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Go To The Limits Of Your Longing

Sanity Training tip #941 – Go to the limits of your longing.

You aren’t good at allowing yourself to experience life, all of life.  You won’t allow yourself to feel.  You won’t allow yourself to be sad or mad or hurt.  Let’s be honest, you won’t even allow yourself to feel genuine peace and happiness.  For fear that what you are feeling will forever define who you are to other people.  And they will think less of you or God forbid, they will think more of you.

You won’t allow the deep longing that you have in your life to spill over the edges of who you believe you need to present to the world.  You keep your longings in check.  You fall in line with who you believe others want you to be.  Or who you believe you need to be in order to experience the most safety in your life.  You daily sacrifice who you truly are on the altar of safety.  For somewhere, somehow, someway, you learned that this is the only way to stay sane.

The sad truth is that all of your efforts to remain sane, to not experience every aspect, emotion, feeling and longing in life, is the very thing that is driving you insane.  For all of your effort simply means that God cannot meet you where you are.  For you aren’t being honest about who you are.

There is a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, called Go To The Limits Of Your Longing that speaks to all of this:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing.  Embody me.

Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.  Just keep going.  No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.  You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.