The truth is, there's freedom in the lack of peace, love, joy, and enthusiasm you experience.
If you think about it, you probably have things in your life today that one day you wished for. Maybe it's a certain car, a relationship, a job, or a vacation you went on.
Furthermore, if I had to bet, I'd say there are more things today that you probably wish to have in the future. Maybe a bigger house? A new lifestyle? A certain gadget?
But I'm here to ask you, did those things you once wished for in the past, that you currently have today, truly fulfill your desires? Are you done wishing and dreaming now that you got what you wanted? Are all your problems solved?
The truth is, you got what you think you wanted, but not what you really wanted.
You landed the job. You hit the number in your bank account. You took the vacation. You found your soulmate. You got a rockin' bod. You overcame your sickness.
I'm not trying to take any joy from those things away from you. Quite the contrary. You earned those things. You deserve to feel joy. What I'm trying to do is give you freedom. Freedom from thinking that things outside are the answer to your problems inside.
In my case, just knowing that I've achieved things in my life that I once desired, and that I'm not any happier for it, is clear proof that the answers don't lie in achievements. I'm still the same person achieving, going to bed with the same problems I had before. For me, this is liberating.
The freedom in my unhappiness is knowing that I don't have to wish anymore. All those things I thought I wanted (even if I still want them) won't solve my problems, so I don't have to worry so much about achieving them. That's freedom! That's a weight off my shoulders! There's less pressure for me to get some thing some day in the future, because I now know that getting it won't permanently make things better.
Instead, I can focus on the eternal present moment - that is - my never-ending present experience of life. That's the only place we can truly live, anyway, so why wouldn't I focus on improving that, which would then enhance my experience of everything? Why focus on the branches and the leaves when I can just address the root, and everything else will be taken care of?
Let's look at a simple, yet powerful example.
Let's say there's a dream job that you've been wishing for your entire life. Okay, let's give you that dream job. High pay, engaging work, great work-life balance, and kind, fun, respectful coworkers, none of which get on your nerves. All perfect!
But here's the thing; you also have an illness so bad that you can barely get out of bed in the morning. And you don't know what's going on. You've been to every doctor, every specialist, and no one can tell you what the problem is. When you show up to your dream job, you're drained and unable to focus, so you come home miserable.
You got what you said you wanted. Are you still happy? Did the job fix your problems?
Oh, so you didn't really want the job. You wanted the feeling the job would give you. And since you got sick, you were unable to feel what you wanted to feel. But you still had the job, which is what you wished for, so what's the problem?
Rather than the old adage which says be careful what you wish for, a more truthful statement would be, be careful why you wish for it.
I'm writing this to help us understand that it's not about what's going on outside. It doesn't matter what the job is, who the spouse is, or what the city we call home is, if our experience of life is clouded by negativity.
All of those life conditions trigger feelings within us, and that's the key. Those feelings are already within. No one bothers to examine this. We take for granted and assume things outside need to be according to our preferences.
How many celebrities or people who seem to "have it together" need to go to rehab or commit suicide for you to realize that fame, money, power, status, and more "things" are not the answer? I'm not saying those things are wrong, either. I'm saying they're irrelevant. They are what they are. All that matters is you, the being that experiences those things.
With all this being said, I hope by now you're starting to realize that all you really want - all that really matters - is a better experience of life in the now. Not in five years, not in ten, but now.
This should be liberating for you. It means you don't have to focus or wish for things in the future. You can have it right now. In fact, you can only ever have it right now. Take solace in the fact that once you achieve what you wish for, you're still you, so you don't have to make your life about that anymore!
Live with substance!