By Melle Hany
I’m hungry, but my belly is full.
What I want can’t be satiated with food. For that matter, it can’t be filled with drugs or sex—or rock n’ roll, although I’ve tried. I’ve been listening to a lot of Hamilton (the musical) lately and one line constantly sticks with me:
“You strike me as a woman that has never been satisfied.”
It puts into words my constant dissatisfaction with my life, no matter how well or poorly it may be going at any given moment. I am never satisfied. I’m always craving more, reaching for that brass ring. The catch is I don’t know what happens when I get there. Some days I don’t even know where “there” is.
The beast rages in my belly, making me both want more and feel overwhelmed with melancholy that I am unable to act.
Although I would call myself a Buddhist, I’m an admittedly terrible one. If Buddhism were a four step program, I’d be stuck at step two. I crave. Oh god, I crave. I want better, but I don’t know what that better is. I want change, I want more, I want different, But I always feel an abject sense of being stuck, which leads to, you guessed it, more suffering. It’s almost textbook.
But there it is, in the pit of my stomach. So I create. I try to live day by day; the little voice in my head tells me I’m wasting my life. Unfortunately, that little bitch doesn’t give me any guidelines about where to go from here. No help, just longing.
I write this not hoping for answers. The time for that is long gone and this feeling has become a firm part of me and, in some ways, a friend. I’m writing to tell you that you’re not alone. I don’t have answers, but I do have support.
Be patient. Be kind with yourself.
The Second Noble Truth guarantees that. Attachment to desire—the desire for sense pleasure, the desire to become or get rid of—is one of the greatest causes of suffering. To find peace, we must find out how to rise above. I believe the key is living in the moment, which is much easier said than done. Instead of worrying, wondering about what is to come, what we’ve done wrong, we must focus on what is going on right now.
Are we the best version of ourselves in this moment? Can we forgive ourselves if not, instead of fixating on the things we can not change?
The secret is mindfulness. Meditation. It’s not glamourous, but it is important. It’s a reminder that, at our core, all we are is breath. If we can remember that, everything else falls away. So, with me, breathe in… breathe out… let it go.
Melle Hany is a 30-something sarcastic, tattooed feminist know-it-all that doesn’t actually know it all. She is a wife, a mother (of both human and fur children), an employee, an avid reader, writer and student of life. She loves to hate labels, does yoga less than she knows she should and drinks more coffee than any human should be able to handle. Read her blog here, and find her on Facebook. She currently resides in central Illinois.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak