For young people, it’s easy to project hopes into the future because time is on youth’s side. However, as we get older, the future has less appeal, perhaps, because it also means aging with the health concerns and psychological challenges that might entail. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to find a way of feeling hope in the present, even if we have a need that’s unmet, maybe one that’s been unmet for a long time already. So how can we feel hope and fulfilment in such circumstances?
One technique – from what I label the way of the warrior because it requires copious amounts of courage – is to walk on the fire of the emptiness of your unmet need i.e. to look your need square in the face. A pitfall to be aware of is the unconscious act of projecting your needs onto a person or thing as a way of finding relief when a need is being unmet. Projection oftentimes sooner or later brings suffering, when/if the person or thing identified as filling the need does not in fact do so, and this truth eventually becomes undeniable and has to be acknowledged. Sometimes, for better or worse, there’s nothing or nobody on which an unmet need can actually be projected. This brings the pain to the fore more quickly because there’s no temporary quick-fix via the projection. Both scenarios point to the necessity of finding strength and balance when in the face of an unmet need that leaves you in an emotional and mental no (wo)man’s land.
One way up in those instances is to go inwards and look your emptiness in the face rather than filling it with fantasies, imagined futures, unfounded hopes, etc. If you can look at the emptiness with a clear mind filled with no-thought, you may at first feel a huge surge of emotion (pain); however, the flame of your penetrating no-mind will finally touch the still peace that prevails on the inner side.
No matter to what extent your attempts with this technique are successful, always end by praising yourself for your courage. Recognise your strength in being able to feel empowered even when you’re clearly in a painful void and few options appear to be available to you.
Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”