The Myth of Missing

Some people spend their whole lives searching for that something they feel is missing from their lives; that thing that will make everything ok, make sense and complete life.

I spent most of my life this way too. Always feeling less than, knowing that if I could just find what was missing, I’d figure it all out. If I knew that missing thing and understood it I could get past being stuck and live a happier life.

For years we might seek to find what is missing externally. If I am perfect at this and that, achieve this goal or that job. If I get to have that house or go on those holidays. The never ending need to add things to life to make ourselves feel happy and all in an attempt to fill that missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle and all will be well.

I’ve come to realise that it’s a myth, this missing something.

There are a myriad of reasons we feel something is missing. Usually totally falsely created during childhood when we don’t feel good enough or up to what is expected of us. We begin, although certainly not consciously, to feel something must be missing from us. We must not be smart enough, loveable or likeable enough, good enough. As we grow, this belief simply attracts more of the same situations to further affirm this belief until it becomes truth. By the time we reach adulthood we aren’t aware of its origin, we simply feel something is missing. In a cruel way it becomes an excuse. We cannot achieve this or that because of what is missing. We are stuck on a never ending treadmill. Truly we are the cause of our problem and yet continue to search for what is missing regardless. We cannot see the wood for the trees.

When you seek you find and with mindfulness,  through the process of cultivating self awareness, there will come a time when you realise, so profoundly, there is actually nothing missing. You are already complete. Everything you seek is already within you and you are perfect as you are. There is nothing to be gained, nothing that needs to be added to complete that jigsaw puzzle. For me this began when I sought yet another therapist to help me discover what was missing, what was wrong. She said to me, “has it ever occurred to you that nothing is wrong, that nothing is missing?” It sounds so simple yet it was so profound and it led me to unravel truly where this belief had come from and to realise I was ok. Nothing was missing. It isn’t as night and day as; one day you feel something is missing and you are stuck and the next you are not, but the realisation is the first step to thinking and ultimately taking actions that are different; leading to a different outcome and a happier, more fulfilled life.

These childhood experiences create a separation within; a discord from who you truly are, to who you think you are. Your whole or the completeness of who you really are becomes fragmented.  To give an analogy, it’s as though you’ve taken a hammer and broken up a complete block of toffee…the pieces are fragmented and separated, broken. You spend your life searching for the missing pieces but because of the separation and discord within, you don’t see they are already there. Seeking inside yourself enables you to be in the space between the pieces and realise they are all there and perfectly fit together. Through the power of mindfulness your heightened self awareness can look ‘outside in’ as if viewing your broken pieces from above and to see how they fit perfectly back together.

This allows us to let go of the false beliefs we hold in our mind and that we’ve held about ourselves for so many years. It enables us to see ourselves truly as we are; when you feel that completeness from an inner knowing of its existence, you can love yourself, value yourself, and in turn, this becomes I am loveable, I am likeable, I am…

 

 

[I took this image while on a flight from England to California, over Greenland. Beneath us the ice that was once a solid mass was fragmented but from above you could see it fit perfectly together.]

 

 

 

Perspective

I was listening to a podcast yesterday with Tim Ferriss interviewing Gabor Mate (very interesting guy if you haven’t heard of him) and towards the end of the podcast Gabor talked about his favourite quote, relating to perspective. I often talk about how having empathy for others and being mindful of the perspective of others, but this really made me see the enormity of perspective and its incredible impact on our daily lives…

Think about a time recently when something upset you and then think about how you responded.

During the interview I listened to, Tim said that there were a bunch of things that needed fixing around his home and while he was away, he had agreed with someone to come and do the work for him.

When he returned home the work wasn’t done.

Gabor asked him how that made him feel. What were the emotions he felt.

He said he felt upset and the emotions were anger and frustration.

Gabor asked him to think about why he felt angry and frustrated.

Tim responded, because I felt like the guy did not care about me or respect me.

Gabor pointed out that there could be a million and one reasons for the guy not doing the work; he could have taken ill, had a relative become ill, called out of town and so on.

He said,

We don’t respond to what happens, we respond to our perception of what happens; our interpretation.

He stated three key points:

  1. We choose the worse scenario/outcome
  2. We don’t choose, we jump to the worst conclusion automatically
  3. We don’t respond to the present moment, we respond to the past

Responding in this way usually goes back to childhood and the patterns of behaviour and ways in which we respond just play out over and over throughout our lives.

The more mindful you become, the more self aware you become. Being mindful is being present and so cultivating mindfulness in your life will enable you to notice your responses and gain insight into your perspective.

Think about situations in your own life where you are faced with a situation where you respond without really knowing any facts about a situation or the person you are responding to.

Our perceptions are our reality, but it doesn’t make them true.

Mindfulness gives you a fresh perspective. A perspective where you can see things as they really are and because you are present, you cannot be on autopilot at the same time, – meaning you are less likely to jump to a conclusion, based on an automatic response that comes from past. You cannot be in the past if you are present.

This doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch. Mindfulness is a practice and as such needs practising daily.

If you wanted to listen to Tim Ferriss’ interview with Gabor Mate, you can find it here on the Tim Ferriss Podcast.

 

 

[The image is one I took in San Francisco, where my sister lives. I visit often and have taken so many photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge, but each time I seem to find a new perspective and the photographs always seem different…]