What Does It Mean If You Feel Something Is Missing In Life?
Many of us are driven by inner restlessness and longing. A sense that something is missing in life, although it is difficult to put our finger on what it is.
We have a conditioned belief ingrained in many of us from a young age – that when we have a better or different relationship, a more fulfilling job, more money, the next vacation, a better body, or many other things, we’ll feel satisfied. That our life will feel more complete.
And yet, even when we get a new relationship and more money, we still feel there must be more.
So what is it that we’re looking for? What are we seeking?
At the heart of this seeking is the need to know who we are and why we are here. What is this journey we call life all about?
This sense that something is missing in life is often an invitation to become more aware of our true selves and who we are beyond the surface level of our life and conditioned self.
I experienced what I came to call “soul hunger” in my own life, which manifested as stress-related health issues, relationship troubles, and a lack of meaning and purpose.
This soul hunger invites us to embark on an inner journey to understand ourselves better and shed the limiting beliefs holding us back from becoming our true selves and living our best lives.
It often happens at a time in our life when we’re acutely aware that we have a lot to be grateful for.
We notice an inner tug of war between the part that tells us we should be grateful and the part of ourselves that tells us there must be more.
And if feeling lost and confused isn’t enough, we also feel lonely because most people don’t understand what we’re experiencing.
I get it because I have been there and experienced these same feelings that were confusing and unsettling. I experienced a dark night of the soul and was suffering even though I had SO much to feel grateful for.
The dark night of the soul, which is more accurately the dark night of the personality, becomes an initiation into living a life with more profound presence, connection, fulfillment, alignment, and meaning.
What are these feelings and inner knowing that something is missing in our lives trying to tell us?
I began to see a pattern in the people I mentor, and it usually boils down to three things:
You may need to connect with your true self.
In this scenario, we have been so busy focusing on others or fulfilling the many roles in our lives that we lose touch with our true selves. We may have put a lot of time and energy into raising a family and work, and then something changes, and we’re left asking- Who am I without these roles or this job?
It’s common to lose sight of our unique values, gifts, needs, and what makes us feel most vital and alive.
Our true selves can quickly get buried beneath many layers and beliefs. We’re busy being “good” people and doing what we should do to be productive human beings, and in the process, we can lose touch with who we are and who we’re meant to become.
When we are overly identified with our conditioned self, which includes our thoughts, emotions, and bodily responses, we lose touch with our truth. We’re disconnected from the qualities of our souls, such as integrity, love, authenticity, creativity, wisdom, courage, joy, power, and inner peace.
The more we strive to force this inner sense of well-being and flourishing, the more constricted we feel.
You may need heart connections in your relationships.
As we awaken, we are less satisfied with living at the shallow end of life. We crave relationships that feel deeper and connected at the level of the heart, not just intellect.
Our souls expand through love and compassion, which requires that we have fulfilling relationships where we can share our most intimate thoughts and feelings with those closest to us.
We want and need deeper connections with people and a desire to share and discover our true selves with others in a safe and nourishing way.
Just as we are meant to grow and evolve, our relationships are meant to grow and develop. When this doesn’t happen, it’s common to feel like our relationships lack depth and that something is missing.
While earlier in our lives, we may be satisfied with relationships that enable us to share tasks and manage our roles, when our souls awaken, we’re invited to support each other’s growth in service of our souls.
What meets our needs in one chapter of life doesn’t meet our needs in the next.
Shifting our way of being from a needs-based relationship into a more soulful relationship can be very challenging. But if our soul needs a heartfelt connection and it’s unavailable, we will feel like something is missing.
You may need more meaning and purpose in your life.
This gnawing sense that something is missing in life is a sign that we have a spiritual yearning that we may not be aware of.
It’s an invitation from our soul to align our life with our true selves. I explore this further in The Call of the Soul: 10 Signs Your Soul is Speaking to You.
The universe, divine, intelligence, God, higher power, or whatever you call “it” is setting off an alarm that may be saying: “You are a spiritual being having a human experience.” When we don’t know how to live as spiritual beings, it is not surprising that something is missing.
Our society values material success, achievement, status, and identification with our roles. When we achieve these things and something changes, we are confused about what does bring us deeper meaning and purpose. Many awakening souls get stuck aligning their inner calling with their purpose. I explore this further in, The Biggest Reason We Get Stuck When Seeking A More Meaningful Life.
Spirituality stirs a sense of curiosity, mystery, and way of being that acknowledges that there is a life force beyond our control at play in our lives.
The sense that something is missing in life invites us to embark on an inner journey to understand ourselves and get in the “flow” of something much larger than our conditioned selves.
It’s an opportunity to shift and pivot from doing what was expected of us in the first half of our lives to responding to what needs to emerge through us for the next part of our journey.
This shift is challenging for many of us and makes people feel stuck when seeking a more meaningful life.
Ultimately, the feeling that something is missing in life is a powerful sign that you’re disconnected from your true self, and you’re being called to a journey of self-discovery where you let go of who you aren’t to discover who you are meant to become.
When we create space, turn inward and get curious about what’s missing in our lives, we open the door to evolving into a more authentic, peaceful, and loving version of ourselves with a vibrant, connected, meaningful life.
If you feel called, please leave a comment below. Our community would love to hear from you!
(Published August 2017- Updated July 2020)
My follow-up article may inspire you; if You Feel Something Is Missing, These Tips May Help.