Thursday, April 24, 2014

Listen to your longings

Did you grow up with messages telling you to pay no attention to desires, yearnings, longings, passions? "Do what needs to be done." "Seeking pleasure leads to no good end." "It's selfish to think about what you desire." We can still hear those same messages in different parts of society today.

Then, on the other hand, we can hear voices saying that pleasure is the only thing.  "Get what you want. Don't worry about anyone else." "Have it your way." As with so many things in life, there's some balance to be had, isn't there?

When we do pay attention to our yearnings and passions, we can be more truly ourselves. It is those longings and desires that really give us our juice and lead us to do those things in the world for which we have true passion. Those yearnings bring us energy.

I have long had a passion for justice-seeking, for example. It jazzes me to speak up for and work for justice for those on the margins. Admittedly, it has also led to occasional problems—for example, when I wrote articles that spoke truth to power and named things that needed to be called out. But that's who I am. So that's what I did. And now I'm thinking about how to incorporate those same passions into this stage of my life.

To what desires and yearnings do you need to listen today?

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