Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Ever since I became aware of my existence, there has always been that nagging feeling of wanting more - craving something different, something new. Nothing ever truly satisfied me. While others settled into their careers and into their life situations, I just had to keep moving. I had no interest in feeling 'stuck.' Life kept calling out to me from a distance. My cup was always half-full.
When family and friends told me to just 'settle down' and build a life like everyone else, I internalized their words. I questioned and criticized myself, wondering what was wrong with me. While others around me accepted the status quo - other's expectations, I challenged them all but somehow felt shamefully guilty afterwards. Seemingly, I always embodied the role of the 'negative' one, the 'rebellious' one, the 'odd' one, the 'misfit'. Yet, my insecurities never stopped me from going after new jobs, or quitting them and moving to different parts of the world - trying new things. Like fuel to a flame, the feeling of incompleteness only seemed to fan the flames of longing even brighter and hotter.
But one day, as I sat alone in a moment of quiet reflection, a thought flashed across the stormy sky of my mind like lightning. The unmistakable resounding thunderclap of awareness that followed, jolted me forwards, catapulting me towards a reality I'd never known or experienced before. In this new state of being, I was complete. I had everything I needed - not money, people, or things, but myself. I had all of me. There was full acceptance. Every experience and everything that once felt like a mistake in my life, now made perfect sense. It was as if the good and the bad all unwittingly conspired to make me whole somehow. I felt at peace.
I then realized that my insatiable longing was not for things or new experiences, or for another person. That relentless craving was for self-acceptance and for an identity - my identity. I was running from the reality of my brokenness towards an illusive image of wholeness that I had skillfully crafted and rehearsed for myself.
At fault, is a society (religious or not), that trains and expects us to forgive others - to love others ad nauseam. But no one ever showed or taught me how to forgive myself - to be kind to myself no matter what. In fact, many would call this act of self-love, selfishness and self-centeredness. But, why shouldn't I choose to be a centered self - a grounded person? To be off-keel is to be like a ship tossed about in a stormy sea. No where to anchor, no place to berth - no place to call 'home.' This imbalanced, agitated state of being was the true source of my constant craving - that insatiable longing that nothing or no one could satisfy.
I now can say that that insatiable longing that haunted every waking hour, was really for that quiet place, the stillness within, the state of being grounded - the state of centeredness. Quietness of spirit cannot be bought, traded, or sold. One must cherish it - practice it. That stillness, however, can only come by being fully present - by being vulnerable, honest, authentic, and self-aware each and every day. It is the work of a lifetime. Though I am still free-spirited, adventurous, and curious, I've since come to view and accept those qualities as the appointed, unequivocal force that drives me to accomplish goals, to explore new ideas, to be creative, and to live life on my own terms. Those qualities are now positive traits that I nurture and cherish. And I am grateful. My quiet place travels within me where ever I go. My cup is now full and running over. I am abundant. I am satiated..