Why does it matter if you choose to eat a bag of crisps when you are not hungry and pay no attention to eating them? Why does it matter if you work a lot? Why does it matter if you think too much and have minimal emotions?
Sometimes, those things don’t matter. But if you are questioning whether they matter then perhaps they do.
It can feel like there are big gaping holes in your life. Even if, on the face of it, you appear to have it all. Frantically, you keep looking for new things to fill those holes; promotion, new job, new country, new partner, new anything!
Except, none of those things really change those holes for long.
In a sense, those holes might just be another aspect of being human. Look around you, without judgement, and you may see that people from all walks of life; backgrounds, ages, nationalities, careers, carry a suffering and / or emptiness of some kind within them.
At first glance that doesn’t sound very comforting right? But it does bring some hope and here are two reasons why:
1) It means you are not alone
No one wants to be judged and yet every one has the potential to judge. Especially when you feel vulnerable. How many times have you found yourself thinking along the following lines?
“They are more messed up than me. I shouldn’t feel the way I do because they had it worse. That person had an easy life. I would swap with them. They don’t know how easy they have it. That person’s had it really really tough. I should be able to deal with my problems.“
Which only serves to make you feel more disconnected from the world and more overwhelmed by your problems. If you can focus on the similarities between people and yourself instead of the differences then you can connect with them on a deeper level.
2) It means there’s been a LOT of people who wrestled with these same questions for a long time all over the world = masses of research and experiences to learn from.
You can look at the research and experience of other people’s wrestling and use it to see what best makes sense to you. Select what your belief set will be appropriate for your life.
Here’s just 3 resources to get you going:
- Neuroscientists are trying to figure it out from a scientific point of view, see this post about brain fat camp, it may talk mainly about ptsd but a hyperactive amygdala isn’t necessarily always caused by childhood maltreatment.
- Psychologists were talking about the theory of positive disintegration, by Kazimierz Dabrowski before I was even born.
- Buddhists give offerings to the Hungry Ghosts who cannot be satisfied no matter how much they consume.