What are you longing for?

22nd February 2019

What are you longing for?

Happiness. Health. Wealth. To be listened to. The promotion. Love. For your children to trust themselves. A thriving business. A circle of friends. A book deal. Rest. Creative talent. Freedom. Motivation. Skilled and competent leaders that look like and share the lived experience of the communities they serve. To be kissed again like that one time… 10,000 Instagram followers. One hide-a-body friend. Daily orgasms. A payrise. A lap cat. An extra bedroom. A pain-free body. Faith.

I first remember longing for a new bike.

And then to get through the bus ride to school without being tormented by bullies. To be able to smoke. To finish this part and be free.

I longed to be out in the world. I was desperate for my life to begin.

I suspect I have always longed for the next thing.

I lived from a sense of before and after. From when to then.

When I leave this town, then I will feel properly alive. When I get the promotion, then I will know I have made it. When I have this much money, then I will take a month off and go to Italy and have a love affair with a passionate artistic type (with great hair).

But ‘when’ is mythical land.

When keeps us in possibility: dreaming, waiting.

When is noticing only what is not here, and then judging and resenting all the reasons why.

When means we miss so much of now.

I think of my Grandmother living in the literal poverty of being a single parent in a post-war mining town. How much she longed for love and freedom and opportunity. How unrelenting she was to create the life she wanted. How much I owe her.

I wonder: is there an art to longing with grace?

I suspect it’s holding lightly in one hand what is already here, while opening the other hand to reach for what we want.

It would be easy to go an entire lifetime without ever asking yourself: what am I longing for?

And yet this is a doorway to possibility. It can open a conversation with hidden parts of us that are waiting to be acknowledged.

When I consider what I am longing for, I remember the light in the kitchen this morning.

Usually, when I stand there I imagine the room we are planning. I will love this room when two walls have been removed, skylights installed, the floor levelled, and Sylvia the gas oven is long gone.

But this morning the sun bounced off a teaspoon as I heaped coffee grounds into the machine.

In a triangle of sunshine, Badger took advantage of the warm rug to tend to her paws.

The sun on my face was so bright I saw stars.

If you had said even a few years ago that I would long for more moments like this, I probably would have said ‘aim higher’.

Yet, in the short time it takes for coffee to filter, I felt the presence of the sun, the sweetness of early Spring, the reminder that I am alive. I took an involuntary slow, deep, breath. My body knew what to do.

I think I have always yearned for my place in the sun, but it was always a metaphor for being known, respected, at the top of some ladder, finally quelling some of the constant drive inherited from Gran.

What a surprise to find the light I long to stand in, is a literal place, just downstairs, just as it is.

What are you longing for? What are the unmet parts of you? What do you imagine will happen if you allow yourself to stop waiting?



Hello, I'm Sas Petherick. I'm a self-doubt researcher, coach and podcaster who helps thinking humans transcend self-doubt. If you'd like to receive these posts in your inbox please subscribe here (with bonus info and first notice of opportunities to work with me). PS: I totallyInstagram - join me there?


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