In our yearning is our nostalgia for the future

The most penetrating question ever asked:

What if we trusted that nothing was missing right now?

Maybe we could quiet our yearning and listen to our own gifts.

Maybe we could focus on living the life that we have.

Maybe we could make more conscious choices about our experience.

Maybe we could believe that all we ever need is before us, around us and within us.

The possibilities are endless.

But sadly, the minute that most of us feel a pang of longing, there’s a bruising wallop of inadequacy that causes us to start comparing our lives with others. Blinding us to all the wonderful things our current reality has to offer.

It’s kind of like looking at a picture of yourself from when you were in high school or even college. Remembering that back when you were nineteen, you were deeply shameful about your body. Always obsessing about how you didn’t match up to your peers or, god forbid, those celebrities featured in the media.

But the irony is, a few decades later, if you were to look at that same picture, you would probably marvel at yourself and think, hot damn, look at that sexy young thang! Not bad at all.

If only you had appreciated back then just how beautiful you were. Maybe you would have actually enjoyed yourself.

Maybe that’s why people say youth is wasted on the young. It’s our yearning that creates a nostalgia for the future, but also a thanklessness for the present.

Dayton’s book on trauma healing suggests that in our strong yearning for the original lost object, we spend much of our time hoping and wishing and trying to make our present day adult situations into relationships and careers that will give us what we lost.

But of course, it’s not possible.

And so we move through cycles of excitement, disappointment and disillusionment and abandonment.

It’s an interesting exercise. Trying to pinpoint what it is we’re trying to recover.

My workaholism, driven by the obsession with being heard by as many people as possible, could absolutely have been a bid to heal my wound around feeling estranged, alienated, misunderstood and different as a youth.

Because if success and notoriety can’t help you find the ideal self that will be seen as lovable, what else will?

As you might suspect, that cold pursuit ended with complete and utter burnout, having never found enough love to fill my void.

And only when that tight wrapped coil finally let go, did it finally occur to me that there was nothing else to yearn for.

It’s here. It was always here. Patiently waiting to be accepted.

To quote my favorite poet, and let the remnants of my longing burn like ancient wood on the fire of my soul.

Are you still pining for the perfect thing that can meet all our needs and satisfy your every yearning?


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