I’m Longing For…!

Optimist

 

I know the last time I wrote it may have been a bit unexpected, but part of living more authentically is being transparent; I wanted to be able to show what’s in my heart. Not to worry today I’m back to writing about things in the abstract, and I won’t be bearing my soul today. I think of myself as an optimistic person, I choose to focus on the good in life, and in people. There are times when I sit back and observe people, and I’m always fascinated, we are remarkable creatures. Whether you believe that we were created by a supreme being, or that all of this came from nothing, we are still very remarkable. Of the billions of stars, as far as we know today, Earth is the only planet that has life like we do, wow that means we are very remarkable. I suppose that I’m passionate about psychology because I think about this all the time. Look at all the amazing things the human mind has created, like this laptop I’m writing on, there are so many parts that have to come together to produce this product; and somewhere it was all in someone’s head. Although we are capable of so many great things, there’s still this driving force that drives us to create, to love, to build, and a deep longing for something. I’d like to take some time to expand and explore that, I think it’s a topic we don’t give much thought to. What drives us to do the things we do, what’s our motivation?

Our planet is filled with billions of people, of various origins and cultures, yet we all share that deep longing. At our core there’s a deep longing for relationships and that longing leads us to seek connection, to be understood, security, satisfaction, value to name a few. That deep longing by itself isn’t bad, it can compel us to do so many great things, but it can also manifest itself in destructive ways. When people don’t feel that connection they turn to many things like money, sex, drugs, alcohol. Like anything in life, even in moderation those things aren’t bad, but abusing them leaves you not only empty but physically hurt. Talk to anyone who is spiritual, and they’ll probably tell you that finding yourself, and doing what feels good to your soul is the only thing that comes close to filling that longing. Interestingly even religions don’t even fully satisfy that longing, because even with religion people still turn to things that are destructive.

So what’s the answer? Just as life is a journey that you’ll never find an end to; you just enjoy it as you go. I feel it’s the same with this deep longing, we’ll never be able to quite say we’re completely satisfied. Take myself, I’m currently on a path that I’ll be able to work on something I’m passionate about. I’m choosing to not let money be the deciding factor in my life, satisfaction with what I’m doing, and how much I can help others are my measures of success. Even on this path I may still long for things like a family, a better car, house and things like that. Accepting that I’ll not be fully satisfied, but taking the time to enjoy what I have seems like a better use of my time. To bring in some context, take Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, imagine a pyramid if you will, at the bottom is physiological needs, then safety, love and belonging, esteem, and lastly self-actualization. The needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic needs, every human wants food, water, air, and want’s to feel safe. As you get higher on the pyramid you work on other needs. As we go higher on the pyramid we find things that help satisfy that deep longing, we are more easily satisfied with things at the top of the pyramid. I feel that many people struggle in life because they’re more focused on the bottom of the pyramid. Since it takes more of the things on the bottom to feel satisfied, they are constantly busy doing things, but yet they’re not satisfied with life.

By no means I can say that I’m even close to being self-actualized, but instead of spending all my time on the bottom. I’m choosing to put my energy on love and belonging and esteem, to be happy with who I am, and what I can do to make the world better. Life Hopeitself is hard, if you start working your way up from the bottom to the top, completing each level before you move on to the next, it’s possible to get stuck. Not having a house, or a car, or enough money to by food are really good reasons not to go higher. In contemplating my life and my purpose, I evaluated where I was on the pyramid, I’m still working on many of the safety needs. If I never move out of that area, does that mean I can never find what my purpose is? Contrary to that I believe that life offers us opportunities, it’s up to us if we take it. A few weeks ago I decided to quit my full-time job, ooh scary, but an opportunity was presented to me to still work to at the least pay my bills. I’ve also gotten an opportunity to take a course that’s directly related to the filed I wanted to go into. I have many people around me who have been providing me with emotional support to move forward. Quitting my job wasn’t a bad thing, all it did was create space, space that the Universe filled with things that intrinsically motivating to me. I think that’s incredible, sometimes we have to just get out of the way.

I can’t say that I’m completely satisfied, on a scale of eeh to satisfied, I’m definitely closer to being satisfied. If you know me, you’ll know that my personality doesn’t operate on any other level than 100%, feeling that I’m 50% on anything is a definite sign that I’m Glass half fullin the wrong place. So where am I? I want to become a Counselor/Life Coach, and I’m taking steps that leads in that direction. Will I ever become that, I don’t know, but I’m happy being in a position to help people with their life. Feeling that I have a purpose and my life has some meaning is enough to get me up in the morning. So I don’t have a family of my own, don’t have much money to my name, don’t have a career to show for, so what! Despite all those things, I’m happy with the current path I’m on, I’m taking time to enjoy the time I do have. I could have stayed in bed all day today, or go hiking, or for a drive, the possibilities are endless. Here I am writing this though, and it feels like a great use of my time, and just having time itself feels really good. I consider myself a well adjusted adult, and based on the various personality inventories I’ve taken, the data concurs with my thoughts! So my point is this, you could do many things to help fill that deep longing. Understanding that you’ll never be 100% satisfied, and enjoying the satisfaction you are able to experience, helps to live a happier life, besides it’s a lot less stressful living this way.

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