Be-Longing

Artist Trading Card

Artist Trading Card

I have observed countless times a surprising potency and energy that awakens in people when they participate in community studio art meditation and spiritual reflection.  Sometimes this renewed vitality inspires outer changes related to jobs, physical health, home environments.  Sometimes the big change is internal. Either way, there is a swiftness, an inner quickening, an instinctive knowing that those old choices that weren’t working anymore no longer need to be maintained. New choices, new ways of living are possible.

This energy, this potency is the soul’s innate creative strength,  strength that is with us all the time though we become disconnected from it. It is frightening. We feel it as an ache, a longing and mistakenly assume that we need to get rid of it – fill it with something external, something that will finally satisfy it and silence the longing.

Years ago, I read the  book Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue and was deeply touched.  He says:

If your soul is awakened, then you realize that this is the house of your real belonging. Your longing is safe there. Belong is related to longing. If you hyphenate belonging, it yields a lovely axiom for spiritual growth: Be-Your-Longing.  Longing is a precious instinct in the soul.

Real longing cannot be resolved, brought to a conclusion, finished, explained, understood, or completely satisfied because then it ends. It dies. The longing of the soul is meant to live.  When speaking of longing, the verb “be” is essential. Being means living. To be longing, we live longing.  We long for longing. We allow longing to be an open question, a fire within us, the indescribable emotion that stirs in us when we touch upon the mysterious life at our core.

This longing is what is awakened in us in the community art studio process.  The products we create together might look like nothing more than a small and humble doodle or an unfinished experiment. But they are actually doorways that open our hearts and lead to our longing.

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2 Comments on “Be-Longing”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    Beautifully said and illustrated. “Be long to your longing.” We should embrace this.


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