Thursday, September 2, 2010

Feeling Incomplete

We spend a lot of time, perhaps most of it, with a feeling that something is missing in our lives.

We might think that, to be happy, we need a particular amount of money, or a certain job or partner or family situation. We might feel that there are certain things that we just can't live without, or just can't live with.

We seem to have two different types of thoughts about these types of situations--

First, that can't bear things as they currently are. Second, that we will be better when things are different.

It can be helpful to look at both of these thoughts.

The first is simply not true. We are bearing things as they are. We may not like it, but most of the time we are living our lives with this "horrible" thing that is there, and it only bothers it when we are thinking about it, or, perhaps more accurately, when we are wanting it to be different.

The second is unlikely to be true, at least for very long. Think about the goals you have reached, the big purchases you have made, the degrees you have gotten. For how long did your life feel different? Maybe a little while. But we get used to things pretty quickly, and then our brains find new things that are missing, or new things that we "simply can't bear!"

What do we take from this? Simply this. If you don't have the thought "I can't stand this!" you are actually doing just fine. And if you expect to get to a point where all your needs are satisfied, you might want to adjust that expectation.

Yes, we have difficulties, and it seems like often we have only fleeting satisfaction. But that does not mean we have to suffer. At least not as much as we do now.


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