Longing as a Spiritual Practice

“Before the big bang, before time itself, before matter, energy, velocity, there existed a single immeasurable state called yearning. This is the special force that on the day before days obliterated nothing into everything. It is the unseen strings tying planets to stars. It is the maddening want we feel from first breath to last light.”
— Mary McCormack, In Plain Sight

Hello love.

What makes you weep?

I don’t mean sad things, although that’s ok if so. Instead, I mean that *THING* —a burst of inspiration, or an article by a wise woman you admire, or a shining opportunity that settles in your heart and feels like coming home. Anything that thrums in your bones when you find it, and tears spring from some hidden, secret place that is somehow connected to everything holy and home.

Tears are one way truth speaks to me.

Tears are one of many ways I am guided along my path. Tears are one way my body cries “YES!” when I land on sacred ground. Tears reveal my deepest longings, my secret hungers, and are salty crystalline revelations of my truest True.

I like to keep an ongoing love-list scattered through my journals of what moves me this way. Each of these offerings fill me with a deep, intense yearning that brings me to hot, steamy tears. It’s more than simply being inspired to dream or add to my “someday, maybe” list with a sigh. It’s more than feeling discontent or looking outside myself for something only I can discover within.

Pay attention, my tears remind me. There’s something for you here. 

It’s such a tender process.


As each of these women root into their authenticity and live, create, work, dwell, and listen to what guides them, they represent something I crave to embody or embrace in my own life. They are my divine teachers and wise guides, beacons of inspiration who have strengthened my inner flame from afar. Each of them provide the sweetest glimpse of what I know to be my own deepest calling, and to witness them living out their soul work as their life work feels like I am brushing up against holy.

What does the clarity of my tear-washed longing teach me? 

Remember you could weep fire
Remember you could weep fire with wild eyes.
— Wild Eyes, Mariee Sioux

Instead of running from my longings, curious, mysterious, strange or natural as they might be, I choose to lean in. Embrace. Explore. Be with. When tears appear I create a quiet pause within myself, like pulling back the covers and slipping in. It feels like reverent standing-at-attention, noticing, feeling, allowing, observing. Through holistic contemplation I explore what it means for me. Where does my longing come from? What am I recognizing? What is it about these women that move me so? Or what is it about the experience they offer or describe? Where does the resonance come from? What does it guide me toward? How does it reflect what I ache for? What does it show me about my purpose in the world? How can I go gently, with great compassion, into my longing in a way that invites self-examination, inspiration, wonderment and possibilities? Where does it reveal a disconnect between what I’m doing now and what I’m actually meant to do? 

Hillary Rain