We all crave the same things. Some of us believe those things come in the form of money, career, success, others believe it will come through enlightenment and spiritual growth. Whatever it is we believe we want, what we truly long for is the end of suffering, peace and of course love.
Or is it not?
So, what stops us from having it?
I believe that the simple action of projecting ourselves outside of ourselves is the ‘main’ problem. We want the outside world to change, believing that it’s responsible for us feeling the way we do. This quite innocent misunderstanding is based on ignorance. And ignorance simply means refusing to see and feel what is in front of us and to take responsibility for it. Here comes a list of how exactly we do that.
Why do we want something we don’t have? It’s only because we are comparing. ‘I want to be like that person over there’. Or ‘have what that person over there has’. Because THAT is BETTER than the here and now. (It also works the other way: what I have is better than that over there, so therefore I have to protect it with all my might)
It is better to be rich than poor. It is better to be beautiful than ugly. It is better to have a degree, a sportscar, a house, that amazing talent to sing, dance, paint, etc. than not to have it.
As we subconsciously do that, we judge that present moment as not good enough. And thus, we constantly live with the ENERGY of not being good enough ourselves.
That energy only exists within us because we put our attention on that ‘other’ out there and perceive it as better or (sometimes worse) than us. So we are not really with ourselves, but with an image of what we SHOULD be.
Energetically that is painful. It’s painful because it is not based in truth.
However, because of our ignorance, we have come to believe that we experience the ‘pain’ because we don’t have that thing out ‘there’ AND not because we are projecting ourselves away from ourselves. That’s the grand dream we are all living
That conditioning runs so deep however that it’s almost impossible to not believe in it. Collectively we are entranced in it as a glimpse on social media testifies
But aren’t we supposed to strive for growth, evolution, expansion? Aren’t we supposed to be inspired by others?
Of course! And if someone or something truly inspires you and makes you take action towards your goal and dreams, that’s wonderful! But then you will not experience pain. You will be in the truest sense of the word in-SPIRED! Filled with the holy spirit, or simply enthused with energy that comes from a deeper source than your ego and willpower.
The moments of inspiration I’ve experienced felt very different than the moments I felt inadequate because someone was a better ‘whatever’ than I am.
When I’m inspired, my heart feels open. I don’t feel worried about succeeding, I just want to surrender to the ‘inspiration’ and let curiosity take over to see where it’s going.
There is faith and trust involved and gratitude that I’m being inspired, which feels like a gift. It’s exciting (sometimes a bit nerve-wracking) and I feel at one with what is happening.
2. Numbing ourselves
If we live too much in judgment and comparison, control and rigidity, we experience pain. That pain is sometimes too much to take, so we numb ourselves. We numb ourselves through the obvious like drugs, food (especially sugar) and the less obvious like consuming movies, books, study, knowledge, and work.
Look I’m not saying here that any of those things are bad. That’s not the point, you do what you want to do. No, it’s just that when we lose touch with the stillness inside ourselves, our inner dimension of feelings, it causes us pain.
If we are not in touch with our hearts, we suffer. We cannot be in touch with our hearts when our head is full of ‘stories’ and our bodies’ full of poison.
Our hearts are so very sensitive, and we constantly try to pretend they are not. And yet, we all have that space inside that is as tender as a newborn baby. This vulnerability can be frightening, so we prefer to numb ourselves to not feel it, lest it hurts more.
Again, it’s ignorance that holds us back. Because in the end it’s not the vulnerability that causes us pain, but the running away from it that creates more of it.
What you resist shall persist
3. Compromising and not owning our desire
Once numb we find it hard to own what we truly desire. Why? Because we become scared of feeling. If there is numbness, then for sure there is also suppressed pain. To activate yourself back into feeling, you have to allow yourself to feel your pain.
And why would you do that if you ran away from it in the first place? Well, it may be that you are slowly coming out of your ignorance. You are waking up to the fact that the pain inside of you exists not because the world out there is a bad place or the people have hurt you, no, it exists because you are not allowing yourself to feel it. You are judging the pain as bad and therefore keeping it beautifully stuck in place.
What follows is compromise. If you allowed yourself to own your desire, that means your inspiration, you would feel this amazing energy run like electricity through your veins, and in the process, it would clean up all that is in its way, i.e. you would have to feel your pain.
That’s too scary, so you compromise:
Ah, I don’t want that thing so much. It was just a child’s dream. I should be just happy with what I have (that’s fake satisfaction).
If I do this and that and get here and there, that will be close enough. Might not be the real thing, but it will be good enough. I will just accept it.
Add to this the fear of failure and rejection and we get into a nice juicy pickle. One guru, I believe, called it the: living dead.
So how do I become satisfied with what I have and not suppress my true desire?
I believe it has to do with the depth of our feeling. Which is the depth of our connection to our body. Desire is a physical sensation as is pleasure, enjoyment, and fulfillment. To feel that direct connection to the energy running through us is already satisfying. It’s what makes us feel alive.
It’s not a mental game, a process in which you have to ask yourself the endless litany of ‘Should-I’ or ‘Should-I-not’ -type questions!
No, it’s simply following the moment to moment aliveness in your body:
What gives you energy?
How do you feel imagining this or that?
Does it light you up?
What parts of you get activated?
And of course, it’s much easier said than done. We all get stuck in our heads, our control, and our neurosis. It’s partly because we all have desired things in the past, followed them, achieved them, only to realize that they are not as satisfying as they appeared to be in the beginning.
First of all, it takes wisdom and maturity to understand which desires come from our soul and truly nourish us, and which desires are empty and ego-driven, making us feel like craving for more.
And second, it’s because we believe that achieving the ‘outcome’ of our desire will induce us with a sense of everlasting satisfaction.
But what is satisfying in following our desires, is not the outcome but the following of them, the acting on it. The movement itself.
Which is equivalent to feeling alive. Like when you are making love and you don’t need to orgasm because you are so present to what is happening, that it’s simply enough. It’s where satisfaction and desire become one.
I could go on and on about all the ignorant and yet quite innocent mechanisms of our minds that don’t allow us to simply enjoy. But these three I think are a good start. Remember to have compassion for them, for we haven’t been taught a better way.
And I hope this article was helpful in shedding some light on why life might not feel as good as it can, and how it could!
Kasia Patzelt works as an Embodiment Coach and is passionate about integrating our spiritual experiences into the here and now of daily life aka how to be truly heart intelligent. She is a writer on Medium and works one-on-one with people online or on the magic island of Ibiza, where she lives. www.kasiapatzelt.com
Image courtesy of Mustafa Omar.