I have always been a glass-half-full kind of person. I was accused, on occasions, of having perpetuated what could be defined as “toxic positivity”, more specifically, dismissing all negative emotions and disregarding sorrow or pain as illegitimate. Which is why I found it rather challenging to truly open up and stop avoiding and postponing this week’s reflection: lack.
Spiritual schools seem to unanimously agree that the underlying principle of abundance and of manifesting what we want in our lives is gratitude. Being appreciative of and grateful for the present moment, for exactly what we are and have in the here-now sends a message to the Universe that we’re ready to receive more of what our heart longs for.
This, however, might be a double-edged sword, in that, it could just as easily nourish our ego, by keeping us small, by cosying up our comfort zone to the extent that we no longer realise that improvement is needed. While we enjoy our many gifts and count our many blessings, we are, just like the Universe, constantly transforming and expanding, and wanting more or wanting something different is as natural as existence itself.
The way we learn about getting what we want is fundamentally wrong, since many of us have been taught to close off to possibilities, to opportunities and, most importantly to receiving. We are brought up into a society that strives on comparisons, which is dangerous because firstly, we’re led to believe that everyone fits into the same mould and has the same wants and needs, and secondly, that, at any given time, we have it either better or worse than someone else.
Furthermore, getting what we want is often the subject of lengthy negotiation or bargaining, of begging and humiliating ourselves. Getting what we want may be the result of an exchange or the reward we receive for doing something “right”, from which we learn that there is nothing holy about our desires, they are purely transactional and they are the outcome of a discouraging struggle.
For the purpose of this exercise, I must ask myself, “What is missing from my life right now?” Truth be told, since the start of the year, my daily self-love practice has helped me focus on the process, has supported me in being less critical of my life and of my journey and, consequently, has freed me of the urge to pass negative judgement of my actions or my situation.
I must however confess that one thing I am severely lacking is clarity, or better yet, identity. I do not know what is missing, because most likely, I have never had it. A healthy relationship with my body; steady, unbudging motivation to achieve something in life; a crystal-clear vision who I am and what that “something in life” might be; true, authentic, non-judgemental friendship; a mutually nourishing romantic partnership; the courage to explore more… All of these are things that I feel are coming short and are limiting my capacity to fully express and enjoy life.
That is where the dissonance comes in, because, for the most part, I can only imagine what certain of the things I want might look or feel like; the object of my desire is beyond the spectrum and realm of my experience thus far. Which makes me doubt about the never-ending cycle of trial and error of the energy I must send into the Universe, before being granted that which truly fulfils me. Not to mention the mixed signals that I constantly put out there, in a perpetual dance of self-sabotage, by being afraid or hesitant in the face of dreams come true.
I am constantly evolving and permanently upgrading and many of the things I once held dear or was passionate about naturally find their way out of my system of values and beliefs and out of my life. My mum has, on several occasions, discouraged some of my passionate yearnings for things, claiming that they were unjustifiably fervent, in light of my previous or future interests or aspirations.
We are encouraged to find role models, to surround ourselves with people we admire or want to be like, in order to learn how to do those same things. While that may be sound advice, what happens when you do not want to be like anyone else? What if you cannot identify any specific person whose footsteps you want to follow? What if you want to carve your own path, bring your personal touch to the things you do? What if you want to breathe of your own spirit into the life you are creating? What if the only rules worth following are the ones you create for yourself?
If I have to pinpoint one thing whose absence has been most detrimental to my wellbeing, it is the balance between my inner and outer worlds. The capacity to self-regulate in the space of contact between myself and others. Mediating between my love of people and my independence, between my willingness to support others and the risk of martyrdom, between being outgoing and finding great comfort in solitude.
That is mainly due to me being a dramatically self-sacrificial people pleaser, who, at the same time, has been lacking the notion of setting healthy boundaries (which in turn happens because I am, on the one hand, highly resilient and non-judgemental and, on the other, recklessly curious about life circumstances and experiences).
How, then, can someone as versatile and chameleonic as myself find out what is missing? Simply, by allowing themselves to feel. By becoming more in tune with their emotions (which I certainly am not doing enough). By listening to their intuition, to their gut feeling. By seeing what they do not like, in order to narrow down the list of what they might like. By loving deeply, passionately and freely. By never censoring themselves, by allowing themselves to express their thoughts and feelings, by not shying away from asking loud and clear when they do know what they are lacking. And by giving themselves the time and space to figure it out.
Do I want to be slimmer and fitter? Yes. Do I want to set up a profitable spiritual business? Yes. Do I want a true, lifelong friend? Yes. Do I want a loving husband? Yes. Do I want to travel more? Yes. Nevertheless, in order to do receive all those things wholeheartedly, I must start by knowing and accepting that I am deserving of them, that I am perfectly and divinely made, and that manifesting and creating my reality is my God-given right. So, the first step towards accomplishing my desires, is to wish the best of myself, to know that the only thing standing between me and what I want is fearless, limitless, bountiful self-love.