Listen to Your Longings and Come Alive.
I’ve spent a long time thinking about longings. Because I think they are important and have something to teach us.
I know that when we listen and become present to our desires, our dreams, and our yearnings, we come into a deeper relationship with our lives and our true selves.
What are your longings? Sometimes longings are hard to define, but you know them. You know them because you can feel them.
Perhaps they are those tiny, tucked-away parts of yourself that still come around from time to time. Like clovers and bitters, like letters in a box. Perhaps you’ve been putting off paying attention to them, but nonetheless, they are there. Part of you. Coming alive.
You know what they are.
Longings can be subtle or fierce. They can be loud and clear, or nuanced, or both, like a river bed in the sunshine on a summer day. They can be all of these things.
Longings aren’t just one thing, but all the pieces that make up You, and give you meaning.
Longings are here to reveal something deeper to us.
Those feelings that wake you up from your day-to-day life. That make noise, that take up space even in the undeveloped spaces.
The sense that there’s something more you want to say, to express, to experience. A hard-to-forget knowing, like an orange tulip, felt distinctly inside yourself.
Longings have a way of garnering our attention, even when we don’t always want them, or know what to do with them. They will be there. Like a toddler who doesn’t want to just be shushed and sent to bed, they will make themselves known.
What is it you’re really longing for?
Sometimes it’s simple and clear as a breaking wave. Sometimes you can taste it.
The earthy, rich smell of coffee by a just-open window in the morning. The ocean foaming gently at your toes. The skin-to-skin contact of a baby on your chest. A person you haven’t made contact with for a long, long time, yet who’s been on your mind.
The mountains. The city. Writing. Community. Making love. Boots. Music. Work. Art. Money.
And sometimes longings are more obscure. You know they are around, lingering, beating on some door in your well-worn heart, haunting you a bit. Go away, you’ve said before. Longings only leave you high and dry. You’re not sure what to do with them.
Longings can be painful. Because they remind us that we’ve closed the door on them before. Or that we didn’t get what we needed. That we still don’t always get what we need.
That when we were little, we showed up full of wonder and excitement and were told to settle down. To stay still. To go inside. To get good grades, be pretty, make money, make our moms happy, make our boyfriends content. That it was safer to trade in wonder and curiosity, than it was to stay wide and open.
You have to be brave to listen to your longings, and to follow their lead. To listen to what they are trying to reveal to you. They nibble at the edges of your dreams, they know how to push your buttons. Sometimes longings are there to remind us of who we are.
Longings can lead us toward being more alive.
Longings are dreams. They are a lively concoction of what we want, what we need, with some fantasy and purpose also infused.
They literally make us who we are, and give us meaning. We all crave something. Longings will move you, and move you toward your deeper purpose.
When you allow yourself to tap into those feelings, that place inside yourself that is still potently moving, you begin to work with a different dimension of yourself that is beautiful and alive. Listen to your longings.
Longings won’t quit you. If you trade in too much of your wild, untamed, beautiful self for all things that are supposed to make us happy, they will grow even fiercer.
Yes, sometimes longings are tiny, and you know how to meet with them. It’s a day of rest on the warm rocks by the river. It’s changing the sheets, and playing music while the rain falls and the kettle sings.
And sometimes, our longings are big and potent. They stir you fiercely, with some wild, mysterious current. It’s that juicy, big strong love we’ve been craving, with someone who is fierce and mirrors something inside ourselves. It’s to bring forth our creative energy into life with art, with work, with love. It’s wanting to give birth to babies and dreams.
It’s the longing to let go of all the things we’re supposed to be, and be the person we really are.
I get it. You’re aching in there. What are you longing for?
Listen to your longings.
Stay present with your longings.
Revel in your longings.
Cultivate times to listen to what’s really there, and to what you are really hungry for.
Be brave and tender with your longings. Let them show you the way.
Moriah Norris-Hale is a writer, mama, and a teacher who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. She’s in a constant process of discovery, and trying to understand this adventure called Life we are on. She loves helping people, especially women, discover more of who they are, what their deepest gifts and desires are, and how to bring more of those gifts into the world. These days, she spends a lot of time with her two-year-old daughter, playing and fostering a lot of play, curiosity, and wonder. You can read more of her writing at her website, or connect with her on Instagram.