The Golden Key of Unmet Yearning

Apr 5, 2019 | Blog, Featured 2, Featured Read

Many years ago, I suddenly understood that even with all the extraordinary healing and freedom I had realized, I was still carrying a deep, unmet yearning in my heart that was profoundly impacting my life.

I experienced it as an almost constant sense of subtle, gnawing want. A want for something other than what was already here.

I don’t mean to say that I was consistently joyless or restless or ceaselessly searching. But it was almost as though there was a continuous underlying noise in my psyche– an underlying sound of subtle discontent, of yearning, of longing.

I also noticed I had to feed it, in order for it to thrive. I had to fuel it with my emotional and mental attention. And there was a slight pleasure I noticed in this as well.  A kind of pain/pleasure inside my relationship with this unmet yearning. It was almost as though I associated this presence of longing with aliveness itself. 

I recognized that for the most part in my life I had habitually projected this longing outwards, and usually onto the masculine, in a deep desire to be powerfully met and claimed by the home of true union. As I pondered the energetic signature of this yearning, and contemplated where else I had come in contact with it, I realized that almost everyone I knew, young and old, partnered and un-partnered, seemed to carry some version of this same unfulfilled yearning.

For some people it seemed to arise more around issues of work and life purpose; about reaching some financial ideal, or some external recognition of success. For still others I noticed this yearning was mostly concerned with spiritual realization or liberation; attaining some form of “ultimate enlightenment.”  

During a week of personal retreat away from my young children, in which I was given the rare gift of ample time to really examine this pattern of yearning, I allowed myself to become openly curious about it.

I found myself wondering if this longing was simply an unavoidable aspect of the human condition, or perhaps something more sacred? Emotionally and mentally it carried the signature of a subtle story of slightly masochistic suffering, and yet deeper than that I sensed it also contained what could be interpreted as a holy longing for The Beloved; a longing for peace, for truth, for rest. 

I remembered my teacher Gangaji saying to me once, “Your longing for God is God’s longing for YOU. Give yourself fully to this longing. Let it have you. This is holy longing.

I considered: what part of this unmet yearning of mine was “holy longing”?  What part was biologically or hormonally motivated? And what part was a socially conditioned, collective trance of suffering based on the assumption that something or someone was missing?

Finally, after tossing all of this around in my heart for days, I decided I would just turn and meet it, once and for all—this unmet yearning.

I was staying at Kripalu, a yoga retreat center in Western Mass., and one afternoon I took myself on a leisurely walk towards the breathtakingly serene Lake Mahkeenac. When I arrived upon the shore, and noticed I was the only person there, my sense of this longing grew more pronounced in my chest. I found a tall, empty lifeguard chair, and I climbed to the top of it, facing the exquisitely still lake. 

It was there, sitting in that lifeguard chair, that I decided I would just fully embrace this unmet longing. I would turn towards it, opening my heart completely to it. I wanted to meet it all the way, to finally “let it have me” and see what might happen.

The experience that followed was one of immaculate bliss; a feeling of being absolutely consumed by vast, golden self-love; nothing needed, nothing longed for; an open unfurling of limitless, bottomless self-love. 

I was Home. 

In this homecoming, I realized that this unrelenting longing I had carried in my heart was both incredibly human, as well as sacredly useful towards its evolving resolution.

It was a death of sorts, as that longtime habit of projecting my unmet yearning outwards came to a halting stop. But as I surrendered into this ending, what was revealed was a LOVE that is exquisitely full and whole in itself, while still tenderly open to the natural relational desires and sacred needs that come with my humanity.

When we allow our yearning to nourish our deeper wantlessness, inviting our surrender to the grace of true self-love and self-fulfillment, what an offering this is. When we aren’t looking to life, or to others, or to our work, or to “enlightenment” to give us whatever it is we imagine we are missing, then we can serve as a mirror for what’s already whole, already found, already home within us all. 

The intimacy of true self-love fuels a capacity and availability for intimacy with all of life. 

We do need each other. We humans are interdependent pack animals. Even the most innately introverted and shy and anti-social amongst us (ahem, such as myself!) still have a true human need for others. Without the ability to lean into one another for connection, for touch, for empathy, for a good laugh, for belonging, for love, it would be nearly impossible for us to survive, let alone to thrive.

And yet, as you realize yourself to be the greatest source of love and fulfillment you could ever know, and as I do the same, it lets the rest of life off the hook.

In the light of your bright and brave self-love, our entire world rests easier.

Facebook Comments

More Blog Posts

Praising Angels

One of the many gifts that came from my early childhood intimacy with traumatizing illness, was the way in which it opened my psychic centers to be able to “see” and “hear” energetic realities that remain elusive for most. While it took me a couple of decades to work...

Stewarding a New Way

As I witness all this outrageous trauma playing out on the global stage between man and woman, one of the most poignant components it illuminates for me is the power we hold in how we choose to steward our daughters and sons in these times. What is our part to play in...

Smoky Grateful Boredom Breakthroughs

My son Ezra and I had a glorious breakthrough about boredom a few days ago, and I’m inspired to share it with you, in case it just might be contagious. (And no, it wasn’t about boredom breeding creativity or genius or whatever it was someone wise once said, though I’m...

A Year of Leaning In

A couple of weeks ago Orionne and I celebrated our one year anniversary! What a meaningful threshold for us to cross. And what a profound year of leaning in it has been. We met (re-met) one year ago in July and immediately bowed in to a most extraordinary love. We...

“Free of Mom”~ Attachment & Surrender

The other morning I was sitting at my desk writing, when suddenly my son Ezra was beside me, tapping me on the shoulder in his fluffy red bathrobe. As I turned to greet his morning brightness, he surprised me by tumbling completely into my arms, so I had to move fast...

“But either way, isn’t Love always the answer?”

“But either way, isn’t Love always the answer?”

“But any way you look at it, isn’t Love always the answer?” That’s what my beloved partner said to me yesterday with fierce truth pouring from moist eyes, devotedly calling me back, in a moment when defense had gotten the better of me, to the common ground of our...

Graduation from a Life Chapter; The Endless Changing of Form

I’ve got some big news to share~ about a large life change in the works for my sweet family. One night, about 6 weeks ago, as I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I was suddenly struck with an unexpected lightning bolt of revelation. It went something like this: “And Now You will Move With The Children Back To Ashland.” It truly felt more like an announcement from my soul, than any kind of choice I was being offered to contemplate. I was shocked, confused, and somewhat triggered. I […]

Being Single~ Yearning, Prayer, Surrender and Fulfillment I’m inspired to tell you a story from a recent bedtime conversation I had with my son, on the topic of being single, and the prayer for partnership. It’s a tender topic to personally speak and write about, but one that so many of us share in common. And so I humbly offer my voice to the collective conversation.I’ve been contemplating my own single womanhood and single motherhood a lot lately, in a particularly focused way. It’s interesting to consider the stigm […]

Nurturing Self-Love as Healthy Self-Image~ A Clothes-Shopping Story

Due to the vulnerable nature of this writing, this piece is published with explicit permission and blessings from my brave and generous daughter Arayla, who after reading it shared her hope that our story might serve in some small way~ especially other mothers and daughters, in navigating the steep challenge of healthy self- image and radical self-love in our culture. One of my most treasured delights as the mother of my beloved daughter Arayla, (newly 12 years old,) is the incredibly swee […]

Our World, Our Mirror~ Rupture, Projection, Responsibility & Repair

Our World, Our Mirror~ Rupture, Projection, Responsibility & Repair

It's difficult to know what to say in these times, but I'll give it a try.  While this horrifying drama is playing out on the world stage, I’m finding it useful to notice how this translates in my own privileged life. For it to get this crazy on the outer stage of our...