Longing, far more than it haunts you,
reminds you of your true name.
~ Cooper Edens
I suppose longing doesn’t seem like it matters much anymore, and perhaps when it did, it only appeared to cause you pain. But longing is the friend we have forgotten…the only friend who knows our true name.
Without our true name, we have no clear direction and respond blindly to any name we are called. Without our true name, no matter how deeply we are drawn to a life of meaning and joy, it feels as though our energy leaves us through a hole in our field we can’t quite seem to close. But there is a fire that is always warm in the coldest night. We may be concerning ourselves so firmly with survival that we don’t realize it’s glow is what we need, even as we hurriedly rub sticks together to try to create a spark while the flame we are striving for already burns brightly. We just have to know where to look for it…
Perhaps you are already so tired of looking that it seems a tease for me to even bring it up. You’d rather do anything else but continue a search you feel left you with nothing but dust and empty hands. I am here to make it easier…I am here to tell you that the key to the door it seems impossible to open is to be found in one place:
It is underneath the ache of the yearning, and the pain of loss.
There, where you still have lust for life. Uncovering it is only for the bravest of souls, and among the finest works of any lifetime.
I am here to tell you that under a blanket of snow, the seed lives on.
And the seed is what you really, deeply want.
Longing is a guide. It is a guide that will show you your north star, your next step, your greatest dream and the way to bring it to life in a design so perfect that it is likely to unfold in a way far more beautiful than you planned or imagined.
Longing will show you what you need, at the soul level, and what will make you blossom. And it will do this not just by providing a compass, but by driving you directly into the situations that help you heal the pain that keeps you from feeling your desire, and experiencing its fruition.
Your hunger might be the greatest healing message you could ask for.
You may have transferred your hunger from things that nourish you to things that numb you so that you could survive. That’s a perfectly natural response to pain when there are no better options, (like being loved deeply through it and having a natural grief process when we experience loss…a rare experience in the world as it is today.) There is nothing wrong with letting numbness step in as your dance partner when you need it to. It can be a friend too.
But longing will always keep knocking at your door, promising to tell you the secrets you so dearly wish to know, if you would but let it in again…when you are ready…with all its pain and revelations. And one day, when you have grown so empty from the numbness that you are willing to risk again, you will open that door, and longing will come in, sit down for tea, and show you the way.
It may take time for longing to show you. It may take time for you to trust it enough to let it guide you, and for you to understand its language again. But if you make room for it, one day on the hundredth cup of tea, it will lean in and tell you your true name…and your life will never be the same again.
The gatekeeper to accessing our longing is our ability to take risks. We are never so poor as when we can’t afford to take risks. But we are also never so wise as when we know that for the moment we can’t. There is no greater wisdom than trusting what we know is right for us within. If you have no room for risk, honor that. Wait, under a cloudy night sky, trusting the healing you are doing, until stars begin to peek out from behind the clouds once more and you realize there is room to try again.
Heal, rest, stay closed as long as you need to. And when you realize the cocoon has become to tight to hold you and you have outgrown it, dare to open your new wings.
Because I promise you that as unimportant as your longing may seem in the scope of global events and large scale suffering, you cannot imagine how much the world needs your wings. If we cannot dream anymore, we can’t dream the ways out of the unthinkable. We need magic to do what we need to do next.
So here is the map to buried treasure and what I recommend if this message is speaking to you…
First, you must find a window of time to reconnect with yourself. Carve out an hour, or a few of them if you can, and make an inviolable date with yourself. If you have a schedule, put it in there. If you can’t do it now, schedule it out. If you need to move it, no worries, move it. If you don’t want to wait, make it 15 minutes and schedule it before bed tonight. But if you’ve got more time, go somewhere you really want to be…a place in nature or the window seat in a busy cafe. Whatever you like. (Or if all you can do is climb into a big closet and close the door, or draw a bath and lock the bathroom, that’s great too.)
Bring a piece of paper or just answer this in your mind: what is one thing I really, really want? Not maybe or kind of. Something you want in a burning way. If you can’t find something, just explore things you used to want or might. If you are in a space where you want nothing and that feels perfect, wonderful. Just be with that and wait until the next time a longing appears like a firefly in your heart. You’ll know.
Don’t edit your longing.
Though not editing your longings alone can be a lifetime pursuit. Try anyway.
If you long for something you can’t have or don’t have right now, well…that’s why it’s a longing. But that’s also why it hurts sometimes to long…especially for something you have longed for for a very long time. It may make you feel abandoned by the universe or unworthy of having your desires come to fruition or your dreams come true. That’s part of the pain coming up for healing. If it gets unbearable, it’s perfectly good to change your focus and come back to this another time.
When you have your one longing, ask yourself what that longing tells you about yourself. Then find a way to celebrate that part of yourself. It will help to heal your pain and show you your next step in life.
For instance, if you long for a friend, you might notice that you are a person who deeply values connection and intimacy. If you long for a lover perhaps it also means you are a passionate person who values not only connection and intimacy but your sexuality as well. If you long for these things deeply perhaps you are being asked to honor that you have a great appetite for these kinds of connection because you have a great gift as well. And even if you haven’t been able to explore these gifts as fully as you would like to yet in this life, it doesn’t mean that you won’t. It’s never, ever too late.
Maybe you long to travel but it’s restricted, or you don’t have the funds right now or have children to take care of, or a job without flexibility (or all of the above). You then my friend may be a great wanderer, an explorer…someone open to and craving new experiences…someone who brings a fresh perspective to anything you do. This may be how longing is showing you your true name, and if you keep listening to the longing it may show you how to experience those gifts without travel for now, and light the way to how you might be able to travel more in the future.
See if you can connect to the ways your longings make you beautiful. The ways your longings reveal your gifts. See if you can create a new dream or feel a new direction or new kind of guidance by embracing these aspects of yourself. If it feels good to do so, create a tiny ritual or celebration where you do something small that gives you the feeling you are craving. Then pay attention to dreams, messages, signs or new opportunities shortly after you make this connection with more of your “true name”.
If you can’t hear longing over the deafening sound of the pain and stress you are enduring, that is more valid than I can possibly say. I think, honestly, that is the experience of the majority of the people in the world right now. My advice in that case would be to practice being as gentle as you can with yourself right now, and if you get a spare moment, use it to rest…even if its just closing your eyes and taking a breath when you can…even if it’s just taking a moment to look out at the cloudy skies, and see if any stars have appeared yet. One day they will, and you will be ready.
I promise that you have not been forsaken by the universe, even when it seems as though that is the only possible explanation for where you are now or what has happened in your life. One day when you least expect it, the sprouts of things you dreamed of long ago may burst out of the ground you thought was barren, and begin to spring to life. One day, you may come face to face with a flower as big as your face, and it may make you laugh like a child, as you suddenly remember your true name.
Love this writing? Hop on my email list to receive each new post!
Also, if you love this writing you will adore my online courses…click here to see them!