Language For Your Longing
The Search For What You Didn't Know You Needed
Recently Kylie shared with me an excerpt from Francis Weller’s book "The Wild Edge Of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief". Such powerful words from one of my favourite teachers that hit me right in the core.
Here it is:
A BRIEF NOTE ON BLAME
Having worked with people for more than thirty years in my practice, it is clear to me that finding a target to blame is effortless. Nothing is asked of us when we simply assign fault to someone else for the suffering we are experiencing. Psychology has colluded in the blame game, pointing an accusing finger at our parents. While many of us suffered mightily because of unconscious parenting, we must remember that our parents were participants in a society that failed to offer them what they needed in order to become solid individuals and good parents. They needed a village around them and so did we. Of course we were disappointed with our parents. We expected forty pairs of eyes greeting us in the morning, and all we got was one or two pairs looking back at us. We needed the full range of masculine and feminine expressions to surround us and grant us a knowledge of how these potencies move in the world. We needed to have many hands holding us and offering us the attention that one beleaguered human being could not possibly offer consistently. It is to our deep grief that the village did not appear.
The statement, “It takes a village” seems to ring true for many of us, yet we don’t often set out in life from the get-go to consciously create a “village.” We just sort of go about our day-to-day seeking to check the boxes society has assigned to us… get a job, get married, have kids. “You can do it all! Be a boss, a parent, a son/daughter. Be everything to and for everyone. And if you can’t… or you become depressed or anxious in the attempt to hold it all together… well, we have drugs we can give you, and things we can sell you. And here’s a shot of tequila and a joint to wash it down and smoke it out.”
In the wake of globalization we often don’t live near our families of origin, and if we do, in the western world we tend to just stick our aging parents in a home hoping they don’t kick up too much of a fuss or need too much on their way out. I mean no judgment here, it has just become so increasingly apparent to me that we don’t really value our elders. And in a society that both celebrates the lone wolf, and is constantly marketing tools that attempt to preserve youth, we reject the very wisdom that aging offers. And we also, in turn, reject the brilliance that comes with a community of diverse thought, experiences, and the guidance of elders.
What we’re doing isn’t working.
We are suffering mentally and emotionally more than we ever have. We have the highest rates of auto-immune and alllllll the things. And yet, from the outside looking in, it’s pretty clear that we have collectively more abundance than we ever have. We have more technological solutions than ever in human history. We are more connected to one another (digitally) than ever before… and yet, here we are, in what is certainly the greatest mental health crisis of our existence. We might have everything that society says will bring us happiness… and yet, there is JUST. SOMETHING. MISSING.
How is this possible?! Well… I have some thoughts here, and I’m very curious to hear yours in the comments below.
My experience in witnessing millions of people’s relational and life challenges via @createthelove and working with thousands of people in person — is that we seem to be on a collective search for more. But it’s not the more that we’ve become accustomed to, as in more stuff. It’s more that comes from a deeper place. A search for something that cannot be linguistically described. A longing that goes unlabelled because never before in history have we had to long for it.
“It is to our deep grief that the village did not appear.”
I think part of that yearning is one that we have had since the birth of human consciousness — the pursuit of what might be described as self-actualization. But the other part… the part that I’m really referring to, is the longing to find ourselves and be ourselves amongst a community that not only celebrates the curious adventure of becoming everything our soul yearns for, but also encourages it. The type of community that recognizes we cannot, and should not, do it alone. That growth and transformation and becoming the best version ourselves REQUIRES other. The most direct and quickest path to self-actualization is through the reflection of not just the limits we face relationally, but also the potential that remains untapped in our hearts and souls. This is inspired by love. This is inspired by other. It is through the pain, power and potential of love that we are ultimately willing to not only face our shit, but also heal it.
I say all of this to remind you: You are not meant to do it alone.
The longing you have is not just for a deeper relationship with yourself, but to share that deeper self with others. To witness. To be witnessed.
Great communities and villages don’t let their people play small. They don’t let them suffer alone. They don’t use shame and guilt to manipulate and attempt to shape behaviour. They use love and truth and connection and belonging to invite one another to step into their greatness. Not just for the individual, but for the village.
If you are more powerful, then so is every connection you’re in relationship to.