Longing & Yearning....Just Words?

It was several weeks ago (maybe more) that Rick told a story in a Tapping Circle of how earlier that day he was on his morning walk and was trying to tune into what he was feeling and after some time it revealed itself to him that he was feeling a ‘longing’ or a ‘yearning’. I believe I mostly have this story right.

The point is those words… longing, yearning… have stuck with me and have been reverberating in my cells and nervous system since that day. They slip away for a few days and then reappear for me to consider some more. What I’ve become so aware of is how much yearning and longing is present in my life…it’s a daily experience for me. What’s so odd to me is how often I’ve felt what only those specific words can describe with pin-point accuracy but I’ve never used those words to describe what I’m feeling!! Either to myself or to others. The feelings of longing and yearning are an almost daily part of my emotional repertoire for me and yet the words to describe those feelings were not in my repertoire of emotionally descriptive language. Strange and intriguing to me. I suppose that is part of exploring and expanding my emotional intelligence…connecting appropriate and accurate language with body sensations/emotions.

This is one of those moments where I’m in awe at the power of language. How language intersects and weaves in a dynamic dance with our somatic experience. It’s as if not having access to a clear description of my feelings left me with an impoverished way of acknowledging and just being with those feelings and sensations. An important part of the complete experience was missing. I don’t know whether this describes everyone’s experience but I do know that language in humans is very deeply wired…in fact we’re hardwired for it. It’s part of our blueprint and when I regard language that way it’s not surprising to me why my experiences of longing and yearning were confusing and overwhelming to me without the inherent power in those precise words to be an integral part of the experience of what I was physically feeling. Now when I notice those same sensations I can name them…they’re not strangers anymore that may have dangerous intentions toward me (primitive brain!!)…I know their names!!

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I believe this is true. It certainly helped me, too.

I had been finding myself saying “I’m sorry” to my spirit buddies a lot. (And to others, although less than I used to.)

I’d have this welling feeling come up, I’d feel the gap between where I am and what I want, and… "I’m sorry."

Yes, it was so helpful to start changing that to "I’m yearning."

Thank you for reminding me, because I’m still… learning.


This has been tremendously powerful for me…to connect these feelings to words…or vise-versa I suppose. The experience I have of doing that is that the word sort of allows me greater access to the feelings…the words take me out of the primitive, reactionary brain enough that the experience just sort of settles down a bit. I can stay with the feelings a bit easier and a bit longer. Being able to name something is powerful medicine for me!

I imagine walking alone on a dark street and I become aware of something approaching me…I can see it’s people but who are they and what are their intentions? My primitive brain is on alert. High alert!! As they get closer I can see that I’ve seen them around the neighbourhood before and my primitive systems settle a bit. Then, as they get even closer, I realize we’ve talked before…they are familiar. More settling occurs. Hey… I know all their names! And they know mine! At that moment my experience of EVERYTHING changes. Time flows differently…I come back into my body more fully. For me I’ve become aware in the last couple of years how naming can settle things for me…create a bit of safety. Of course, I’m also aware that there are names of things (illnesses etc.) that can create a huge amount of uncertainty and fear in me. It can cut both ways.

I sure do appreciate you reintroducing me to ‘longing’ and ‘yearning’. I feel those in my life a lot. And now naming them gives me far more curiosity and access to explore them.