Longing was me pouring my love, my need, my desire and sometimes my obsession into another person. Funny, now, to note that the person I dreamed about was always unavailable, unattainable and guaranteed to perpetuate my state.
Its hard to describe this constant state of longing, other than to say that it is like a song that's never finished, a meal that can't be tasted, an oasis on the horizon that can never be held in reality. It's the ultimate rat-race, a never ending treadmill of wanting, hoping, wishing for the completion of that which is missing... Love. How I longed for love, real love, true love, reciprocal love, unconditional love, love that accepted me just as I am, love. I longed for it night and day, pining away for the impossible.
As the object of the completion, the fulfillment of my longing, I would erect a talisman of sorts, that in the image of a man. A relationship. True love depicted in the movies. What everyone else had, everyone else, that is, but me. My heart ached to be loved, to be fulfilled, to be whole, and I projected this need outside of myself, onto the image of another person.
If THAT PERSON recognizes that I am lovely, lovable and worthy, then I can rest assured. If THAT PERSON deems me desirable, and chooses me among all others, then I can love myself. If THAT PERSON sees my value and gives me what I need, then this longing can stop and my hope will be made full. I rehearsed the lines indefinitely, over and over I longed for each to fulfill the role of making me okay, of giving me the worth I desperately craved.
Longing to be with someone who treats you poorly is a sign of self-abandonment. The attention and love you need to discover is your own. Longing is the process of projecting your good parts onto another instead of bringing them inside yourself.
~ Jenna Ryan
All I wanted was love. All I did was long for it. I did not know what love was. It took me a lot of heartbreak and heartache to discover that the thing that I longed for was never coming. I was never going to get the emptiness inside filled-up by a third party. No man was going to serve the role of Knight and Shining Armor, arriving to make me lovable. No, I had to do it myself.
This started a journey of discovery, healing and wholeness that still occurs to this day. Every day I've grown stronger in my heart as I first realized that no one else could give me what I longed for--no one else but me. That, despite the trickery of projection and psychological defenses of denial and wishful thinking, that I would have to find a way to love myself.
The longing was so embedded in my heart that it was comfortable to me. I thought longing and love were the same. I actually felt better in a state of longing than in a state of connectedness and love. I had to learn to move through the discomfort, and to embrace a new way of life. I had to trust my heart to lead me through the demolition of my old habits and ways of thinking, and build new habits of self love and inner strength.
I had to let go of longing. It was difficult, but I did it. As I let go of longing, I had to do something with the energy in its place. Instead of longing, I faced myself, meeting myself at that place of need and figuring out (an act of self-love) just what it was that I was longing for. I had to face the truth about what I needed. I had to stop projecting my need onto others and take responsibility inside my own heart. I had to realize that love is fulfillment. Love is satisfaction. Love is wholeness. Love feels good. Longing and love are not the same. I finally go it.
As I looked into my own heart and stopped the bleeding (longing), my wounded heart began to heal. Where once there was longing, there was now fulfillment--not in another, but within myself. I met myself at my need and began to connect inside my own heart. I stopped abandoning my need with defenses of fantasy love, and started meeting my needs with real self-respect, self-affirmation and self-knowledge. The gaping emptiness subsided and I could finally stand securely in my own presence without the need to be bolstered by an outside person. What a beautiful relief!
Today when I awake in the morning, I don't dream of the man-of-the-hour, romance, love, bliss... Sure, I'd love to find someone special to appreciate and share my life with, but that is not my reason for living. Now, I awake with a profound appreciation for who I am, for what life has to offer, for the power that I have to walk through my day with purpose and peace, blessing the lives of others, and for God who loves me and guides me. I can't tell you what a joy it is to find love like this within my own heart, love for myself. Hope for today, in good times and bad, it's always there--real, fulfilling love, completion and wholeness. My heart beats for me...
The only longing to follow
is the longing to know
Who you are.