Focusing Tip #640 – What good is it to stay with a feeling of longing?

Focusing Tip #640 – What good is it to stay with a feeling of longing?
January 16, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
broken heart

Focusing Tip #640 – What good is it to stay with a feeling of longing?

Could your longing for a past partner bring you something other than just sadness and regret? Read on…

A Reader writes:

I was invited to focus on my longing… but my longing went immediately to an ex-partner whom I have missed incredibly over the last two years despite my rational mind knowing it was a good decision for us to separate. A little voice in my head appeared that said: “Not this. Find something else to long for” but I stayed with the longing as it had the strongest pull on my awareness.

It reconnected me with the part of me that feels sad about this loss but also a degree of hopelessness and impatience about this loss, i.e. “Why can’t I just move on from this?”

Dear Reader:

I have an idea for you. Starting with the longing for your ex-partner, ask the longing what it wants for you.

What it is about being with that person, that it longs for?

Was it how safe you felt? Something about how they treated you? A place inside that didn’t feel empty but now it does?

These are questions to answer, not from your thoughts, but from your inner sense of the longing itself. Longing has something to tell you, something about what you value and what you need, even if it seems to be a longing for something or someone that is beyond your reach.

We can start with longing for anything that is lost, and go deeper into “what it was about that…” so that it is no longer hopeless, because it is no longer linked to that particular person or outcome.

To give an example on a whole different level: My favorite cafe closed.

That place meant a lot to me. I went there to write every morning for years. I went through a grief process for sure.

But I also asked inside, What was it about that cafe? That led me on another kind of journey to look for a new place to write. My new cafe looks quite different from the old cafe on the outside. But inside me, at the level of how it feels, it works!


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