Have you ever noticed that whatever you think might give you peace and satisfaction fails to do so when you get it?
Why is it that even when we achieve all the goals we set out for ourselves in our lives—the perfect partner, a beautiful family, lots of money, a good job, etc. —none of that eliminates the sense that there is still something lacking?
Many of us try to fill that hole with drugs, alcohol, sex, extreme sports, spiritual and religious experiences, and other many distractions. We hope that those activities will make us feel free of the incessant drumbeat of fearfulness, even if only temporarily.
The search for something outside of myself to give me fulfillment and satisfaction is a search for an escape from life and its difficulties and that includes the search for enlightenment or self-realization. The longing for awakening is actually a desire to go to sleep, to escape from the reality of our own mortality.
What is possible is to free yourself of that which keeps you searching for an escape from ordinary life into an imaginary state where everything is perfectly safe and unchanging.
We want to propose to you a simple exercise.
Think of something you really want, something that you believe will make all your dreams come true. A partner? A job? A family? What would that be?
What do you think is missing in your life that, if you got it, everything would be resolved? Take a moment to consider that.
Now picture yourself in a situation where you have finally achieved the object of all your longing. Try to get a sense of what that would feel like.
Now ask yourself:
If I accomplished that, what would that give me?
Once you find an answer, ask yourself again, And what would that give me?
If you do this exercise a few times, you may notice that whatever it is that you believe would give you the satisfaction you crave, it all comes down in the end to feeling satisfied and content in your own life as it actually is. Being at peace with yourself.
Truth is that, most of all, what we really want is to stop searching for things to fill that imaginary void.
Just consider for moment if this resonates with you. Reflect on it. See if it is true for you.
What we have seen in many years working with people from all sorts of backgrounds is that the search for something that will make me whole is caused by the fear of life, which takes over our minds very early on. And we don’t even know that it is possible to live life without this unconscious ground of fear that fills our mind.
The search for something outside of yourself that you hope will fulfill you, whatever it is, is an attempt to escape from your life as it is.
We are not speaking of working hard to be able to pay the rent, feed and clothe yourself and your family.
We are speaking of the search for more, once your most basic needs have been met.
Assuming that you have all your basic needs taken care of, the search for fulfillment in something outside of yourself is a false trail. And it will bring you only more frustration and more dissatisfaction.
The solution is very simple, and this dissatisfaction, this incessant search for something more, something better, something different, can end now.
Look at yourself and get a taste of what it feels like to be you. Try to touch what you would call me with your attention, with your inner eye.
Just one look inward towards the feel of me eliminates the mental environment of fearfulness instantly. This act of inward looking triggers a process in which your mind restructures itself based on a sane, fearless mental environment.
True freedom is within your reach and you can find it for yourself.
Look at yourself.