Have you ever asked yourself…
- What’s wrong with me?
- Why can’t I just be happy?
- Why can’t I be more like ____ ?
- Why isn’t anything ever good enough for me?
- Is there really more out there? Or do I just have a bad attitude?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions, this post is for you.
There is nothing wrong with you.
Really, I could begin and end this post with that because it is the most important part. It may be the most important thing you hear today. Or ever. But you may need to hear it over and over again to believe it, especially if you’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out what, exactly, is wrong with you.
There is nothing wrong with you.
What the hell am I talking about?
Specifically, I’m referring to the fact that some people seem to be blissfully content in any situation, and some of us are born with a yearning for something else.
There is a voice that whispers to us, telling us to search. It makes us question and seek and continually climb. It makes us constantly ask “could this be better?” We wonder about things like callings and passion and purpose. We watch for signs and listen for inspiration, clues that will tell us in which direction to move. Because, of course, we must always be moving. The tiny voice that no one else seems to hear is always there and it makes us who we are.
And it makes us feel out of place.
Because not everyone is asking themselves “what would make me happy?” Not everyone intrinsically knows that you mean something more than momentary joy when you use the word happiness. Not everyone feels the desperate longing you do for more than content.
And that’s OK.
You’ve probably been told since you were a child that it’s OK to be different. You know this on some level. We have short people and tall people and light people and dark people. We have talkers and listeners and musicians and mathematicians. There are dozens of differences you have learned to accept about yourself and the people around you, and this is simply one more.
This is simply the way you were made.
Just as some of us are born with blond hair instead of brown, some of us are born to look at a flat world and wonder if it’s round. For whatever reason, you were tapped to be one of the seekers.
Think about how hard you have worked to not search. Think about the books you have read on learning to be content, the mental exercises you’ve done to find happiness in small things, the pleading you have done with yourself to just be satisfied. If it was possible for you to just shut up and be happy, don’t you think you would have by now?
It is your job to listen to questions that were given to you… or the world stays flat.
I know, because I was made this way, too.
And I’m OK. I am happy in my day to day life, I find joy in the little things, and I am still always moving up the next mountain. I promise you that it is possible to be someone who searches and still have peace, and the answer is not to stop being a seeker.
Neither is the answer to make everyone else more like you.
I remember when I first started trying to come to terms with the fact that I wanted to move out of Parkersburg, Iowa – and not everyone else did. In an attempt to assure myself that it was normal to want to leave, I focused on how abnormal it was for anyone to be happy in that tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Anyone who didn’t try to leave, I told myself, was simply too scared to let themselves dream bigger.
But that was just my own insecurity talking.
There’s nothing wrong with them, either.
Just as you were made to seek, some people were made to be still. They may not be the people who discover the world is round, but they turn the settlements on foreign shores into homes and communities. They offer security at the beginning and end of your adventures.
It’s easier to embrace who you are when you accept the differences in other people. It stops becoming a rebellion, a struggle, a fight to be right so that you don’t have to be broken.
I cannot pretend to know all of the roles that need to be filled on this Earth, but I know that there are many. I know enough about organizations and groups to know that they don’t keep moving forward unless a variety of jobs are performed – and performed well.
And I know that I was born with questions.