Most of us relate to our longing and desire in one of two ways: We either repress or deny it, or we try to fulfill it by getting what we think we want. Now, there is nothing wrong with getting what you want. But most of us aren’t TRULY getting what we want when we move towards ‘fulfillment’ – we are simply attempting to fill the neverending void of desire inside us.
But there is a third way: Feeling, without acting upon, the desire or longing.
To feel our longing as women—for love, partnership, marriage, children—can be deeply uncomfortable, or even a scary experience. When we touch the depth of our longing, we often touch the part of ourselves that fears we are not loved or whole. And this goes for all women (and probably men too, but for the purposes of this post I’m speaking directly to women) whether we’re in intimate relationships or not. It’s not like our longing for love goes away once we have a partner! In fact, for many of us, it almost increases, because now we can’t blame our longing on being single.
Damn him! He didn’t cure my longing! We know this is irrational, and yet we feel it anyway.
As strong, independent women, we often judge ourselves for feeling this way: “I shouldn’t need a man,” or “I know he isn’t supposed to complete me—I’m already complete,” or “I should find a way to fulfill this on my own.” We add this on top of the longing because we believe the longing for love means something is wrong with us.
But I believe real wholeness actually means knowing we are whole, including the longing!
The longing to touch and be touched and to love are human longings, and its ok to want them and to want them to be fulfilled. But the question is, can you stay and burn in the depth of those longings and no try to fulfill it with a random dude who doesn’t know how to touch you and you don’t even really like him in the first place? Because that isn’t real nourishment. That’s the high fructose corn syrup of touch.
The truth is that our longing can never be completely met. There’s not a human on this earth who can fill it for us, ourselves included. Because this longing comes not just from a desire for partnership, children, love, purpose, etc…. but from a larger longing for the Divine; a cosmic longing for connection with All That Is; a deep desire for Intimacy with Life – and this is not something any human can meet.
But the willingness to feel the longing—without moving towards getting the longing met, or fixing the fact that we feel it—is the true experience of wholeness. This is what I call Sacred Sovereignty.
So how do we cultivate our capacity to be with the longing and the ache of longing for love, connection, and intimacy? Once we realize we have the longing, how do we actually sit with it? Well, it’s incredibly nuanced and individual to every person, but here are two quick practiced to get you started.
Stillness practices are fundamentally about being with ourselves no matter what we feel. Being still with ourselves in this helps us become aware of what is true (i.e. what is so), and then builds our capacity to not respond from habit and reaction—by pushing the feeling away or seeking to get it fulfilled.
Expressive practices are about getting in touch with those feelings and moving them through the body. These practices are about movement & expression, more than words. This can be dance, or archetypical expressions (i.e. an anger dance, or wailing out the depth of your feeling of unrequited love…).
Sacred Sovereignty involves the capacity to truly make one’s own choices, not only free of the judgments or persuasions of others but also free of one’s own habits. This pushing away or fulfilling of the feeling of longing is a habit we have, and it deprives us of our capacity to make truly Sovereign choices—when do I choose to be in my own company, when do I choose to be in the company of other women? Of other men? And with whom and how?
Our capacity to answer these questions from a Sovereign place is dependant on our ability to gain awareness of our habits & cultivate the capacity to move from a deeper place. Because true choice requires freedom from habit, compulsion, and addiction, and this not feeling of the longing is a compulsion.
One of the programs I launched, the No-Man diet, was developed to help create a container for women to feel these things, without pushing them away and without seeking to get the longing met. You can check it out here.
Watch the full video, and feel free to leave your questions and comments below and I’ll respond to them asap!