What is longing? Well, to me it is about seeing a photo and wishing that I could spend the day with this dearest of friends. It is her birthday after all, hence natural to want to be around her in person. Yet, she lives far away and I’m unable to celebrate with her. The truth is… there is something deeper going on with my reactions.
I don’t just miss, I have a powerful visceral response to seeing her photos. I miss her so acutely at times it feels like my heart might just burst into a pieces. Sound dramatic? It is… because for me longing is a painful and sweet emotional expression of wanting something I can not have.
Longing gets it power by not relating to the present. It is very often a reminder of something that has changed and a desire to have it returned. Or on the other side it can be a forward projection of what you wish you could have in the future. However, it isn’t a here and now formation.
When we move into a place of longing for what we don’t have it takes up the available space to enjoy what we do! Hence, what this does is take us out of being part of the current experience. We are no longer living in the moment where the richness of experience is found but rather manufacturing an imitation of such.
This is not to say that having an emotional response is in any way negative, however allowing that emotional response to be coupled with negative thoughts about how your life is lacking, shifts the focus from who you are is in abundance now. So when you are pining away for someone or something that you want, take a breath and re-center. Shift your focus more towards how it is wonderful that you have experiences that are so powerful that they still resonate with you. This reframe allows you to bask in the here and now rather than taking you away from the very parts of life you want.
And to use this technique even within my own emotional framework and this blog post, I will say:
Happy Birthday and thank you for being in my life. I’m honored to have a connection with someone who brings me continued joy and inspiration!
See? Longing can become a reminder tool to focus on what living is all about. It takes a bit of effort to shift into being present. It is worth it to be able to enjoy the current experience rather than separating from it. Give this approach a try. You are bound to be more presence.