October 23, 2021

In Search of Fulfillment: Knowing when to Seek Understanding & when to Let Go.


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As human beings, it seems commonplace to seek understanding or acceptance.

Intrinsically, we make efforts to understand how and why we feel the way we do while trying to figure out what to do with the tornado of emotions and feelings that can wreck havoc on our everyday functioning.

Extrinsically, we grow frustrated with others because they don’t understand us. We tend to misplace our emotions and put the responsibility on others to make us feel better, when in actuality, we can’t even begin to make sense of what we are feeling ourselves. We act out.

Others may do the opposite, packing away those emotions and feelings, ignoring the cues and signals that trigger the realization that something is off. As a result, they close off and shut people out, turning away the very compassion, neutrality, and support they may need.

Acceptance is a different animal. We can accept to the point of being passive, abused, and disingenuous.

Or we resist, fight, and try to reason with issues and matters that are best left alone. The ones that can’t be rectified. The ones that send us down the black hole of despair and upset.

We blame ourselves. We look at what we could have done differently in relationships or life matters. We often kick and scream, wanting to change another person or go back and fix things that are broken beyond repair.

Or we passively accept without even trying, without even making the time to assess our feelings and emotions to determine if they’re valid or irrational.

When we fluctuate somewhere between understanding and acceptance, it can be an emotionally volatile time.

One moment we are fine then the next, we fly off the handle about the least relevant thing. It’s almost as if we are looking for a place to channel that frustration, to let loose the emotions we’ve attempted to rein in and control. And the irony is, acting out in this way makes us appear completely out of control.

Sitting quietly with my memories and dreams last evening, I reflected upon my need to understand why I’ve been feeling how I’m feeling as of late.

Work is demanding. COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we live. And the complexities of my personality are revealing themselves in a variety of ways.

I asked myself all of the necessary questions—the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Who has come into and departed from my life?

What have I accomplished and what have I failed to achieve?

When was life happiest and when did it all seem to change?

Where have I been and where am I going?

Why am I distressed and melancholy and why does it feel as if it’s become a constant rather than fleeting state?

How did I get here and how do I change it?

As I dove deep into the recesses of my heart, mind, and soul, I made the conscious decision that this near-constant state of being is not one that I should accept. The reclusive lifestyle, the complacency, and my current disposition are not acceptable to me. Though certain things are absolutely out of my control, there is so much that I have the power to change.

I will not accept my attitude and outlook, but I do accept that I feel this way.

I will change the direction of my future, but I know that I can’t change the past.

And I do have the wisdom to know the difference. Thanks be to God.

I’ve made mistakes that can’t be fixed. I’ve burned bridges that aren’t meant to be rebuilt. I’ve made decisions that changed the direction of my future, but I am where I am, whether I like it or not.

I try to understand and make sense of it all, yet come up short most days. What I do know is that constantly dwelling on this is holding me back rather than propelling me forward. And that person within is a stranger to me, one I am getting to know, but refuse to become friends with because she’s a mere acquaintance—the one who reminds me of who I was and who I can still be.

The choice is mine to make.

We should always seek to understand and accept, however, we mustn’t live in that state of thought and contemplation. There are few things in life that are fixed and we need to acknowledge them, spend time with them, then release them, and live with fluidity.

There are some things in life and within ourselves that we may never understand. There are things we will easily accept and other things that we may never.

But maybe, just maybe, we aren’t meant to understand everything. And maybe accepting that fact is the freedom we need to move forward in search of fulfillment.

Fulfillment is not a constant state either, but rather something that ebbs and flows, rises and falls like the ocean. Let the tide rush in, then slowly drift back out to sea.

In accepting our past and some of the definitive mysteries of life, we can achieve harmony in our relationships, the strength to pave a new path, and find peace within ourselves.


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