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❝ If you look at all our wisdom traditions and our literary and artistic heritages, across the world, across the centuries, they have been teaching all this time that the bittersweet side of existence is a way to creativity, it’s a way to connection, it’s a way to transcendence.❞
~Susan Cain

Several core themes in Rich Roll’s conversation with Susan Cain (RRP #699) landed as bull’s-eyes for me, stirring something that’s both beautiful and painful. The bittersweet essence of quiet aching gripped me early in this life. As a child, introverted sensitivity was evident as I shun assemblage and found solace in nature: geckos, the beach, tropical thickets, wind, water, snow, mountains, forests and each of our dogs. In my teenage years, I began a conscious search; I sought an answer, tho to what was still a mystery. Decades later, as I sit outside on a veranda enveloped by the cool and damp air of an early autumn morning, I finally name the demon and the lover—Longing.

Writing these words, I pause to watch the misty drizzle, listen to the rustle of yellow-tinted leaves, and feel the chilled wind swirl, intense at times only to relax as if taking a breath before exhaling again. Allowing myself to become attuned to Longing is heartrending, and touching. The ache within amplifies quickly to a silent scream. And even as the wail reverberates in the confined space of the human condition there is the cathartic expanse of calm between the echos—peace that salves the wound of separation from the divine.

I endeavoured, perhaps not always valiantly but most certainly for what feels like an eternity, to relieve myself of longing. I’ve run from it, but wherever I go, longing is already, waiting for me, embracing me home. Through objects and experiences, I strive to fill a bucket made of illusions. Still, the question ensues, “what is the process to enhance and make immutable peace and happiness, and by such activity abolish the longing?”

On this sombre morn, as the occasional bird flutters by, oblivious to the chaos felt long ago as a boy and today as a man, what if I fully immerse myself in the longing, let it wash through me, allow myself to be dissolved into its matrix? Both intrigue and fear spring forth; an antithetical juxtaposition, just as the warmth from a wood-fuelled stove calls but I’m arrested by the crisp, open air.

I give myself to the moment. I’ve fought it long enough.

… … …
I am grains of sand laid out in offering to ocean waves.
Salt and sea-life aromas lap over me.
Seeping into the space between crystalline edges, we are merged.
Blue and white wed with speckled beige.
We are each other. We are one.
… … …

Sometime later, I am still here. Nothing has changed, yet everything is different. “What is the end to this story?”, I ask. The answer, enduring even before the question arose, “It has already ended, and never will.”

❝ The wound of separation that lives in the hearts of most people is an invitation from the heart of awareness.

The peace which the mind desires lives at the source of attention (awareness), never at its destiny (objects of attention).
The love for which the heart longs resides at the origin of its longing, never in its fulfilment. ❞
~Rupert Spira, ‘Being Aware of Being Aware’

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This is my personal journey—a soulful sojourn in which I share musings arising in and from self-inquiry. I don’t always go into all the characterising details; To me, such minutiae carry more value when explored as pointers in investigation occurring in both silence and when teased out through vulnerable conversation. The purpose is to share some insights that may resonate for you in your own journey.