Since this is the time of year that we reflect, recalibrate and make resolutions, allow me to share my perspective on the human experience. I’ll keep it as short and sweet as possible, and I’ll use a metaphor too, because describing the spiritual realm is really hard to do.
First, I begin with stating what seems obvious to me: We don’t feel ok on the inside.
Something’s wrong or missing or lacking or incomplete. Call it anxiety, loneliness, emptiness, thinking we’re not good enough, or that we’re abandoned, unloved, unseen, that we’re losers, failures, victims, whatever. We don’t feel ok on the inside.
Is that obvious to you? It is to me. (If this is not obvious to you, don’t bother reading any further. My thoughts will be meaningless to you.)
Here’s where the analogy kicks in. It’s like we’re “thirsty” on the inside. “Thirsty” is way of saying we don’t feel ok on the inside.
Given that, here’s the second part. The mind kicks in and tries to find solutions to this problem. And the mind’s solution is always to look outside ourselves, to search for “wells” that it believes has the “water” needed to quench our inner “thirst.”
In other words, the mind comes up with strategies on how to make us feel good on the inside. But again, the mind always says to look outside of ourselves for a “well.”
Parenthetically, what are those “wells?” Well, to name a few, they are “Mr. or Ms. Right,” more money, nicer possessions, great sex, power and control, beauty and attractiveness, the perfect body, success, admiration, approval, finding God, or becoming enlightened.
A “well” is your proverbial “IT.” Whatever you think you need to feel loved, happy, fulfilled, safe or in control is your “IT,” your “well.”
Here’s the third part. We believe what our minds tell us, and we spend our entire lives searching for “IT.” We seek the “well” that our mind says will quench our inner “thirst.” We seek “IT.” We chase “IT.”
Here’s the fourth part. At some point, we discover all the “wells” are dry. There is no “water” in any of them! Nothing ultimately satisfies—not love, not money, not success—nothing outside of us makes us feel good on the inside. We have the horrible realization that the “IT” we thought was “IT” isn’t “IT.” This moment has been called “the dark night of the soul,” or more recently, a mid-life crisis.
And it’s a gift from God.
The most fortunate people are those who actually get what they want! Why? Because getting “IT”—a relationship, success, sex, money, etc.—is the fastest way to discover that the “IT” doesn’t quench your thirst. (Have you noticed that as soon as you get “IT” you immediately want more?)
The discovery that all your “wells” are dry is gut-wrenching moment. We’ve spent our entire life chasing that which we believe will quench our inner “thirst,” only to discover it’s empty and unsatisfying.
In this way we’re like the Greyhounds at the dog track. They chase that damn rabbit (it’s their version of “IT,” what they believe will make them feel ok on the inside) and if they were ever to catch the rabbit and sink their teeth into it, they’d quickly discover it doesn’t satisfy. It’s dry, it’s fake, it’s an illusion.
Have you discovered that your “well” or “wells” are dry? If not, keep searching and seeking. But—spoiler alert—like the dogs at the track, if you get “IT,” if you finally “sink your teeth into it,” you’ll be disappointed.
BUT THAT’S NOT A BAD THING!! In fact, it’s a glorious moment, a moment of great possibility.
Here’s the fifth part: Realizing all our “wells” are dry forces us to take one of 3 paths:
A. We search for a new “well.” And you can do that. I know I did. When I discovered one of my “wells” was dry, I simply went looking for a new “well.” Try that. See if it works. I didn’t for me. I found they all were dry.
B. We can distract ourselves and/or medicate ourselves from feeling this truth, that there is no “IT.” (This is where all addiction comes from.) And look around, my friend. This is what the vast majority of people are doing: Distracting & Medicating.
C. You can wake up and stop looking outside yourself for “water” to quench your inner “thirst.” You can turn inward. In other words, you can stop chasing that damn rabbit and deal directly with the inner feeling of not being ok on the inside.
How do you do that? What does one turn inward? What does it mean to stop sourcing life from outside yourself and source from within?
Ah, a great question. But here’s the truth. If I told you how to realize you’re already ok inside and what exactly to do when you don’t feel ok on the inside, it would do you no good.
Because you must first get to the point where you TRULY see that there is no “IT.” And I’m not sure you’re there yet. You must search and seek your F-ing brains out. You must desperately try to find “wells” filled with “water.”
Until you’ve discovered that they’re all empty, until you’ve seen that for yourself, the true “solution” will go in one ear and out the other.
You must be DONE with seeking “IT.” Only then will your heart be ready for truth. For only then can you be “saved.”
Roy Biancalana is a certified relationship coach and author of the #1 best selling book, Attracting Lasting Love: Breaking Free of the 7 Barriers that Keep You Single. For the past 10 years, Roy’s mission has been supporting single people in the art of creating conscious, lasting relationships. You can learn more about him at www.coachingwithroy.com.