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Energy of Longing

The energy of desire is intense, and heated. The energy of longing, though, is different: a sustained and sustaining, persistent current, cooler, steadier.

How do we meet the energy of longing? It comes up repetitively, familiar regardless of what it is we long for: a person, a place, a taste, a time. The bubbling up, like nagging, can be audible, coloring the tone of all the thoughts that come through the mind. We become prone to listlessness, pausing our acting when we are sensing, feeling the longing.

Why does it bubble, come to the surface so often? It is always within us, the sense of longing, and often we keep it below threshold, because it is convenient, or we are busy, or do not have the energy to attend to our inner lives.

Then, below the surface, the energy of longing is humming, driving all that we do. It is inaudible and inspiring, an inner current that we can tap, and bring to consciousness at will. Then we recognize that the energy of longing is trainable, something we can learn to transform away from specific desires and objects to the general, the overarching life that we live.

This training opens us to loving life. When the longing is below surface and unconscious, its sudden outbursts as desires seem specific: we want one thing, one person, and nothing, no one else will do. When we desire something or someone out of reach, something unavailable, we set ourselves up for feeling constantly missing something, a state of lack.

But when we transform the specific longings, when we take the imperceptible current and bring it up and forward, then this alchemy transforms a sense of emptiness into a fullness. The longing underwrites all that we do and feel.

When we are sensitive to this power, this inspiration, of not having specifically what we want but wanting all that we are and all that we do, then we feel the subtle energies of love, gratitude, deep connection. We are able to ground our sense of longing, bringing it away from attending to space and drawing it into what is easily available: the here, and the now.




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