“Longing is like a sedative that causes me to go to sleep to what I already have.”
— Sascha Alexander
Woah. So good I almost tripped on the treadmill while listening to my client share on this recent podcast episode (hosted by another one of my inspiring clients).
One of my biggest intentions for 2020 is to have our dog be comfortable with new-to-him people. Since adopting him he has become increasingly wary of people he doesn’t know—which makes our lives a bit more challenging. With the help of a skilled behaviorist we’ve been meeting with a woman our dog knew from the shelter. This has been on-going for a couple months and is quite the process—one that feels like one step forward and two steps back.
The last visit was a step back and that’s when the voice of fear gained steam: This is taking forever. He will never make a new friend. You won’t be able to have people over. You certainly won’t be able to travel with your husband. You better kiss the good ole days goodbye.
My mind was so focused on the end result that all I could see and feel was how far we were from it. It felt like we weren’t making progress. I was hopeless, desperate and exhausted.
This is the downside of longing.
“Compare where you are to where you want to be and you’ll get nowhere,” sings Sara Bareilles in her song, Uncharted.
This is the truth. Longing can blind us to the goodness that’s already present and available in our lives.
When we get attached to the outcome we miss the often subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) shifts taking place in front of our noses.
Because my eyes were glued to the prize, I couldn’t see the wins that were being made. We were able to have our dog run free in the house with our friend sitting at the dining room table. We were able to walk with him and pass the leash to her no problem. These are not small—and yet, I wasn’t acknowledging them because the only thing that counted in my mind was her being able to stay overnight with him.
When I realized this I relaxed. I let go of the death grip on my dream and let our dog have the dignity of his process. I accepted him where he is—and I accepted our life for what it is. Whether he ever makes a new human friend or not, we will be fine. He already has five solid people in his life in addition to us. That seems pretty darn good to me!
Having goals and dreams are great until they make you forget that life isn’t about the outcome, it’s about the journey.
Maybe you’re finding yourself feeling resentful, frustrated or constricted about something you want to create this year. If that’s the case it’s time to slow down, release your death grip and actively look for the wins in your life. They are there. They are waiting for you to tune in to their frequency.
When you do, you’ll feel relieved and spacious—like you can breathe again. And breathing is good. It means we’re back in the flow. Life is always better there.
Feel free to share your experience with attachment and longing below. What stands out to you? And, what has helped you in those moments?
Wishing you greater flow as you enjoy the journey.
With Fierce Loving,