Yesterday was emotionally volatile. Seems like everyone around me was in turbulence and feeling powerfully intense emotions, myself included. Keeping centered and in my body was challenging, and staying present to what was mine and what was theirs was the task of the day. In the midst of it all, a client spoke about wanting versus longing and it really helped me frame what was happening. This is a client I have been seeing for a while and I love her insights.
Wanting to be sexual, wanting a relationship, wanting to be loved but letting go of longing for it. Is that giving up, or is it more about reclaiming herself? I think the latter.Wanting is “to feel a need or a desire for; wish for.” I am all about desire and wishing. I celebrate that I can want. It feeds me to want. I feel empowered and alive and capable.
Two of my teachers, Dawn Isidora and Ravyn Stanfield emphasize a particular self-awareness that strengthens and relies on my relationship with myself in all of my parts. By keeping myself aligned and recognizing my own boundaries (physical and energetic) and my desires, I create tools and awareness about what I want and need. There is peace and contentment there, even if I don’t have what I want because I am taking responsibility for my own emotional and physical needs. I can get what I want, or at least try.
What is longing? A dictionary definition is “strong, persistent desire or craving, especially for something unattainable or distant.” Craving…something unattainable or distant. Longing requires that you give up before you even start.
Longing is reaching out, looking for a reflection and affirmation of my needs from someone external. It’s painful and difficult to long for something or someone. Longing seems to require an inability to be satisfied.
Longing is at its core about my own insecurity and hopelessness, and therefore it is all about me. If I am longing for someone, I am actually mourning my loss of them or what they stand for. I have made them a source of my pain, which is probably neither kind nor fair to them…and certainly affects how close I can feel to them.
Longing is also about giving up my power. Getting back to desire from a place of longing requires strength and hope. Rekindling desire is about taking responsibility for where I have given up power, and taking it back. I am responsible for my own needs, wants and desires. That feels right.