Many people who are obsessive-compulsive say that they are constantly striving for the perfect state, whatever that is. It is not surprising, then, that those same people have an almost constant nagging feeling of dissatisfaction. One’s hands can never be germ-free enough. One’s countertops can never be clean enough. Something is always not quite right.
The OCD sufferer never seems to be able to obtain the fulfillment and completeness and rightness they are striving for.
It is so elusive because it isn’t there.
Those who say they are looking for balance in their life are similarly asking for trouble. When we say we need balance, I believe we really mean something else. We are really longing for something more specific. Yes, we need to feel settled. But, more than that, we need to feel like we matter and that what we’re doing in life is significant in some way.
Let’s add one more thing to significant. We need to know that our contribution to the world around us is not only significant but also important. Am I doing (or at least making progress with or moving in the direction of) what I am supposed to be doing with my life?
When I am not sure I can answer that – or when I am sure, but I am overwhelmed for whatever reason – I might eat, or get angry, exercise excessively, lash out, blame, or fixate on cleaning, spend too much time at work or career matters, or escape to a hobby. Or maybe I will just withdraw altogether.
The point is that my failure to do what I am really supposed to be doing results in my time and attention going in all kinds of misguided directions. ‘Gosh,’ I might finally say to myself, ‘I need balance.’ And really, there is no such thing as balance. I hope to prove that to you in the next few installments of this series. But first, we should get right to the solution to the problem of feeling like we need more balance.
And we will get into that in Part 2.
To be continued…