I understand now why it never came. That one thing is not outside of me. That one thing is not a magic bullet that I can find one day and then the rest of my days will be filled with sunshine and butterflies. That one thing, I now understand, was actually two seemingly mutually exclusive aspects of life that rather than pulling in the same direction towards my contentment were pulling in opposite directions assuring that neither was properly fulfilled.
The self-induced separation from others that always made me feel that I don’t belong…I didn’t feel like I belonged in my family nor in my community nor with my peers nor even in this world as a human…made me burst into laughter yesterday as an understanding lit me up. My lack of belonging was based around my perception that I am very different than others, that I saw life differently, that I often felt out of place and like I could/should always be doing something more important than spending time with people who anyway were just ‘wasting time’. Yesterday as I was driving home in Costa Rica (for anyone who has never driven in CR it’s like driving on a different planet!) chanting a very peaceful song I came upon someone parked facing me on my side of the road. Immediately I lifted my arm up and nodded my head with a what do you think you’re doing parked there annoyed look. HA! In that moment I recognized how much I actually am just like others and how much conditioning has seeped into me from society.
Today, with this new understanding, I was speaking with a girl about how life is so hectic these days, especially in the U.S., and how most people feel they have no time and are exhausted and yet still do NOTHING to change their lives. She calmly mentioned that perhaps I have forgotten living here in Costa Rica that the pressure to fit in and keep up with what your neighbors and co-workers are doing is intense. YES, of course. So in wanting to feel accepted by my peers and competing to see who is being more productive and accomplishing more on a daily basis, I keep myself BUSY all the time.
So putting these two short stories together I am beginning to weave together a fascinating and very ironic story of human existence that had confounded me up until now. I want to feel unique and special but I also want people to accept me. My need to be accepted drives me to DO more leaving little time to just be with myself or my fellow man, thus alienating me from myself and the bigger community. I feel lonely and constantly search for that special someone or something missing but I never even consider the person staring back at me every day when I look in the mirror or the drones of people surrounding me every day that are very likely feeling comparable emotions!
In conclusion, what is actually missing?? In my case, what was missing was self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-love. In the moment that I realized that I am just like others in so many ways, I also realized the ways in which I am different. In the moment that I finally felt, yes I belong, I also felt permission to diverge from the norm. As loneliness converges with pressure to fit in, it is sooooo easy to feel like something is missing because you are neither YOU in this Worldly manifestation (meaning the you that uniquely loves to draw abstract figures while munching a salty/sweet popcorn or clean the house while dancing and belting out country songs) nor are you YOU in your Essence meaning in connection with all other beings and the Universe as a whole.
So from my experience I would suggest 2 things to those who feel like something is missing. 1) begin to cultivate self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-love (you can see previous blogs for some ideas) 2) Become more social, interact with others for the simple reason of exchanging with no goals in mind. As you begin to see yourself in others and others in you, you begin to see the Universe in all and in You, creating that essential connection to something bigger of which you and all other beings are a part. As you nurture these 2 complementary parts of your being you will begin to notice that little by little your intuition will grow, your passions will become stronger and opportunities to play with those passions will manifest more often, in work or personal life and your overall satisfaction will evolve right along with them ;)