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July 11, 2018

The Craving for Wholeness



There’s a sense of incompleteness in our lives.


We have felt it since adolescence, at least, if not since early childhood — it’s a feeling that something is wrong with us, that something is missing, or that we’re missing out on something in the world.


It’s a feeling of disconnection or loneliness from others, a sense that we don’t fit in. A feeling of moving through the world in isolation, unfulfilled, without a sense of intimacy with others, without a sense of purpose in what we’re doing. And though we crave a feeling of connection and intimacy with others, this sense of incompleteness is for sure what drives all manners of jealousy, confusion and discontent between persons.


We crave that feeling of connection and intimacy with others, and seek it in online social networks, but it’s lacking. It drives us to use dating apps to find the perfect someone, but the dating doesn’t bring intimacy. It drives us to look at photos of what other people are doing in the world, read about their adventures, but feel like we’re not doing anything meaningful.


We wake up and immediately begin distracting ourselves, seeking something interesting, exciting, any kind of dopamine hit. We look for the convenient over the difficult, the quick and easy over struggle and meaning.

We don’t give ourselves a moment of space or quiet, filling every bit of space with videos, songs, podcasts, audio books, short online reads, news, social media, quick tasks, messages.


We try to fill this craving with consumerism. Buying things instantly gives us a feeling of satisfaction. Not a lasting satisfaction, not real fulfillment, but a boost of excitement. We try to fill it with food, with TV, with shopping but none of that brings greater satisfaction beyond momentary pleasure.


This craving is even with us when we are being responsible and doing useful work. Often we cannot wait until we've done our job for the day, so we can get on with the so called "fun" of distracting ourselves in the daily news, the nightly sitcom, our next Netflix series.


This is all driven by our sense of incompleteness, our craving for wholeness. A craving we never let ourselves really feel, and that we never face with our eyes open. It’s always there, unacknowledged, unseen.

The tragedy is that if we could just stop for a little while, and allow ourselves to feel the discomfort of that disconnection … we could find wholeness.


The wholeness of being completely OK, no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing. Of being absolutely in love with our experience, of not needing anything more.

Here’s how:

  1. Pause, and be still and silent for a little while. Let go of all distractions, don’t follow urges to do something or entertain yourself. 

  2. Feel the discomfort of your being. Feel the uncertainty of who you are and what you should be doing and what gives you meaning in the world. Allow yourself to fully feel it, be present with the feeling.

  3. Notice the goodness in your heart. Your very own heart, that can be tender and doesn’t want to be hurt, that loves and wants to be loved back. It is always present.

  4. Connect with a sense of wholeness not only in you, but in everything. All around you. It’s chaos but it is life, it’s imperfect but it is profoundly awesome. Widen your awareness to everything around you, and notice how you are a part of it, interconnected with all of it. Your wholeness is in this connection to everything around you. Allow yourself to start to feel that, and to trust it.

You can bring awareness to this sense of wholeness in everything (yourself included). You can rest in this awareness. You can learn to trust it and be in peace with it.

It’s not outside of us, in our phones or online, in books or in what everyone else is doing, in TV or food, in shopping or stuff. It’s all of that and much more, but we don’t need to look to any of these things to reclaim that wonderful, loving, precious sense of wholeness. Over and over again.



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