October 10, 2016 Daniel Pleșa

Feeling inadequate. What is missing?

Inadequate- not adequate, lacking. The opposite is sufficient, complete.

So what is missing? What is it that is missing from this present moment? Is it not complete with everything that it contains?

“Yes, but I wish I had more money, so I can make this even better”

Or

I wish I was faster, stronger, smarter, prettier, etc  so I could do this and this.”

All this appears because you think it could be any different than it is. And that you (might) have the power/resources/possibility to make it happen. It is like a trap you imagine yourself into, and then you keep digging its walls, thinking there could be an escape. From time to time, you get to a void, which encourages you to think you are on to something, that you are making progress, and therefore keep imagining and keep digging.

But we all know how this ends.

Instead, see the futility of this all and realize you were never in a trap.

Most if not all the people have a constant, sometimes mild, sometimes strong “sense” of lack; it is a thought that something is missing from our lives, that we are not complete in some mysterious, unknown way. We could never name for sure what is missing, but we know that nothing we’ve experienced so far was enough to make it go away permanently.

And so we engage into stuff that we think would make this feeling disappear, but actually it is just a temporary distraction away from it…getting busy, projects after projects, meetings after meetings, and then partying, seeing friends, dancing, and all over again. The few moments when we are alone, during a shower, or right before falling asleep, this sense swipes in again, but not for long, because the plan for tomorrow or for the next thing, are a great replacement waiting right around the corner.

On a bigger scale, we have kids, we get a career, we engage in marathons, write a book, not necessarily with the purpose of filling any void, but somehow hoping it will. And so on, over and over again.

Until one point, when maybe because we had enough, or maybe because we are infused with a sudden curiosity, we stop and look this lacking right in the eye. What is it all about? When does it appear? What are the thoughts “connected” to it? What makes it disappear? Can it be controlled in any way?

Suddenly, or after a while, we see clearly that it is just thought. Thought that we took for granted, to be real, for so long that we didn’t even question it anymore. Until now. By being just a thought, it is equal to all other thoughts: comes and goes whenever it wants, can’t be controlled, when believed, it might link to a physical reaction in the body (maybe stomach tension).

There is no “solution” to it, because it is not a problem. It is the simple belief that there must be something missing, there must be something more to this moment, more to our “ordinary” experience that makes all this seem real. But this thought/belief is part of the existence as any other thing. Have you ever experienced an alternative to this moment? You might have imagined to do so, but for sure not experienced. 

And so, life goes on.