How Misconceptions About Spirituality Can Keep Us Disconnected From Our Hearts
A few years ago, I heard for the first time that deep longing is a spiritual power. I was dumbfounded, but also…. deeply relieved.
There are plenty of reasons why we seldom stop to feel what our heart deeply yearns for not to mention seeking spirituality in our deepest longings.
For me it all started in childhood when I was repeatedly told not to ‘daydream’, stay focused and ‘down to earth’ and be happy and grateful for what I had ‘as others don’t have that much’.
I worked through some of these limiting beliefs just to find out that my first steps into spirituality tried to silence my heart’s voice almost equally strongly.
I learnt that ‘desire is the cause of all suffering’ and that I should be free from all attachments if I wanted to find true happiness.
I learnt that Jesus left his family and his ‘kingdom was not of this world’, Buddha left his wife and children to sit under a tree to find ‘enlightenment’. Not to mention all of the ancient and not-so-ancient masters renouncing the world and going to meditate in a cave.
It seemed there was no hope for me.
My heart was crying loudly to stay connected to ‘this world’ and to create life that would feel true and authentic by staying fully engaged in here and now. Instead of meditating for hours on end, I wanted to plant flowers and sing lullabies to my children. I wanted to make love to my husband. I wanted to play with my dog and lie on the grass.
Letting go of all my attachments to people, animals, things I loved so much, was the last thing I would want to do. Just as leaving anything or anybody to spend years in a cave, ‘free from worldly concerns’ to look for spiritual enlightenment.
I wanted to be fully involved in life. I wanted to feel connected. I wanted to care.
Deep Longing – Living Your Life In The Now Is A Spiritual Path
For a long while, I believed I had to abandon my attempts to follow a spiritual path if I wanted to stay true to and follow my heart’s longings.
But I was lucky to meet amazing women-teachers on my way who showed me a very different approach. Thanks to them I understood that, whether I believed it or not, I was following a spiritual path all along.
That it was my deep longing that was THE PATH.
One of the best explanations that I found came from H. Heart’s book Body of Wisdom: Women’s Spiritual Power and How it Serves:
‘A woman’s heart rarely breaks out into the universe – into the realm of ideals or heavenly abstraction. It breaks into life and bleeds into the earth, into the many details – faces, hands, grasses, and rivers – of life. This outpouring nourishes the entire web of existence. To live with a willingness for this heartbreak, and even a need for it, is to live our longing, which is one of the greatest powers in all creation and one of women’s most important spiritual gifts.’
Our spiritual path, as women, is all about being connected to life – loving, caring, nourishing, healing, breathing…. And it is our deep, genuine, authentic longing that guides us on this path.
How Your Heart Will Guide You: Finding Beauty In Your Deep Longing
Your deep longing can take different forms. It can be a loud cry in your heart or it can be a silent whisper. It can feel like homesickness for a place you’re not even sure exists. It can be like anguish that tears you apart. Or, it can be this very uncomfortable feeling inside that tells you that something is still missing.
But whatever your longing feels like, it is your compass. It is spirituality in action. It is ‘the Word that became flesh’.
It guides you through life, helps you navigate its ups and downs and allows you to let go of things that do not matter and focus more and more on what has genuine meaning for you.
It allows you to move through beliefs, habits, jobs, relationships even – letting go of what doesn’t fulfill your deep, genuine longing. You sort out through substitutes to find the real thing.
And this discrimination process, driven by your longing, is essential for you to find your true self, identity and purpose.
It’s true that the paths our longing guides us through are often bumpy. We face disappointment, hurt and pain on the way.
But it is also true that it is our deep connection to our longing that allows us to rise after a fall – pull ourselves up and move on. Because we can feel deeply in our heart where we are heading to and why.
What Happens When You Choose To Ignore The Deep Feelings Inside You
Following your longing is not always easy. In order to do so we must stay vulnerable enough to allow ourselves to feel what’s going on deeply in our hearts, recognize its power and make the decision to LIVE it day by day.
That can take a lot of courage and so, quite often we try to … avoid it instead.
We bury our longing deep inside and try to forget about it. We say things like ‘that’s life’, ‘you can’t have everything’, ‘life is not a fairy-tale’, or ….(add your favourite one), to justify the fact that we have just mutilated ourselves.
What follows, is the shadow side of longing. And the shadow side of longing is filled with imposters, quick fixes and substitutes.
If your true needs are not met, resolved or even acknowledged – you try to find some fulfillment through addictions, life destroying attachments, habits and patterns that keep you trapped, weak and powerless.
To put it very simple, it’s so much easier to grab a cookie from the press than to allow yourself to feel what your heart is truly longing for in that moment. We have all been there.
But without your longing – you’re lost.
You don’t know where to go. And then …you go in the direction other people go, or in the direction you think you should go. You tend to follow or imitate others and or do just the opposite of what others do/did.
And quite often you just stand at the crossroads for years trying to decide which road would be best for you.
Just like Alice in Wonderland:
‘Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go’
Your Heart’s Longing Is Your Life’s Compass
It is always your longing that tells you where to go. It is your longing that shows you the way. It is your longing that is your spiritual path.
Maybe it’s not the easiest path, but it’s the only one worth choosing.
And making the choice is all you need to do. The path will unfold in front of you if you stay connected to your heart’s true yearning.
So, look into your heart and set your course by the stars!
And if your heart‘s longing is buried beneath the layers of pain, resentment or hurt – Let’s talk. I can help you peel the layers in the most gentle and compassionate way. So that never again you feel lost and unsure where you need to go and what you need to do.
Click here to Book a discovery session.