Depth problem?

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    Mar 12, 2009 4:12 AM GMT
    Looking for your thoughts on something I have spent a lot of time thinking about lately. I look at my life and there is no depth to it. Everything about it is right on the surface. I have a great family, great friends, great job, get to do a lot of fun things, travel the world, plenty of toys, but no meaningful relationships, no real passion, desires, etc... Many of my friends are jealous of my independence and simple life. I do like a simple life and drama free life, but I want to "feel" something. On the flip side, I am not depressed or sad either...could i have a missing emotional gene?? ha!
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    Mar 12, 2009 4:46 AM GMT
    So your biggest problem is that you don't have problems??? Well...since that in itslef is a problem, then you do have something more to your life.

    See...i just found some depth.
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    Mar 12, 2009 5:13 AM GMT
    Sounds like you're just going through the motions of living. Maybe you're questioning your purpose in life?

    If you have no real desires or ambitions, don't sweat it. Sounds like you've got things pretty easy. Just enjoy your days as they come.

    Or get a dog. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:19 AM GMT
    wadawg saidLooking for your thoughts on something I have spent a lot of time thinking about lately. I look at my life and there is no depth to it. Everything about it is right on the surface. I have a great family, great friends, great job, get to do a lot of fun things, travel the world, plenty of toys, but no meaningful relationships, no real passion, desires, etc... Many of my friends are jealous of my independence and simple life. I do like a simple life and drama free life, but I want to "feel" something. On the flip side, I am not depressed or sad either...could i have a missing emotional gene?? ha!


    Nope.

    Welcome to mid-life.

    Life is what you make it.

    Life is what you choose to do with it.

    Some of what you're feeling may well be andropause. See a doctor and get your testosterone levels adjusted.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:32 AM GMT
    Well, with whom do you need a meaningful relationship, (people, God, yourself, your job, volunteer work, hobbies)? Do you constantly travel so as to not hold close ties with your friends and family?

    I have a friend who was once a corporate lawyer, she didn't like it so she now builds schools in poor areas around south east Asia. What are your passions?
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    Mar 12, 2009 10:06 AM GMT
    Life isn't about toys, your job or your friends. Most of us don't truly figure it out until we hit mid-life, or have children, have a life-altering experience ... sometimes good, sometimes bad. You need to learn to let go of the self and embrace the Self.

    I like Chaxxwvn's response. Pursue your passion(s).

    Many years ago, I had an epiphany that changed my perception of life - what I need vs. what I want and what I can offer to the world I live in.

    Here's one for you. It's a bit off the mark, but think about it:

    My uncle had been very sick with cancer. He was in hospice. It was late in the evening and I was the only one there with him. He was in bed and in significant pain. I was sitting next to him, holding his hand and fading in and out of sleep, so I was in a calm state. Suddenly, he squeezed my hand tightly, I looked up at him ... he was looking at me with this fearful expression that to this day I still can't find a way to describe. Then he smiled at me, relaxed his grip, gave a little chuckle, took a deep breath and passed away.

    After cleaning the shit from my pants (and taking the time absorb what had happened) it was as if the selfish side of me had disappeared - perhaps in some weird metaphysical way, my uncle was able to pull the selfish prick from me and take it with him? I realized there is simply no time to wander about life with no goals, passions or, more importantly, strong personal relationships.

    Though you may not feel compelled to, why not consider volunteering for a non-profit organization? Look into pediatric cancer centers, your local ASPCA, homeless shelters, food banks ... something that interests you on a personal level, and volunteer just a few hours of your time. Perhaps you will awaken that dormant emotional gene locked inside of you.

    Good luck to you.
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    Mar 12, 2009 12:38 PM GMT
    wadawg saidLooking for your thoughts on something I have spent a lot of time thinking about lately. I look at my life and there is no depth to it. Everything about it is right on the surface. I have a great family, great friends, great job, get to do a lot of fun things, travel the world, plenty of toys, but no meaningful relationships, no real passion, desires, etc... Many of my friends are jealous of my independence and simple life. I do like a simple life and drama free life, but I want to "feel" something. On the flip side, I am not depressed or sad either...could i have a missing emotional gene?? ha!


    Understand how you feel completely. I keep wondering whether it relates to the fact that I haven't reproduced, and therefore have less responsibility in life. On the surface I have an independent life filled with everything one would want (barring a special man in my life, possibly a root cause in itself) A lot of the reading I have done also points to it being a relatively common "sensation" for men in their 40's....even for married guys with kids. Men are more likely to divorce in their 40's than other ages, partly because they're searching for something different. You seem a little young for this phenomenon although not necessarily so if one considers how organised and well-settled your life seems to be, perhaps you're more mature than your years would suggest.

    I think the suggestions about getting involved with those less fortunate are the best solutions - I haven't taken the steps myself but deep down I do know that I need to if I want to live the next decades with greater meaning. If i don't I think the 'emptiness' will only get worse.

    Beyond that I can't really help, sorry, other than to say YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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    Mar 12, 2009 12:51 PM GMT
    Be thankful that you have the luxury of worrying that your life lacks depth. Too many people have depth forced upon them by tragic events like losing a loved one, a job, or their health and well-being.
    At the moment my life is pleasant but I'd hesitate to put thoughts like the OP's in writing for fear of attracting the gleeful attention of the Fates.
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    Mar 12, 2009 1:37 PM GMT
    wadawg saidLooking for your thoughts on something I have spent a lot of time thinking about lately. I look at my life and there is no depth to it. Everything about it is right on the surface. I have a great family, great friends, great job, get to do a lot of fun things, travel the world, plenty of toys, but no meaningful relationships, no real passion, desires, etc... Many of my friends are jealous of my independence and simple life. I do like a simple life and drama free life, but I want to "feel" something. On the flip side, I am not depressed or sad either...could i have a missing emotional gene?? ha!


    Damn, we could be twins.
    I do have some passions though, but maybe those become more passionate and/or meaningful when you have some one to share them with?
    I hear ya though brother! I hear ya...

    I think the relationship - when it happens, it what ties it all together.
    I'm over do, but like you not deperate, depressed or sad over being on my own - independant.
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    Mar 12, 2009 1:40 PM GMT
    animanimus said"outward circumstances are no substitute for inner experience."~~c.g. jung

    "if you have no troubles, buy a goat."~~proverb


    I'm liking these! icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 12, 2009 2:44 PM GMT
    I've had this experience at various times. I can't say it is or isn't testosterone related but I've felt it with very high levels of testosterone present. In any case, I think this is one of the most disturbing feelings I can have personally. I need to feel passion, I need to feel vitally alive, with fire inside.

    I think what may be happening here is that your inner self, or spirit or whatever the hell you choose to call it is beckoning you to consider things more thoroughly, to come in from the outside world and have a chat with yourself. I was lucky in some senses of having a very wealthy father who despite being worth many millions was still a rabid workaholic, being in the office by 6 in the morning, even on Easter. He built a world of wonderful toys, endless financial freedom, vacations and luxuries. Yet he gave NOTHING to those around him. He had little contact with family. His friends were social status friends only and people that made money with him. He has it all yet he has nothing that matters. This gave me a critical experience in realizing the importance of the important things first, people, family, friends, love, life, giving, contribution; an experience few are blessed with at a young age.

    What is going to give us meaning differs for each and every one of us. However, I can tell you that one of the quickest ways to establish a sense of meaning is to give to others in some significant way, sometimes it's just random acts of kindness. For others it's participating in Habitat For Humanity, or The Christmas Train, or The Basket Brigade, or whatever it is. To know that other's lives are better because you exist, is for me the first and most critical aspect of developing a feeling of meaning and depth in your life. Find a cause you feel passionate about, volunteer what you have, your time, your money, your efforts, your contacts, whatever; then tell no one you do it. Telling no one about it will prevent the ego from stealing the glory from your heart.

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    Mar 12, 2009 3:26 PM GMT
    Although I don't always see eye to eye with Chuckystud, I agree with him on this one. I personally believe that you need to invest meaning into life. For me it has no intrinsic purpose or meaning. Life just is.

    If you feel your life is missing something then do some thinking, feeling or soul-searching. What do you think will bring more meaning into your life? Helping people? Finding a new and exciting job? Finding new hobbies?

    In my early 30s I was becoming depressed and jaded with the gay scene. I was tired of going to gay bars every weekend and seeing the same people who talked about the same things. So I volunteered to work the phone lines two nights a month on gay information and help line. It had its' ups and downs as well as its' politics (unfortunately when lesbians and gay men get together that is usually the case), but overall I found it satisfying. It gave my existence on this earth a bit more meaning and purpose. But I had to make the effort, it did not occur through serendipity.
  • MusicMan87

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    Mar 12, 2009 3:30 PM GMT
    start taking piano lessons, they're challenging, and once you get good enough, very emotionally rewarding. Just a thought icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 13, 2009 2:05 AM GMT
    Some great things to consider guys. Thanks. Something that stands out is not having children. Funny thing there is that i started noticing the depth issue after several of my friends had their first child. I kept thinking I am the last single guy of all my friends and the only kidless guy of my friends. My closest friends are mostly straight and married. I will have to check the testosterone thing too. Lifted more in the last 2 years than the 5 years before that.
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    Mar 13, 2009 2:09 AM GMT
    Childless people sometimes write a book...helps them remain somewhat immortal (as child-bearing does).

    You might consider volunteering: hospice is an unbelievably awakening and self-affirming environment.
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    Mar 14, 2009 1:13 AM GMT
    An exercise that can be helpful in this process is to write down the 20 values that matter most to you. Then whittle that list down to 10. Then a few days later re-read the list and see if you want to make any changes. When you're happy with it, then try to put the 10 remaining values in descending order of importance. Once I do that, I can measure everything I do, everywhere I spend my time and my energy and my money by the extent to which they are consistent with or further my values.

    Another way that helps to find meaning is to serve others and there are many, many ways to do that - not only in the sense of charitable work, but in one's family, one's social life, just the way you treat people on the street and the way you go about your job.

    Best of luck.