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Still feel like something important is missing

I have had a deep and painful longing for connecting with life for as long as I have felt the disconnection, so the talk about feeling separate from you own life really speaks to me. I have never heard it being expressed in the same way anywhere else.

I have been doing the looking for three years now and so many things have gotten better. But it is more like I have become better well-adjusted than any gap being closed. I deal better with the practical issues of life, I am not as conflicted and my relationships are not as conflicted. I smile more easily and the sense of being cut of does not leave me paralyzed.

But I was not exactly after being better well-adjusted and sometimes I miss the emotional roller coaster because then at least there were moments of deep feeling and connection. I just still feel like my heart is missing. Are there any promises of a heart in this work?

Dear Emmy.Ha,

Well, first, the sense of being well-adjusted, and able to deal better with the practical issues of life is the result of the closing of the wound of alienation, or the gap, if you prefer.

But of much greater importance is your feeling that being better at life is not what you were looking for. It is natural for the mind that operates on the assumption that life is dangerous and untrustworthy to yearn for an escape from life into transcendence, the sensation of all-encompassing love, and the like. This idea that there must be some fundamental shift in the quality of life as it presents itself, something new to be added that will vanquish all the pain and confusion, is not true. The quality of this yearning itself is a symptom of the problem, and over time the obsessive preoccupation with it will pass.

This can also be seen as misunderstanding of what 'heart' actuallly feels like. We have convinced ourselves that to have heart is to be affected by the wild emotional colors that come and go within our life. Truth is, you have never been affected by anything at all. And the point of this work is not to return to the slumber of death, but to live life fully in the absence of the false sense of threat to your existence and promise of salvation.

Like it or not, the looking leads us not to transcendence and liberation from the quirkiness and wildness of life, it leads us to sanity from which life is seen for what it is from moment to moment. And from that standpoint of sanity, we begin to see for the first time that our life, just as it is, just as it endlessly changes and surprises us, is the actual natural object of our heart's true love.

I read this post and talked about it at the Open House Meeting on June 8, 2011.

You can listen to the entire recording in our podcast. Please let me know if more is needed.

In love,

John

 

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