Do you often experience loneliness and sadness; a longing for something that feels unattainable; the sense that something important is missing in your life? Do feel alone; not sure who you are, or why you’re here——-the gnawing sense that you are just not happy?
If you occasionally struggle with these feelings, and have no way to explain why these feeling just seem to come and go for no apparent reason, they might be unconsciously reflecting the unmet needs of childhood. It’s a rare person that doesn’t struggle with these gnawing childhood emotions from time to time.
It’s also common to shoot ourselves in the foot trying to figure out what’s causing our sad feelings.
“If Only” And Whose To Blame
When these feelings take over our emotions we often try to convince ourselves that our life would be happy and perfect “If only __________.
We are convinced that if “if only______” could somehow be achieved or attained, our lives would be wonderful. Unfortunately, the “if only_____” is often nothing more than the unconscious struggle to bring into our adult life whatever was missing in our childhood.
Finding the “if only” is like chasing a ghost. No matter what “if only” solution we embrace as a way to drive the feelings away, it will not be long before the feelings magically reappear. In other words, we waste far too much time looking for the “if only” and too little time finding and living our life purpose.
Once we understand that the feelings of childhood are just part of our psyche that will always be with us, and accept the fact they may not be comfortable or fun to live with when they take over our emotions from time to time, we can learn to simply accept them and redirect our life energy into the deeper “life purpose” activities that bring true meaning and value into our lives.
Because the unmet needs of childhood can generate strong feelings of longing and a sense of emptiness that can be difficult to name or describe, it’s not uncommon to blame the feelings on someone close to us. This is not a very helpful practice if our goal is to have nurturing relationships with those around us.
We need to remind ourselves that the person we blame may have the ability to trigger our negative feelings from childhood, but they do not have the ability to create them; they can only remind us that those feelings already exist within us.
The Unmet Needs Of Childhood Interfere With Our Ability To Live In The Present Moment
Frantically searching for the “if only”——– that thing we are convinced will remove the feelings that were born in the unmet needs of childhood; such as loneliness, not being heard, not feeling loved, not feeling understood or valued——-only condemns us to live emotionally trapped in the past.
We lose sight of the fact that the past is nothing but a memory, and the future is nothing but a wish—— simply stories about the past, or fantasies about the future that we have created inside our own minds. We blind ourselves to the fact that a new home, a new car, new clothes, more money, a better job———will not make the feelings of childhood disappear.
When we learn to accept that these sad feelings are essentially childhood memories, they will begin to lose their power to interfere with our lives and our ability to remain grounded in the present moment——in the only real or true reality there is.
The Middlepath Embraces Reality
When we leave the reality of the middlepath and journey into the childhood feeling memories of our past, or drift into the “if only” wishes we have about the future ——-we need to buy some popcorn and settle back into our theater chairs because we are about to get lost watching the sad movie we assume is our life, or the intriguing fantasy of an “if only” future. Both movies will require a lot of popcorn.
It’s common to feel sad at times. We need to remind ourselves that whenever we hold too tight to the extremes found on either side of the middlepath—–in this case they are called the past and the future—–we will almost always create pathology and suffering for ourselves.
We can visit the emotional bewilderments that exist on both sides of the middlepath, but our life can only be lived on the middlepath—-it’s the only path that allows us to experience and live in present moment; the only reality there is. Everything else is an illusion—–and illusions tend to make us unhappy.
Stated simply, the only happiness available to us is the happiness found on the middlepath reality of the present moment.
A Simple Spiritual Practice To Stay On The Middlepath
There is a simple spiritual practice that can help you reset when you are getting caught up in the childhood feelings of sadness or unhappiness. Just look down at your feet. Because they can’t be any other place, they have the power to ground you in the present moment—–in the present moment reality of the middlepath.
Now look up and “see” the amazing “real” world around you. Again—–the world that can only exist in this present moment.
When you are fully present and have made the choice or decision to “see” deeply into the reality of the world that surrounds you, you will break through the veils of sadness and know that regardless of how you might be feeling, your life on the middlepath is filled with happiness, beauty, goodness, and kindness.
Our childhood emotions and feelings might reflect our experiences of childhood, but when we stand on the middlepath between the past and the future, reality will always offer an open heart a different way to “see”.