We are all looking for something in this world.
Some people are looking for love, others are searching for happiness, and many are seeking power above all else. Whatever it is that we are looking for acts as a reflection of our deepest longings—longings that connect with how we feel about the very meaning of our own lives.
It is this looking, this searching, this striving that comes to characterize our life energy—the momentum of our existence.
We can think of this momentum as a giant wave in the ocean, one that we cannot help but be thrown around by. We can ride it, swim with it, dive under it—but we cannot stop the sheer force of it from taking us wherever it wants to take us. This is the weight of our psyche, the unconscious drives within us that impact our choices and actions much more than we’d ever like to admit.
What I have been wondering lately is whether this endless seeking is our greatest strength or our greatest downfall—and I believe the answer is actually both.
It is a double-edged sword. At once, this momentum encompasses the very fabric of our being and is integral to the movement of our lives, but at the same time, it can act as a detriment to our happiness if we never question the nature of our unconscious motivations.
I’ll give a real-world example. I found myself in a place where I was drawn to someone romantically in a way that spoke to a deep-seated lack within my own being. It came from the sense that I was missing something vitally important and the only way to find it was through being with this person. The underlying energy of my life has gone unchecked for too long, and the result is the severing of a meaningful relationship. I was looking for something, but whatever it was could not be found.
This is the best way of approaching the problem: Be what you are looking for in the world.
If I’d understood that what I saw in this person was actually a reflection of a feeling that already existed within me, then it would’ve saved me some trouble. I associated this feeling with the image of that person, which led to attachment and sorrow.
To avoid such troublesome occurrences, this would be my piece of advice: Before we attempt to manifest our deepest longings in the world, let’s first see if we can manifest them within the workings of our minds and hearts. Let’s see if we can truly be what we are looking for, which is to say let’s uncover a sense of fullness and contentment within ourselves in a way that is not dependent upon external forces.
Don’t take my word for it; this can only be achieved through the means of one’s own embodied experience, through our own respective trials and tribulations.
Whenever I start to feel like I am being pulled in a direction by my psyche that doesn’t seem to be healthy for me, I take a few deep breaths and attempt to align myself with the here and now. I try to remember that this moment is the only thing that is real—and from here, I have a much stronger grasp on how I am feeling.
There is more choice when I am connected with the present moment. I don’t have to be driven by these unconscious forces—or at least, I don’t have to have them affect my actions in the present moment.
Be present. Take a breath. Let’s remind ourselves that we have what we need within ourselves and not be convinced by our ego that we need “this or that” to be fulfilled. In my experience, happiness is found in the present moment and nowhere else. I can have everything I want, but if I am not able to just be with what is happening, then I can’t enjoy any of it.
We can be what we are looking for when our attention is directed upon the now.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Instagram @elephantjournal
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis