A Longing of My Soul

by Mark Votava

114701740204911777tsNbL8fcWhy is everything so empty and boring? Am I falling apart with my ideas of success and life and happiness? I feel alive and broken at the same time. Where is my true passion?

How come people and systems and institutions bother me so much? I cannot escape my cynicism. It is too much. Maybe I don’t care anymore. Maybe this is all there is or ever will be.

The ideas I been taught have disillusioned me. I am lonely, sad, and miserable. Where is the honesty I need within me and around me? Is my true self gone never to return?

Who am I? Why am I so arrogant with ungrateful attitudes and deep cynicism? What will this day bring? Will it bring misery or dishonesty or pain?

Maybe at the point when you lose everything you thought life was to you is the stage of growth where you start to understand something about yourself, about life, about honesty. Somedays how I love my dishonesty, how I hide my own truth of what is happening in me, of what is alive or not alive in me in the present moment. Sometimes I want to scream in rage. Am I crazy or just getting more honest with myself in the depths of who I am?

I want to run and dance and smile and live, but it seems confusing how to connect with what life is. I am confused and beaten down by life. These hardships are too much sometimes. Alone with nowhere to go but deeper into my own intensity of despair.

This melancholy is my friend, my companion, my hope. I long for what will never be and it is tearing me apart. No one understands me! I live rejected and hidden by my own shame.

Unmet needs live within me and I don’t know what to do? I am tired of all of this and need some silence. The emptiness inside is too much for me to handle. My pain leaves me on the ground.

01Is there any way to find meaning anymore? All the clichés of God have played out. Leave me to my misery and pain and cynicism. Maybe that is what I want. I feel sad at the state of life I am in.

The tears are never ending. The questions are everywhere. I will not accept the status quo anymore. My life is ruined in what I cannot see.

There is nothing for me here in this life I live. I find more pain and emptiness with each passing day. I am afraid of tomorrow. Is there even a God to help?

May I know love and compassion if it is real in the here and now. I am longing and dreaming for some gratitude that will blossom like a flower in me. Is that even possible? I truly hope so.

Is hope an illusion I have believed in for far too long? Maybe there is no hope in life. I don’t know what hope is? Can someone teach me along the way?

What is the longing of your soul today?

My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist