to Belong. When we align with our Longing, we effortlessly Belong to ourselves, and life begins to flow.
What is it you Long for, and how you are keeping your Longing alive? Drop it in the comments below.