The Power of Longing



Have you ever longed for something or someone so much that it actually hurt? Someone you love that you cannot have, someone who passed away recently…or perhaps even decades ago? 


Longing is a pervasive part of our daily lives. Songwriters thrive on it, writers use it to capture us, screenplays and story lines make us junkies for unrequited love.  Just look and listen and you’ll see it everywhere…the romantic notion of something or someone we cannot have, the “almost”, the memories of love lost, of “the good old days” feed the longing.


It is normal to feel sad when we experience loss, to grieve and to bargain in desperation. And as time passes, it is equally crucial that we move toward acceptance, gently edging ourselves into the present. 


Recently I experienced an exercise that moved me from longing to joy and I want to share it with you.


First…Close your eyes and think of something or someone for whom you are longing. Where do you feel it in your body? What words describe how that area of your body feels when you experience the longing?


Now…breathe deeply and see yourself actually having what you have been longing for. Really allow yourself to have what you want.  Be there, see the person, the event. Where in your body do you feel that? How does it feel?


Did you feel sadness with the longing? And, when you visualized having what you longed for, could you feel your heart open, experience joy, happiness, contentment? The shift from hopelessness to possibility is powerful. 


Sometimes we can’t have what we want. A lost love, the new job we thought we had but didn’t get…and we are frozen in the sadness that longing brings. Though we may not be able to have a specific person or job, we can bring love, success, joy into our present life. So, the next time you find yourself in that place, try shifting from the past (which is where longing resides) into the state of peace, joy that visualizing will bring.  

Leave a Comment