A list on Facebook clued me to German words that cannot be translated into English clearly. As I remember my German grandparents’ frustration over this countless times, it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling that different cultures express a broader range of emotions than might be available in my own language.
This is one term that jumped out at me:
Fernweh (Distance pain). This gem describes the feeling of wanting to be somewhere else. It’s kind of like a reverse homesickness (Heimweh in German).
Suddenly the fact I experience “distance pain” most days of my life in some way ever since around age 11 was a flash of insight into WHY I feel compelled to have a daily practice of meditation, a daily physical practice, and a daily mental practice.
I need to practice constantly remaining okay with what is. Don’t most of us?
All the times I would rather not be in my physical body, all the angst about my paid job, all the angst about where I would like to live, all the times I fall in love with people who are unavailable to me and don’t trust what love I have. It’s all perfectly described as FERNWEH.
It is easy and free as the air we breathe to practice gratitude and say daily I am grateful for my body, grateful for my job, grateful for the roof over my head and grateful for the people in my life.
It is also a challenge to go in the direction of one’s dreams simultaneously. Especially when there is no clarity of the dreams.
Recently I participated in a visioning exercise that was to write a letter to yourself describing in great detail the emotions and practical details of your “ideal life” 1 year from now, 2 years from now, etc., each year up to 5 years from now. I have had lifelong issues around money, but it became crystal clear to me how small I allow myself to dream when I found my future self writing “I now weed people’s gardens in exchange for organic produce, and this allows me to stop relying on the food bank.” Are you kidding me? That is the biggest dream I can dream?
This helps me remember to trust Life:
Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
~ Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life
This helps me believe in possibility, even when I don’t see how it can possibly unfold:
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
~ C.S. Lewis