On Being Suspended

via Pressfield:

What is the pain of being human? It’s the condition of being suspended between two worlds and being unable to fully enter into either.

I have felt this way all of my life. I wasn’t able to actually put adequate words around it for quite some time though. The last few years since then have been freeing, but still not enough.

I think we experience this emotion on a variety of different levels.

Personally, we may have life goals that are not being met or advanced. Perhaps we’re single and we long to be married. Perhaps we’re married and long to be single. Perhaps there are addictions that we need to overcome. Perhaps there are addictions that we wish we had (or had the time for).

Professionally we may not be “there” yet and we desperately want to be, especially when we look around and it seems that everyone else is already there (this is a lie, of course). We’re doing something we never planned on doing and now we’re too far along to easily jump ship (or pull the pin).

Perhaps we’ve just started a new job and the territory is frightening, scary, and intoxicating but the pull of what was normal, easy, and familiar dares us to head back. Perhaps we just lost a job and it’s just hit that you were made to work but you don’t want to do work that isn’t fulfilling, without purpose.

Spiritually you may feel caught between what you were taught as a child and the distance you see from where you were and where you’ve been. It feels impossible to reconcile. You want there to be a noble end to all of this but why risk missing out on something today when the untouchable future reality might be entirely wrong? Meditation sometimes does the trick but so does alcohol.

Physically you’re melting. Your body can’t do what it used to do. You feel the decay every single day, and you hate it. Sometimes you even hate yourself. You look  in the mirror with vapid disgust. Perhaps you avoid it altogether. You know you need to but you don’t. Netflix and Facebook call far too often and are easier than putting on gym shorts.

All of these things are part of what it means to be human. It can be wildly painful. It can feel interminable. At one point in my life I gave up. Or, at least I tried. It was too painful to keep trying without obvious nor tangible result.

No one is in the “clear” – we’re all still working towards these ends. I hope you remember that we’re all on the journey together and that our respective and highly individual and unique journeys are not all that different. That’s a good thing.