Desire and Longing

Desire and longing. This is the place of my work right now, from last week and the week before, my desire presenting in the dreams and also my reaction, which is to keep my desire “private”, to keep it hidden.

I think that desire, when sustained but unmet becomes yearning or longing. The seeker in me has felt longing, a longing for something more, the elusive feeling of spiritual connection, perhaps, or unconditional love as manifested by peace of heart and mind. But I have never sustained this longing and now I see that when sustained it becomes painful, an ache.

I want to separate out the sexual desire present in the dreamwork from the longing or yearning for God, because there is some place in me that believes that the two are mutually exclusive. Sex is of the flesh, the world, and has no place in my relationship with God. But the dreams have shown that this simply isn’t true. Grief, pain, joy, love can all trigger in my body now a feeling similar to sexual desire. It is sensuality and can be experienced in so many more areas of my life than just during sex. Desire in the form of pure physical need can move me into sensuality in my body, but it can also open up a longing, a place in me unmet and unmatched which can only be filled by Spirit.

I have experienced it in the dream in union with the Animus as a filling up and a simultaneous emptying out. A pushing that moves spirit in while expelling the breath that carries with it my blocks. It is an ecstatic feeling and one I didn’t want to end. Sadly, it did. It wasn’t sustainable. I feel that if it was, I would not be able to function in the world. But it was a glimpse of the type of visceral feeling it is possible to experience and has opened me up for a true longing.

Why keep it hidden? I realize that this is some old reaction. It looks something like this: if I let my desire be seen, that which I desire will be denied me. Or, another variation: if I show my desire, I will be shamed for it. Or perhaps another variation which speaks to past life traumas: if this type of desire is expressed, I will be burned or killed for it.

It is primal and all things primal carry deep connection and deep fear; the kind of connection and fear that is rooted in the limbic part of the brain. My highly developed ego attacks that part of me because it is terrified of it. The primal part of me knows no boundaries. It is raw and passionate and spontaneous and alive. It is the electricity of the snake moving in me, the spirit of the raptor soaring in me, the song of the whale rising in me and it is the potency of the bear roaring in me.

I struggle with allowing my God and the world to experience me in this way. But if I allow myself to feel the longing without judgment and to be witnessed in my state of vulnerability, an expansiveness opens in me that carries with it the joy of living and I am not so tamped down, so contained, so controlled.

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