From the "Passion Unlocks Prosperity" series:
Is Something Missing?
There's a reason you feel like
something is missing in your life...
It's your heart, mind and body letting you know you are not complete.
You feel it as a lack of passion and sense of purpose.
Without natural passion and purpose you begin to feel empty. The activities you engage in seem to be little more than routines. You're on autopilot and not really present. Time goes by and you feel as if nothing of any real value is being accomplished in your life.
Regaining your passion for life and the important feeling that what you're doing with your life has meaning, is essential to your joy and fulfillment.
The lack of passion is often the result of many different factors:
In this article I want to explore one of those factors... The powerful effect of your family culture. The way you were raised. How the expectations and standards your family ingrained on your psyche, could now be acting as a barrier to your feeling the passion and meaning which makes life the great adventure it should be.
There are two categories of people who share the feeling that something is missing:
Category one: You have a wonderful husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, kids, great friends and family relationships. Overall, life is good.
Category two: You don't have the kind of relationships, family interaction, friends or lifestyle that is right for you. Overall, life is not good. By the time you have become well entrenched into category two, you are so far from your genuine self that you may be in serious denial of your situation.
You will do just about anything to kill or bury that lingering pain...
The feeling that something is missing screams for your attention. The way you deal with it is to run away from it. You seek out relationships, things and experiences, which give you only temporary relief.
Then you run again, looking for the next distraction. Only to find that it too was empty. You don't stop running until one day you finally hit the wall...
You've been looking everywhere except the one place you will find the answer: Within yourself.
If you are a category one person, maybe everything in your life isn't exactly perfect but life is pretty good.
You're a person who is stable, responsible and tries to make the right choices. Your life appears to be going in the right direction. Yet that pervasive feeling that something is missing haunts you day after day.
You feel that you are an observer
rather than a participant in your life.
When you're disconnected from your true self, you are going to feel as if something is missing because you are missing something... YOU!...And the passion that naturally comes with being your genuine self.
Living a life in which you appear to be doing the right things is very different than living a life where you are actually doing what's right for you. They are not the same thing.
Especially if what you're doing with your life is attempting to meet the expectations and standards of your family culture.
For many families, how they are perceived by the "outside world" may be more important than the needs and aspirations of the individual family members. This means a family culture may have a set of "ideals" which reflects how they want to be perceived by the rest of the world.
These ideals are what largely determines what you believe your choices are:
Everything from who you marry, to how many kids you have, where you live, the type of job you have and the church you go to.
Even if you managed to achieve each one of the "ideal standards" of your family culture, at the end of the day, you are surprised to find that you are not really happy ...Something is still missing.
The downside of family culture.
Family culture can often exert a pressure that sometimes has disastrous consequences: The relentless striving to be perfect or live up to some ideal, which is in conflict with your genuine self, can cause a severe emotional stress resulting in depression and even worse.
Not feeling good enough or not quite living up to the expectations of your family culture puts you into conflict with your self. The problem is, you have more experience and rationale to back up your family's expectations.
On the other hand, you've had so little experience with the needs and wants of your genuine self that the internal struggle becomes one sided.
All the reasons for the striving shift toward the side of your family culture. It's difficult to ignore those expectations, because of years and years of emotional and intellectual conditioning.
So you are left with the feelings you have inside which cannot yet be expressed verbally or with a level of reasoning that can compete with the rationale that comes from years of family cultural "programming".
You don't feel passion for anything because the feeling puts you in conflict with the cultural expectations. So you stop trusting the feeling ...Instead you learn to "motivate" yourself to engage in safe non-conflicting situations and relationships.
Motivation is a purely emotional response to a left brained analytical activity. This is where you use your reasoning to justify what you are doing.
The justification creates a temporary "good feeling" which many people mistake as passion. You can tell the feeling is not passion because it seldom lasts more than a few hours and does not have the ability to self generate and sustain the energy necessary to continue the activities which generated the motivation.
There is nothing sustaining about motivation. Passion and inspiration are a source of sustaining energy which continue to increase over time until that which you have engaged in, manifests itself in your life. Passion has "follow through"... Motivation has "let down".
The confusion between Passion and Motivation.
I often hear from people who tell me that they have passion in their lives but still feel as if something is missing...
And their journey would not be plagued with indecision and self doubt!
There is no feeling that something is missing when your life is moving in the right direction. Passion is the primary indicator that whatever you are doing is bringing you closer to fully realizing your genuine self. Therefore, passion does not fall short in supporting and providing whatever is necessary in your life for you to accomplish that relationship or situation which brings you closer to your true self.
For many people, it is how they define passion that creates confusion.
For me, passion sustains the energy necessary, supports the confidence necessary, provides the knowingness necessary, and allows you to recognize the opportunities necessary to take the next great adventure in your life.
When you have passion in your life you are not running away from yourself.
You are taking a journey into yourself.
Feel like something is missing in your life?
Just close your eyes and step inside.