We all have had times in our lives when we’re desperate—feeling a longing so strong, it seems we will die if we don’t get what we want.
But desperation can come in many forms and for many reasons.
Someone who is about to die of dehydration is desperate for water. This kind of desperation is black and white. There’s no middle ground. There’s no way of interpreting the desire in any other way. It is desperation in its purest form.
Then there is the other extreme—those who feel they are desperate for material possessions or the latest technology. Although this may feel like desperation (and our brains can actually turn it into desperation), with a little perspective and soul searching, we can discover the true nature of these feelings.
As I learn more and more, I feel like I know less and less. But to me, that is a positive thing.
Learning new things keeps life fresh, but it takes an open mind and a willingness to let go of our egos. So many of the problems in the world exist because one group of people thinks they know better than another group of people.
It’s OK to not know. In fact, “I don’t know” is a very underused and underappreciated expression.
In saying “I don’t know,” we’re not saying that we don’t have opinions or beliefs, or that we don’t know certain facts. We might be very well educated on an issue. But there’s always more to learn, and in learning, our perspective may change. We have to be open to that.
You are probably already aware of what you are seeing, and possibly hearing.
How about your other senses—do they keep a place in your consciousness, or do they rise to the surface only when they come by something really good or really bad?
Our senses are our inputs from the physical world, but they can also influence our inner lives in ways we might not even realize.
When I’m in a natural place, such as the woods or a marsh, the inputs I get from my senses drive my emotions and set the tone for my frame of mind. Those experiences always create a space of contemplation and introspection for me, which can influence my inner life moving forward.
Have you ever been afraid – I mean, really afraid? How did you handle it?
There are all kinds of fear: fear of physical danger, fear of the unknown, fear of the dark.
There’s nothing wrong with fear. It’s an emotion that keeps us safe from threats and is a built-in survival mechanism that all humans need; but the extent to which fear controls our actions is worth considering. We can handle, lessen, or remove fear through our experiences and through personal growth.
No one wants pain in their lives, but we all have it. If we didn’t have pain, we probably wouldn’t have much joy. Creating happiness in our lives involves taking risks—including the risk of pain. Ultimately, if we can find a balance between pain and joy, we have had a life worth living.
There are different kinds of pain, and it can come from different sources. There is physical pain, the pain of unfulfilled desire, the pain of loss, the pain of regret. Some might say that these are different kinds of pain—in how they feel and in how they manifest—but to me, they are very similar. Intense emotional pain hurts just as deeply as any physical pain we might endure.