To the Person Who Has It All and Still Feels an Emptiness Inside
You “have it all,” all the things that you’ve been working hard to achieve; and yet, you still feel a deep emptiness inside.
“How do I have so much pain when I’ve got this great life around me?”
You know that phrase “money doesn’t buy happiness”? Well, it’s true when we take a look at authentic wellness. One goal in my work with clients is to explore internal resources of wellness rather than external sources. It is ingrained in our culture to look outward for validation, as if having these things means that I’m okay.
Women often come to work with me because they have a job, a house, cars, a spouse, friends, and whatever else they thought they desired. Yet, they’re dissatisfied with their life.
There’s a deep shame that comes along with that emptiness. “If I can’t be happy with everything around me and everything I’ve worked so hard for, I must be broken.”
Does that resonate with you? If so, I encourage you to look deeper for your authentic source of wellness and joy.
Explore the origin of what it means to “have it all.”
Where did these expectations begin? Often, our family of origin (parents, caregivers, teachers, mentors) influenced what we experienced as validation. It’s the spouse, two kids, and a house with a white picket fence mentality.
The questions to ask yourself are, “What do I value? What brings me joy and contentment?” “If I could create a life that aligns with my values, what would that look like?”
What areas of your life do you experience confidence?
Notice the amount of confidence rooted in internal versus external resources. The intention is to increase confidence in internal resources, like emotional connections, creativity, passion for experiences, and aligning decisions with values. The focus may be less on material things like, jobs, existence of a partner, number of friends, or wealth.
Perhaps you create a list of your existing sources of confidence. How does it feel to see these down on paper?
Focus on your feelings as a way to guide your decisions.
Emotions are powerful and can serve as a cue to guide your choices. First, identify the feeling. Is that hot, tense tightness in your chest? What about that warm, fuzzy feeling in your stomach?
Connecting to your emotions allows you to tap into the present moment and pause. Notice what you need.
Use your emotions to consider what “having it all” feels like. Then, follow that feeling.
Don’t expect to never feel pain.
Pain is inevitable as a human. Ouch, right? It’s essential to understand that in order to feel all the pleasurable feelings, we must also experience the uncomfortable. Notice I didn’t say “good” and “bad”? That’s because there are no good or bad emotional experiences; feelings are simply information. Complicated information at times.
Pain lets us know that something needs to shift or be tolerated. In therapy we work on stretching your ability to tolerate discomfort. Build up resources so that you can cope with pain in a healthy way.
Connect to your intuition and recalibrate often.
The phrase “gut feeling” points towards the exact area in which your intuition thrives. It’s that feeling you get deep within, near your belly (or maybe your heart) that sends an honest message of how to take action. It is not about thinking logically; it’s about listening. Our intuition is powerful, ya’ll. Thought patterns are learned and strengthened over time based on our family of origin, friend groups, and society’s expectations to name a few. Notice that these are all external resources?
Distractions happen, new experiences pop up, and recalibration is necessary. Notice again, am I aligned with what brings me fulfillment?
Bring intention and focus to this process.
I’ve talked a lot about trusting intuition, letting emotions guide you and working with body sensations. So, it’s important to use creative processes to tap into these messages. Journal, engage in therapy, make art, or have honest conversations with loved ones about your needs.
A fulfilling, authentic life is possible. Look inward.