Fulfilled and Free - Part 01/03
Written by Sue Fuller-Good (MSc Physio WITS) Physiotherapist with a special interest in the mind-body connection
I have always been fascinated by human behaviour, and because of this fascination, I have spent a huge part of my adult life studying it and pondering the causes of why not that, but the reasons why we do the things we do.
I have always wondered what drives me - and other people, to do what we do, and never more so than right now with all that is being exposed in SA, and the anniversary of the war in the Ukraine, and all the other absurd things that are going on in the world. One of the things that my search for answers has revealed, is that many (actually, I think it’s most) of us suffer from an aching void inside, which we constantly seek to fill. Whatever the program that runs our psyche believes is the source of our happiness, is what we try to use to fill this void.
Sometimes people have been programmed by what they have seen modelled by society, the media, the religious community to which they belong, or the parents or parental figures who raised them.
Often, it’s not a reflective decision and most people don’t consciously choose what they will chase to feel full. The choice is made by the unconscious mind and the “program” that runs in the background. Without reflection it is possible that the quest to fill the void isn’t filling the void effectively at all, but still the chase continues, on the assumption that it’s because there still isn’t “enough”. It could be enough power, money, opportunity, beauty, thinness, or a myriad of other things. It’s like a hose pipe that is being used to fill a bucket, but the hose has slipped out of the bucket and possibly the bucket has a hole in it too.
No matter how strong the water pressure, the bucket never fills… in fact it empties.
Most people are tuned into the world around them, but almost never dial into their inner world. This leaves them disconnected from themselves and their inner voice, and overly dependent on the outer world for thrill, approval, validation, instruction, and connection. Dependence on the outside world is a precarious thing, and we all depend on it in some way. It is so fickle, changeable, and unreliable. It makes us incredibly vulnerable. Also, it prevents us from being consciously aware of the void we are striving and driving to fill. As David Rock describes it, we become: “an automaton driven by fear, greed and habit.”
The void within each of us exists because we aren’t connected to ourselves. Most people don’t even know themselves. They don’t stop to think about their lives or their outcomes long enough or carefully enough to recognize this. It’s as if they repeatedly abandon their own hearts in their quest to find something outside of themselves to feel satisfied. Often people are so busy trying to be like someone else who they have identified as being superior to them, or to be like a fictitious, “ideal on paper” person who is supposedly faultless in every way. This person may seem to be ideal, because they are powerful and have money, or because they are kind and apparently perfect, or because they are very intellectual and clever, or strong and physically fit or because they are beautiful or fun. But trying to emulate them is futile - a complete waste of the valuable assets inside the person doing the emulating. Perhaps you can relate to this like I can?
People don’t know themselves, because society, religious convictions and their parents often don’t recognize individuality - and so it is never taught or encouraged. Stay with me here… more often than not, we are conformed into whatever way of being the society we live in, the religious institution in which we exist, or the set of parents who raise us, believe is the right way to be. Children aren’t encouraged to explore themselves and so they don’t emerge into adulthood free to be who they were born to be. Instead, they are moulded, taught, and trained. Regrettably, most of the time, all of the characteristics and qualities that don’t fit the mould are shamed or guilted out of them. Kahlil Gibran says in his wise way: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself… You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…”
People spend the first 20 or so years of their lives being programmed and have to spend the rest of their lives “un-programming” themselves and finding out what has been bashed out of them. I love the true story of the golden Buddha in Thailand. An entire monastery was being relocated and one day when they were moving a giant clay Buddha, one of the monks noticed a crack in the clay. He saw a golden light emanating from the crack. He used a chisel and hammer to chip away the clay exterior and revealed the solid gold Buddha that existed on the inside. This golden Buddha had been covered in clay to protect it from the Burmese army who had killed all the monks in the late 1700’s. This golden Buddha represents the golden magnificence of you and all people. All people are born like solid gold, exquisite in every way and with a purpose for their lives, but their programming and their life events leaves them covered in thick clay by the time they emerge into adulthood. The real fulfilment that people seek comes from chipping away at this clay and throwing it off. Doing everything possible to reclaim and reconnect with this golden treasure inside.
My wish for you this week is that you start to connect with the golden Buddha inside of you. That you start to think about the real you inside. Take some time in your busy life to try to tune into the radio station of your inner space and voice. I know you are busy and there may not be time for this, but this is your precious life. Fulfilled and free is possible, but not if you continue to do what you have been doing. Lots of my clients and patients tell me they haven’t got a clue how to do this. If that’s how you feel, give me a shout by replying to this mail and we can jump on a Discovery call and explore what will help you, together.
Alternatively, my book - The Sweet Spot, investigates this extensively and shares many tried and tested tools and techniques that will help you.