Feels like something is missing
What Does It Mean If You Feel Something Is Missing In Life?Skip to content
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Many of us are driven by inner restlessness and longing. A sense that something is missing in life, although it is difficult to put our finger on what it is.
We have a shadow belief ingrained in many of us from a young age – that when we have a better or different relationship, a more fulfilling job, more money, the next vacation, a better body, or many other things, we’ll feel satisfied. That our life will feel more complete.
And yet, even when we get a new relationship and more money, we still feel there must be more.
So what is it that we’re looking for? What are we seeking?
At the heart of this seeking is the need to know who we are and why we are here. What is this journey we call life all about?
This sense that something is missing is often an invitation to become more aware of our essence and who we are beyond the surface level of our life and conditioned self.
I experienced a feeling of what I came to call “soul hunger” in my own life, which manifested as stress-related health issues, relationship troubles, and a lack of meaning and purpose.
This soul hunger is an invitation to embark on an inner journey to understand ourselves better and shed the limiting beliefs that are holding us back from becoming our best and most authentic selves.
It often happens at a time in our life when we’re acutely aware that we have a lot to be grateful for.
We notice an inner tug of war between the part that tells us we should be grateful and the part of ourselves that tells us there must be more.
And if feeling lost and confused isn’t enough, we also feel lonely because most people don’t understand what we’re experiencing. We get the message-
“You have so much and are so fortunate what could possibly be missing in your life?”
I get it because I have been there and experienced these same feelings that were confusing and unsettling. I experienced a dark night of the soul and was suffering even though I had SO much to feel grateful for.
The dark night of the soul, which is more accurately the dark night of the personality, becomes an initiation into living a life with more profound presence, connection, fulfillment, alignment, and meaning.
What are these feelings and inner knowing that something is missing in our lives trying to tell us?
I began to see a pattern in the people I mentor, and it usually boils down to three things:
We may be disconnected from our more profound, more authentic selves.
In this scenario, we have been so busy focusing on others or fulfilling the many roles in our lives that we lose touch with our innermost selves. We may have put a lot of time and energy into raising a family and work, and then something changes, and we’re left asking- Who am I without these roles or this job?
It’s not uncommon to lose sight of our unique values, gifts, needs, and what makes us feel most vital and alive.
Our authentic self can quickly get buried beneath many layers and beliefs. We’re busy being “good” people and doing what we should do to be productive human beings, and in the process, we can lose touch with who we are and who we’re meant to become.
When we are overly identified with our personality, which includes our thoughts, emotions, and bodily responses, we lose touch with our essence. We’re disconnected from the qualities of our souls, such as integrity, love, authenticity, creativity, inner wisdom, courage, joy, power, and inner peace.
The more we strive to force this inner sense of well-being and flourishing, the more constricted we feel.
We may be longing for more feelings of connection in our relationships.
As we awaken, we are less satisfied with living at the shallow end of life. We crave relationships that feel deeper and connected at the level of the heart, not just intellect.
Our souls expand through love and compassion, which requires that we have fulfilling relationships where we can share our most intimate thoughts and feelings with those closest to us.
We want and need deeper connections with people and desire to share and discover our authentic selves with others in a safe and nourishing way.
Just as we are meant to grow and evolve, our relationships are also meant to grow and develop. When this doesn’t happen, it’s common to feel like our relationships lack depth and that something is missing.
While earlier in our lives, we may be satisfied with relationships that enable us to share tasks and manage the roles in our lives, there comes the point when our souls awaken that we’re invited to become more emotionally evolved.
What meets our needs in one chapter of our life doesn’t meet our needs in the next.
Shifting our way of being from a needs-based relationship into a more soulful relationship can be very challenging. But if our soul needs a heartfelt connection and it’s not available to us, we’re going to feel like something is missing.
We may be longing for more profound meaning and purpose.
This gnawing sense that something is missing in life is a sign that we have a spiritual yearning that we may not be aware of.
It’s an invitation from our soul to align our life with our essence. I explore this further in The Call of the Soul: 10 Signs Your Soul is Speaking to You.
The universe, divine, intelligence, God, higher power, or whatever you call “it” is setting off an alarm that may be saying: “You are a spiritual being having a human experience.” When we don’t know how to live as spiritual beings, it is not surprising that something is missing.
Our society values material success, achievement, status, and identification with our roles. When we achieve these things and something changes, we are confused about what does bring us deeper meaning and purpose. Many awakening souls get stuck in aligning their inner calling with their outer purpose. I explore this further in, The Biggest Reason We Get Stuck When Seeking A More Meaningful Life.
We find ourselves asking what are often considered to be questions arising from our souls- Is this all there is? How am I meant to contribute to something larger than myself? Where am I told to invest this energy that previously went into my traditional roles and responsibilities?
Spirituality stirs a sense of curiosity, mystery, and way of being that acknowledges that there is a life force beyond our control at play in our lives.
The sense that something is missing in life is ultimately an invitation to embark on an inner journey to understand ourselves and get in the “flow” of something much larger than our ego selves.
It’s an opportunity to shift and pivot from doing what was expected of us in the first half of our lives to responding to what needs to emerge through us for the next part of our journey.
This shift is challenging for many of us and is often why people feel stuck when seeking a more meaningful life.
Ultimately, the feeling that something is missing is a powerful sign that you’re disconnected from your higher self, and you’re being called to a journey of self-discovery where you let go of who you aren’t to embrace who you are meant to become.
When we create space, turn inward and get curious about what’s missing in our lives, we open the door to evolving into a more authentic, peaceful, and loving version of ourselves with a vibrant, connected, meaningful life.
If you feel called, please leave a comment below. Our community would love to hear from you!
(I wrote a follow-up to this blog that you may find helpful – If You Feel Something Is Missing, These Tips May Help).
(Published August 2017- Updated July 2020)
About the Author: Bev Janisch
As a certified meditation teacher, spiritual life coach and author, Bev shares tools, ancient wisdom and personal insights so that people are empowered to shed their conditioned selves so their true selves can emerge. This soul-powered change enables people to shift from feeling stressed and disconnected to peacefully empowered, living a life that's true to their soul. Bev's the author of Awakening a Woman's Soul: The Power of Meditation and Mindfulness To Transform Your Life.Page load link Go to Top
How to Find That Something That Feels Missing
“The spiritual path is simply the journey of living our lives. Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don’t know it.” ~Marianne Williamson
I remember it as if it happened yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst tightening of my chest that I had ever experienced. My heart was racing uncontrollably, my hands were clammy and cold, and nothing I did brought relief.
I prayed. I chanted. I tapped. I prayed and then prayed some more.
I thought I was going to die. I started to immediately regret all of the things I hadn’t said, all of the things I hadn’t done, and all the ways I’d failed to truly enjoy my life.
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally fell asleep just to wake up in another panic because my entire body was wired from head to toe. To make matters worse, I needed to be in court bright and early (more on that later).
I remember walking into my cardiologist’s office in a panic. He insisted nothing was wrong and that I should consider quitting my job.
“Quit my job?” I laughed out loud several times.
His face was stoic. He was not joking. Sh** just got real.
After wearing a heart monitor for thirty days because I needed to get to the bottom of these debilitating episodes, thankfully, I learned that my heart was functioning just fine. But, the symptoms were a message about a much bigger problem.
I needed a makeover. I needed a blank canvas.
Up until that moment, I had lived my life checking items off a list—a list society tells us we need to tackle if we want to be happy and successful, both extremely subjective words.
The list looks something like this:
- Get the degree. Check.
- Buy the expensive property. Check.
- Be a “good” person. Translation: overextend yourself and be everything to everyone. Check.
- Dive into a soul-sucking career for the sake of prestige and money. Check.
- Play it safe. Check.
Well, I had pretty much checked off the whole list. Yet, I could not shake off this deep desire to find something that felt missing. I felt empty, sad, and angry most days, yet I covered it up with a smile and fake gratitude.
I’d lost my connection. I’d lost myself. I had no idea who I was. I did not know what to believe in.
It was like I was waking up from a deep sleep. My soul was craving meaning, depth, and connection. I needed to release all of the beliefs that had kept me hostage to fear and zombie-like comfort.
My day job as a lawyer was adding a layer of stress to my life that I could not shake off. I knew that this was not the path my soul intended, yet I needed the money, so it was not time to leave just yet. And to make things more confusing, I was good at it. My brain would trick me into thinking I needed to stay in that career.
While I managed my responsibilities during the day, most nights I consume more spiritual material than most do in a lifetime. I was in search mode. Although I learned many beautiful philosophies and teachings, this consumption of information was not the answer I was seeking.
I sought coaches, attended seminars, and read almost every book under the sun, yet the feeling of connection eluded me.
Why? Because I was trying to soothe myself from the mental plane and I forgot to feel my way through the process. I did not know how to connect to my body, and I certainly was not in touch with my right brain—the center of intuition and creativity.
From that point onward, I committed myself to soul work. The road was long and windy. There were rivers of tears along the way.
During this time, I discovered things I’d kept hidden from myself and got to know myself in new ways. I was peeling back layers that slowly revealed my true self.
One of my biggest revelations during my journey is that, although I was living like an extrovert, my essence is one of an introvert. I discovered that I am highly sensitive and empathetic. It was difficult for me to accept this because I associated introversion with shyness, weakness, and weirdness, but the more I felt into this truth about myself, the more I started to love the real me.
My introversion taught me about the beauty of downtime. It helped me feel into my body and learn all the things she needed at any given time to feel relaxed and nourished.
I realized I’d been living too fast, checking off lists, too busy “being productive” and making sure that I was pleasing everyone. But, I rarely checked in with myself to process my feelings, or to feel into what I really needed. I learned that I had abandoned my needs most of my life in the name of acceptance.
Much of this process involves facing what we have denied to ourselves for so long. It is painful, but extremely powerful. The gold at the end of the rainbow: I feel more inspired, refreshed, and connected. That is the theme of my life.
So, what are some of the lessons that you can expect when you say yes to soul work?
Embrace your feelings—even the dark ones.
You can’t be happy all the time. It’s not possible, so please do not try. Do not chase happiness.
This beautiful universe is all about duality. How could you possibly love the light without experiencing the dark?
You can’t. Because you would not have a reference point.
And, what is the fastest path to the light?
They are the gateway to your soul.
I’m not referring to your everyday emotions, which can feel like a rollercoaster at times. I’m talking about deep reflection. I am talking about the feelings that are trying to deliver messages to you all day long.
The good. The bad. The ugly.
An amazing mentor taught me one of the most powerful processes for releasing negative emotions.
It just requires breathing and focus on the feeling. Once you feel the energy of an emotion, it shifts and moves as you breathe into it. There are so many insights that come to the surface when you remove the initial layer and make room for the expression of the pain.
Once the veil of pain is removed, you reach a higher perspective, where you see any situation from a higher plane and not just with your limited human eyes.
What am I constantly thinking about that’s bringing me down?
What do I long to release but haven’t been able to?
Then ask your feelings:
What are you here to teach me and breathe?
Feel the feeling; breathe into it. Feel it shift and move inside of you.
Listen. And then write whatever insights you receive. Do not judge yourself at any point. These are your feelings and they are real to you.
When I asked these questions, I had to admit to myself that I was continually expecting people to behave and feel like me, and when that did not happen, I felt disappointed. This way of processing the world was bringing me down, so I reevaluated my relationships.
I realized that I had resentment because I felt like I was a giver in most of my relationships. Why? Because over-giving stems from not checking in and slowing down. I stopped being only a giver. I learned how to receive. I started to express my feelings and most importantly, I started to feel into my needs and say yes to them.
At first, it felt selfish, but then it became necessary. The more I connected with myself and learned about my true needs, the more available I was for deeper and more authentic connections with the world.
Let your inner wisdom be your guide. It knows how to best navigate your life.
We listen to opinions all day long, unconsciously and consciously. People with good intentions want to tell us how we should do things, or how we should feel, think, and act.
While I personally believe that the universe delivers messages through others sometimes, the ultimate filter of your life must be your inner wisdom, that piece of unconditional love that guides you.
This guidance is available to all of us.
What am I refusing to see?
What am I ignoring?
What am I hiding from myself?
You may not get answers at first, but you will start to build a connection to your inner world.
Our brains will always have a conditioned response to these questions, but when we breathe and feel into the answers, a new message may emerge for you. A new perspective may be shown to you.
One of the biggest revelations for me when I asked these questions is that my true nature is one of a healer and someone who wants to help others heal and get in touch with their hearts. Although my entire life has been all about getting things done and building a career, my true nature is all about feeling and flowing. A very different energy than the one I was creating in my day-to-day life.
There is no better place than here, than now.
Being present is one of the most challenging tasks we can undertake, but if we want to transform, we need to learn to master the present. Otherwise, we are forever chasing the next thing.
I am currently living a reality where I wish I was doing what I love full time, but apparently, I still have lessons to learn from my current day job. I stay present by being a light warrior all day, even in the courtroom. I shine my light everywhere, and I allow it to lead me.
Although I am transitioning, it has been very challenging to stay present and bring my light to my day job, because the truth is that I want to be there, but I am here for now. But if I can be present here, I can be present anywhere. Because being present means that you are connected to your body.
To stay present, every so often during the day ask yourself these questions (courtesy of Tosha Silver):
Where am I?
What am I doing right this minute?
Where has my mind taken me?
And most importantly, am I breathing fully?
Love your rest.
This is huge. It’s essential to your health. Say no as often as possible in the name of rest!
If my body does not feel like doing something, I honor that now instead of forcing myself to do things out of obligation or pressure. If I am tired and overwhelmed, I no longer have a problem retreating and declining to attend any events, including family commitments.
At one point, I thought I needed to be everything to everyone. This led to my mini breakdown. While I still have certain obligations because that’s just life, I check in way more often now to feel into whether something is a yes or no.
This takes some practice, so please be patient with yourself and do not expect everyone to understand your journey. It’s okay, we all have our own path. This is about what feels right to you.
My new mantra is rest. refresh. repeat.
The words that come out of your mouth when you’re angry or resentful are not the deep truth.
Mental truth is reactive and layered with stories from past experiences. Mental truth is often wrapped in deep pain and insecurities.
Your soul truth is the deeper truth that’s born from self-awareness and personal insight.
For example, your mental truth may cause you to react to your partner by shouting at them or shutting down when they fail to come home at the time you expected. Your mental truth may make a million assumptions like, “They do not love me or they aren’t there for me ever or they are cheating on me.”
If you can get to your soul truth, however, you may recognize that your feelings stem from past experiences and your assumptions lie in your own insecurities.
Your soul truth may ask you to voice your concerns or speak to your partner instead of defaulting to anger or blame. Your truth may ask you to forgive yourself for any past experiences that hurt you.
Your truth will always ask you to take responsibility for how you feel, and it will always encourage you to speak from your heart and inquire from the source if you are prone to making assumptions. Your truth will also warn you if something is off and will invite you to see things for what they are.
Breathe and ask silently, put your hand on your heart and ask:
What is my message about this situation?
How can I see this differently?
What is this moment trying to teach me?
What is my inner truth showing me?
Your truth will feel profound and anchored in love and wisdom.
Creativity is the language of your soul.
When I started to color and draw portraits from YouTube tutorials, I entered the magical world of the right brain. This is where the magic lives.
Our left brains work hard to analyze and provide logic. Sometimes, this part of our brain can go into a loop because the logical part in us does not take into account our heart’s wisdom, nor does it take our feelings into consideration.
The right brain is more intuitive and abstract. The right brain is creative. It’s a place where we feel and interpret events through our gut, colors, and senses.
For example, if I were to express anger through my left brain, I would use words like “volatile,” “pissed off,” or “explosive.” If I were to describe anger using my right brain, I might say it looks like the color red and it feels tight in my chest.
And if I ask my right brain what anger is here to teach me, most of the time, it will feel like the message is that I am not being honest with someone or myself (of course there are a million other reasons why one can feel anger).
The right brain offers more depth. Being in my right brain has taught me to feel my body and the sensations and feelings, since these are messages and nudges from our inner wisdom.
So it is important in order to reach equanimity, to find your creativity and call it forth. You will feel more connected and more centered. Find activities that do not require thinking so you can start to feel the difference.
As you embark on your own path, which begins with willingness and the realization that something is missing, you will undoubtedly say goodbye to who you thought you were and you will fall in love with the gift that you are.
You may feel depleted some days, but for the most part you will experience a reorganization of your life and energy. You will feel like a child learning to see the world with new eyes. You will feel a deeper feeling of peace and happiness than you ever could have found by working through society’s list. This is soul work. Are you ready for it?
About Christine Rodriguez
Christine Rodriguez is a spiritual life coach dedicated to helping others transform beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that no longer serve them so they can create a life that’s aligned with their true desires and capabilities. To work with her, please visit miraculousshifts.com. You can find her on Instagram @miraculousshifts_christy.
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When something is missing in life, what to do?
You have your own separate housing, a promising profession, a family, a child and a job with a decent salary. You meet friends from time to time, like to go to the gym, go on vacation to the seaside. You have everything you need for comfort, you are surrounded by good people, various events are happening around, but you live and do not experience joy and interest.
It feels like you are in a vise and you can't take a deep breath. For no apparent reason, irritation, discontent, anger, which are felt by the people around you, rolls over you. What is the reason for such dissatisfaction and how to understand what life lacks in order to feel its taste again.
Why does dissatisfaction with life arise?
The feeling of dissatisfaction is experienced not only by people who lacked much in life. This is a normal feeling for any person, even the most wealthy. It indicates that the next level of personality development has been reached and a transition to the next stage is required.
Dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction are manifestations of an internal conflict between the desired and the achieved, which is of an emotional and psychological nature. If you feel that something is missing in your life, then it's time to understand yourself.
My life is somehow wrong… How should I?
What is missing in a person's life?
Find a secluded place, focus and think about what is really missing in your life. Many will say that money. But the significance of money for the sake of money is zero. They are necessary to achieve what you want. Perhaps this is what you really need. Or you experience a lack of warmth, love, support, understanding. This happens even when there is family, relatives and friends. Maybe next to you there is not enough person in your life who is close in spirit. For simplicity and clarity, list the items on a piece of paper, highlight the highest priority. They will be the guide to which you need to move.
Determine the goal
To understand what life is missing, you need to know what you want from it. The pursuit of a goal gives human life the main meaning, serves as the driving force of thoughts and actions, and contributes to personal growth and development. To understand where dissatisfaction with life comes from, try to concretize your goals, assess how achievable and far they are, outline an action plan for their implementation. These goals should not be global in nature, like finding a way to save the ozone layer or developing a cure for HIV. They should be important and valuable to you, inspire new achievements, bring moral satisfaction and a sense of self-respect. If the feeling that “I live somehow wrong” does not leave, then it may be necessary to change the direction of movement.
The degree of self-realization in life
If, with apparent well-being, the feeling that something is missing in life intensifies, analyze how much you have realized it. Perhaps you have a highly paid job, but is it interesting for you, contributes to internal development, does it bring pleasure. How much did the girl realize herself, who, as expected, after graduating from the institute got married, gave birth to children and is engaged in their upbringing. Why does she wake up with the thought: “I live somehow wrong!”? And the answer is simple: it is not enough for her to sit at home and be only a mother. To feel happiness, there is not enough realization in another area. If something is constantly missing in life, the feeling of dissatisfaction does not leave, think about how correctly and fully you use your abilities and talents. To come to spiritual harmony and feel happy helps doing what you love. It will not necessarily bring a lot of income, but the possibility of self-realization for a person is often much more important than untold wealth.
Appreciate what you have
Experiencing constant dissatisfaction with life, a person is forced to destroy the habitual foundation in order to try himself in a new quality, test his strength and change his life. He can leave his family, give up a good job, leave the country. These are drastic measures, but they also help to understand the value of what you give up - the devotion of a loved one, the help and support of friends, the love of parents, the warmth of a family hearth. No matter how much you lack in life, no matter how dissatisfied you feel, do not rush to give up everything. Try to change your life, relying on what is valuable and important that you already have.
Learn to rejoice
If you are suffering, cannot understand what is missing in life, then think of those who are much worse for real serious reasons. People who really lacked a lot in life know how to enjoy simple things. A roof over your head, a peaceful sky, healthy children, a family, living parents - if there is, then there are not many reasons to feel dissatisfaction with life. Help those who are having a hard time, and dissatisfaction with life will visit you much less often. Look for the positive in everything, enjoy every moment, find reasons for joy, because not everyone has such an opportunity for various reasons.
If something is missing in life, then…
We periodically experience a feeling of dissatisfaction, dissatisfaction with ourselves, our own lives, and this is normal. Problems make you move forward, try, take certain steps, make efforts to make your life better and find peace of mind. It is important not to dwell on negative feelings that cause constant depression, irritability and lead to depression. If something is missing, then your life needs changes. And whether it will be a change of job, profession, city or country of residence is up to you. Analyze all areas of your life, find gaps, and start patching holes slowly. Life is given to you for happiness, so be kind, make yourself happy!
Do you feel like something is missing?
Today we will discuss the fundamental idea that we use in the diamond approach: it is called the theory of holes. Under normal circumstances, people are full of what we call "holes."
What is a hole? A hole means any part of yourself that has been lost, that is, any part of you that you have lost awareness of. Ultimately, what we have lost awareness of is our essence. When we are not aware of our essence, it ceases to manifest itself. And then we feel that we are missing something.
So, a hole is nothing but a feeling of the absence of a certain part of our essence. It can be the loss of love, the loss of value, the loss of the ability to contact, the loss of power - the loss of any quality of Essence. There are a lot of them. However, when we say that we have lost parts of the Essence, this does not mean that they are gone forever: they never disappear forever. You are simply cut off from them.
When you are cut off from your value, in your actual experience you feel like there is an empty hole inside of you. You feel inferior and try to fill the hole with something from the outside
Let's take, for example, the quality of value or self-respect. When you are cut off from your value, in your actual experience you feel that there is a hole inside of you that seems empty to you. You feel a sense of lack, a feeling of inferiority, and you want to fill that hole with value from outside. You can try to fill it with endorsements, awards, whatever. You are trying to fill a hole with false value.
We have many holes, but we are not usually aware of them. We are usually aware of our desires: “I want a reward. I want to be successful. I want this person to love me. I want this or that experience." The presence of desires or needs indicates the presence of holes.
These holes are created in childhood, partly as a result of traumatic experiences or conflict with the environment. Perhaps your parents didn't appreciate you. They didn't treat you as if your desires or presence were important, didn't act in a way that let you know that you matter.
They ignored your core value. Since no one saw or recognized your value (perhaps you were even scolded for it or dissuaded from it), you were cut off from this part of you, and what is left is a hole, a lack of something.
When you connect deeply with someone, you fill your holes with another person. Some of your holes are filled with what you believe you get from other people. For example, you may feel appreciated because a certain person approves of you. On a conscious level, you don't know that you are filling a hole with this approval. And when you are with this person, you feel valuable and unconsciously you feel that the other person is responsible for your value. Whatever this person gives you, you feel it as part of you; it is part of the fullness that you experience.
Your unconscious does not see the part of the person that makes you feel full as separate; you think it's part of you. When a person dies or a relationship ends, you don't feel like you've lost that person, you feel like you've lost something that fills your hole.
You are experiencing the loss of a part of yourself. That's why this one is so painful. You feel as if you have been cut open and something has been taken from you. Therefore, the wound and the pain around it is the pain of loss. You may feel as if you have lost your heart, your security, your strength, your will—everything that the person filled you with. When you lose someone close to you, you feel the hole that person filled.
When you connect deeply with someone, you fill your holes with another person. Some of your holes get filled with what you think you get from other people
That's what people say when they say they're "suitable" for each other. One person approaches the holes of another. When two people live together, they can feel complete and complete, because they feel each other as a complement - together they create a single whole.
It's very rare that another person fills all your holes. There are many people and things in your life, and still they do not fill all your holes. Some holes may remain unfilled, and this prolongs the feeling of dissatisfaction. And of course the holes don't fill completely.
The moment the person changes a little or says something that makes you feel bad, you will feel the hole again. "Oh, he doesn't think I'm worth anything after all." You feel angry and resentful because the hole starts to widen. This dissatisfaction continues because the other person doesn't always fill your holes perfectly, especially if they want you to fill their holes too.
S: When you change relationships, or another person in your life changes, then there must be changes in those holes that are involved in the process.
A.H.: Correct. If any changes occur, some movement begins around the holes. Some holes become empty and some are filled. A person has to adapt and find other ways to fill the holes. This usually means that they have to deal with some of these holes. They should feel their presence and maybe understand them.
If you can stay with the pain and suffering of this loss without trying to cover it up with something else, you may feel empty
So now you know why the loss of someone who was you very close, very, very close, so painful. After you have been intimate with this person for a long time, you become so accustomed to the fact that he "fits" for you that you begin to believe that the other person is a part of you. To lose a person is to lose a part of yourself.
When you directly experience this loss and separation, you have the opportunity to see that what filled you was not really you. If you can stay with the pain and suffering of this loss without trying to cover it up with something else, you may feel empty.
You will feel and see the hole. Then, if you allow yourself to feel this absence, this emptiness, you can find the essential part of you—that which will fill the hole from within, once and for all. And this is not even a filling: this is the elimination of a hole and identification with a lack of something. In this case, you return to yourself a part of yourself. You are connecting with a part of yourself that you have lost and that you thought someone else could fill for you.
Many people feel a loss of self-respect when a relationship ends, so I use a concrete example of value. As you begin to explore loss, you can stay with how you feel and ask yourself, “How is it that I feel worthless? How is it that I feel worthless just because that person is no longer with me? Why do I feel like I'm so worthless?"
If you stay with this feeling without trying to change it, just paying attention to it and trying to understand it, then you will experience a lack and a hole. If you understand this lack and how it began, you may even remember the actual event or series of events that led to the loss of value.
If you allow yourself to feel this absence, this emptiness, you can find the essential part of you—that which will fill the hole from within, once and for all
The hole is usually filled with a part of the personality that remembers what was lost, the situation that caused that loss, and the pain and conflicts associated with it. We have to go through the pain to a deeper level and get closer to the hole itself to see these memories. When we see the memories of what was lost, the aspect of Being that was lost will begin to re-emerge.
So any deep loss is an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to understand more about yourself, to experience holes that you think can be filled by someone else. Unfortunately, people usually defend themselves like crazy against a deeper sense of these losses.
This is what they need in the first place to avoid feeling like a hole. People do not know that a hole, or a feeling that something is missing, is a symptom of the loss of something deeper - the loss of the Essence that can be regained. They think that a hole, a lack of something, is who they really are at a deep level, and that there is nothing else underneath. They think that something is wrong with them, but this feeling that something is wrong is the unconscious truth about the presence of a hole.
When we stop defending ourselves against feeling a hole, we realize that our actual experience is not painful at all. We are just experiencing an empty space
People will do anything to not feel a hole. They believe that if they don't close the hole, it will swallow them up. If they approach a love hole, for example, they may feel threatened by destructive loneliness or emptiness. Other holes may lead to something that feels like an annihilation threat. No wonder we don't want to be near these holes!
But in our work here we see amazing things: when we stop defending ourselves against feeling a hole, we realize that our actual experience is not painful at all. We are simply experiencing an empty space that feels like there is nothing there. There is nothing threatening, but space, resolution. This space allows the Essence to appear. Only this Essence — and only she — can eliminate this hole, this lack from within.
S.: Can a hole manifest itself as anger?
A.H.: Yes. You can experience the emotion of anger as a result of feeling lacking, especially when anger is a defense against feeling a hole. Most emotions, especially automatic and compulsive ones, are the result of holes. When there are no holes, there are no such emotions. Sadness, resentment, jealousy, anger, hatred, fear—all these emotions are the result of holes. If you do not have holes, then there are no such emotions. You only have Essence. That is why such emotions are sometimes called passions, false feelings, or pseudo-feelings.
Our society as a whole is organized in such a way that people fill each other's holes. Civilization as we know it is built on the principle of filling holes
Our entire society is designed to teach us how to get from the outside what will fill our holes: we must get value, love, power, etc. from the outside . We talk about how wonderful it is to do something for other people, or to be in love, or to have a meaningful profession, as if these are all things that give life meaning.
We attribute meaning not to Essence, but to a person or thing; we think that a person or a thing gives more meaning to life than the Essence, on which the meaning of life really depends. Our society as a whole is organized in such a way that people fill each other's holes. Civilization as we know it is built on the principle of filling holes. It is a product of personality. It is also where the personality lives. It is what sustains and nourishes the personality.
S.: Has it always been like this?
A.H.: I don't think so. I think it happened gradually. It took time for the personality of civilization to dominate. The more mechanistic we become, the more our culture requires us to fill in our holes. Many people say that there was more love and presence in the past, more recognition of the present. And people were in greater contact with their essence than now. Have you heard the legends about the Golden Age?
In the Golden Age, people felt their essence, there were no holes. The Silver Age began when the Essence shrank and holes began to appear. Then came the Bronze Age. We are now in the Iron Age. The darkest and heaviest. Iron is nothing more than protection. We can sometimes feel the quality of iron when we feel tough and determined to protect ourselves. And one way to look at the present is as a time of protection from holes.
People get very scared if you don't try to fill holes like they do. If a person does not try to fill their holes, it makes other people feel their own holes even more
Allowing yourself to endure the feeling of holes and go through them to the other side is now much more difficult, because the whole society is opposed to it. Society is opposed to the Essence. Everyone around you, wherever you go, is trying to fill holes, and people get very scared if you don't try to fill holes in the same way that they do. If a person does not try to fill their holes, it makes other people feel their own holes even more.
Now it is becoming more and more difficult to do this Work, but this Work is becoming more and more necessary. That is why it is so important to have a group like this where there is a community of people involved in the task of self-understanding. Here you have the support of many people who allow themselves to feel holes instead of filling them. This is a very difficult - almost impossible - thing for a person if he does it alone, because his entire environment is opposed to it.
S: You said something about the connection between holes and emotions, and that Essence has no emotions. I didn't understand.
A.H.: If you understand your feelings, you will get to your essence. But this does not mean that what you feel is your essence.
S: Does this mean that if I am connected with Essence all the time, then I will not feel anything?
A. H.: No, it doesn't. There are real feelings and pseudo feelings. Pseudo-feelings are trying to fill the hole that is the absence of real feelings.
S: So what's in the hole is a false feeling?
A.H.: Yes. If you lose your own value, for example, if you cut them off at some point, a hole is formed there. The hole will feel like a sense of inferiority or a lack of self-respect. But it's not a real feeling. It is the lack of a sense of true worth or self-respect.
This feeling of inferiority is often masked by an attempt to feel superior, which is a defense. But it's also not a real feeling. This is an attempt to hide, a pseudo-feeling. If you get angry when someone does or says something and you feel inferior, that is again a pseudo-feeling.
Emotions are reactions, while essential states such as Value are states of Being. They are not reactions to something
All these pseudo-feelings arise because you are not in touch with your true value. They are like compensation. They are real in the sense that you feel them, but they are not real in the sense that they are not the result of losing something real. This is a big difference. When you are cut off from real feelings, something else tries to take their place: and these are emotions.
But by feeling emotions, you can see what you have lost and experience it. When you get in touch with the feeling of your true worth, you see that it is very different from the pseudo-feelings that cover up the loss. Emotions are reactions, while essential states such as Value are states of Being. They are not reactions to something.
S.: If you have pseudo-feelings, what is under them?
A.Kh.: In this case, what is hidden behind the feeling of inferiority, superiority, anger, pain is Value, which is a certain aspect of Essence.
Have you read Plato? Remember Plato's theory of forms and ideas? Socrates said that no one can ever teach you forms. There is only one way you can learn about them: just remember them.
You have a memory of them, although you may not be aware of it. Remembering, you come to the Idea. What you are returning to is not emotions: you are returning to Essence. Essence is more real and more essential than emotions. Essence is as real as your blood. She is not a reaction.
Some people are cut off not only from their Essence, but also from their emotions. Because of this, they are very distant from themselves. They only have thoughts that are the result of emotions. This is how we lose ourselves and become identified with our thoughts.
First comes Essence, then loss of Essence, then emotions as a consequence, then loss of emotions or conflict around them, and this leads to all sorts of thoughts. So understanding emotions can help unravel the tangle of defenses people use to avoid feeling holes. Emotions can be the point where Essence has been lost.
Some people are cut off not only from their Essence, but from their emotions too. Because of this, they are very distant from themselves. They only have thoughts as a result of emotions
Many people worry: if you don't feel emotions, then what will you feel? The more you feel the Essence, the less you feel emotions. You will still experience sensations, and you will feel deeper and stronger than before, but your emotions will not be deeper and stronger. Emotions are only a response of the nervous system, while Essence is not a response of the nervous system. It is something that fills you. The part of you that keeps being present.
Some people think that "essential aspects" are "real feelings." But what people usually call feelings or emotions is not Essence. Love, Peace, Value, Strength, and Will are aspects of Essence. With Essence, instead of experiencing anger, you experience Power. Instead of feeling inferior or superior, you experience Value. You experience yourself as a harmonious Presence—complete and powerful.