Lean In To The Longing
I used think the term “lean in” was over used. Yet, here I am using it, lol.
I have said this before, but I think it’s worth repeating, “Don’t let your vision become your burden.” Sometimes we want things SO badly. There is an INTENSE longing for that thing. And the vision of what we want our lives to be becomes a painful reminder of what we don’t yet have. Sometimes the vision depresses us. Sometimes we feel discouraged because of it. Sometimes it makes us cry. At times the gap between where we are and where we want to be leads us to believe we’re not good enough. For if we were good enough we would be there already.
That’s not true. There is nothing wrong with you. You are good enough and the longing for something more isn’t a curse. Your vision is not a burden. It’s a blessing.
If there were no longing for a better future you would do nothing in the present moment. You would stay where you are until the day you die. The longing you feel is your indication that it is time to make a shift in your life. The longing is powerful and persuasive and necessary. Here are 3 ways you can lean in to the longing and allow it to transform your life.
Allow yourself to feel what you feel
Don’t try to ignore the feeling that life can be different in some way. Don’t drown it out with the TV screen. Don’t go home and have a drink every night after work so you can “relax” and “get your mind off of things”. Don’t get high. All these things take you “away“. You need to be fully present to create your best life possible. Let yourself feel what you feel so it can drive you into action.
We’ve placed so much judgment on life and emotions. We have this attitude that says, “if I’m feeling dissatisfied in some capacity it’s a bad thing and I need to get rid of those ‘bad’ feelings right away.” The reluctance to embrace all of our emotions keeps us stuck and drives us away from the longing. It drives us away from what we really want. Don’t check out of your own life. Stay engaged.
Feel those feelings so that you can’t help but to accomplish your goals. You don’t have to wallow in self pity and despair. Don’t sit in those feelings forever, but at the same time don’t dismiss them. Don’t cover them up. Don’t judge yourself for having them. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Question why you’re feeling those feelings. Acknowledge what needs to change and then take action.
Enjoy the journey
Making a major shift in your life can be a bit like going to college. You spend four, five, maybe even six years working towards the vision. The difference is that college is an exciting time. You are meeting new people. You might have moved to a new city you now get to explore. You are living on your own for the first time.
If you’re like me the journey to getting a college degree was an enjoyable one. I was at FAMU partying, going to football games, dating for the first time (and of course learning stuff). I was not sitting, waiting in despair or discouragement. I wasn’t thinking, “I don’t have a college degree yet and I’ve been here for 3.5 years. FML.” No, I enjoyed my life while I was pursuing my goal.
We have to learn how to enjoy all the journeys we find ourselves on. Don’t be so focused on where you’re going that you can’t enjoy where you are. Enjoy learning what you need to learn in order to create the life you truly want. Enjoy meeting new people. Enjoy growing and exposing yourself to new perspectives. Enjoy the journey.
Follow the longing
Let it guide you, not discourage you and not distract you. Don’t get distracted by what’s not happening. Stay focused.
Trust the longing. Trust that it is leading you somewhere you want to go. Trust that it is taking you where you ultimately need to go. Imagine that God Himself placed this longing inside of you because that longing is His intention for you in the world.
I think of it in terms of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Who tells the caterpillar it’s time to go into a cocoon? No one does. She feels the longing. She feels the desire to do something new and she obliges. She follows where the longing leads her even though she doesn’t know exactly where it’s taking her. She becomes a butterfly because she follows the intense desire inside of her. You too must follow your longing.
The next time you find yourself longing for something more remember these three ways to lean into that longing and watch your life transform.
Apply for a complimentary clarity session with Charlene to help you lean in to your longing. Apply here.