It is an unusual Monday. I woke feeling cross and dissatisfied, irritable, almost angry – and my entire being went looking for fight. Well, that’s the feeling of it, when the day started. I allowed myself the respect and consideration of really feeling it, acknowledging the presence of it in my experience, and an honest admission of awareness that emotions can be quite illusory, and transitory, and that the thinking I use to prop up those emotions can be deceptively well crafted to support continuation, rather than resolution. Yay me… I’m still feeling cross.

Roses blooming. My emotions are not relevant to their experience.

Roses blooming. My emotions are not relevant to their experience.

As I walked to work contemplating my feeling of discontent and dissatisfaction, it quietly became more honest, more vulnerable, and a more accurate expression of unmet needs and longing. Longing. (I am finding satisfaction in the word, as an expression of my experience this morning. ‘I woke with a sense of longing’.) I spent the walk to the office musing about longing.  I re-phrased a variety of recent expressions of discontent, dissatisfaction, loss, frustration, and moments that fell short of expectations, turning them into frank expressions of desire and longing. It is an interesting exercise in self-expression that takes garden-variety everyday bitching and renders commonplace moments of unhappiness into something more profound – and constructive.

From my perspective, longing doesn’t feel as ‘negative’ as dissatisfaction – or as hopeless. Longing feels poignant, deep, even necessary. Longing feels respectful of prior joys and experiences, and honors what is valued and loved. Longing reminds me of what I want and why I want it, without attacking someone dear to me as though they are an obstacle in obtaining my desires.  Having said that… I find myself puzzled by longing. Is it a ‘now’ thing? Is it a trap that combines past and present, but delivering nothing of value, merely holding me in thrall to desire?  I am still a student of life, of love…and there seems always to be more to learn.

One very nice thing about longing… my own longing for a thing, person, event, or experience is not an attack on someone else.  It is sometimes challenging [for me] to express ‘dissatisfaction’ or ‘discontent’ without seeming to attack someone else, as though they are the source of my emotional experience. ‘Longing’ seems bigger than that…with a presence in my experience that is clearly ‘of me’ and ‘for me’, part of who I am, and an expression of what I value and what I need.

There’s more to think about here, more questions to ask, more connections to make, more experiences to parse and correlate, more to understand and explore…more life to live…and time to write another day.

A footnote, of sorts: for so very long I experienced longing for a greenhouse of my own. I have such fond memories of the greenhouse attached to my grandmother’s house, so many years ago. I don’t believe I ever really said so, beyond the occasional remark about it being ‘a cool idea’ (not a very precise expression of longing). In a sense, this entire post is the period at the end of a ‘thank you’ to a man who adores me so much that he often knows my heart’s desire long before I learn the words to share it with him.  😀

Thank you, Love.

Thank you, Love.

…Oh, and I no longer feel cross; I am experiencing a sense of longing, and enjoying the satisfaction of understanding myself just a bit more than I did yesterday. 🙂