We have all met those kinds of people, the empty shell people. They seem normal enough, but there is something missing. Do you wonder what happened to them? Do you wonder if there was a time in their life when they gave up on something? Did they give up on themselves, or maybe on a dream? You wonder when they lost that thing, that spark, that drive. Maybe they started telling themselves that story about how life didn’t work out for them. They started telling themselves that story, and they’ve never been the same ever since.

After a few disappointments and regrets, it's natural to start telling yourself that story. After a lot of disappointments and failures, it’s natural to give up on that thing you've been trying to make happen in your life. You begin to fear that you don’t have what it takes or maybe you tell yourself that this is as good as it’s ever going to get.

Maybe you give up on yourself in some small way and you tell yourself it’s no big deal. Or you decide to give up on finding real love, you tell yourself relationships are hard and people suck. You give up on ever feeling fulfilled or figuring out what it is you really want to do with your life, because so far everything you’ve tried ends up falling short. It seems that thing you've been wanting for so long will always be just outside your grasp, and it begins to feel like impossible to have, achieve, receive, or to ever be content.

After working so hard for so long on something, it’s natural to forget why you were working so hard in the first place.

Most of us never bridge the gap between the life we aspire to lead and the life we are currently living. Most of us get stuck in the gap because there is a huge gravitational pull to the familiar and we don’t realize that giving up isn't just a one time choice. It's a choice we'll continue to make over and over again every time we tell ourselves that we don't have what it takes.

I’ve spent most of my adult life seeking my fortune, trying make something of myself, and get as far away as possible from my humble beginnings and the small town I grew up in. And I guess I’d managed to do that considering I was living in about 2,780 miles away from the place I was born and my seemingly perfect urban life was a far cry from my rural grass roots.

But one day you wake up and look around and everything seems to be a little less like what you imagined. There's an obvious luster to life that’s missing. 

"Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him." - Aldous Huxley

And you return to that place you had left behind, after seeking yourself for so many years, to come to find out that the thing you were seeking was there all along, buried deep inside you in that place you locked away after all those disappointments and regrets.

As adults, we learn to protect ourselves, emotionally, by giving up. We keep ourselves safe by denying that impulse within that is urging us to keep going and keep hoping long after we tell ourselves we should have stopped.

But life has a funny way of bringing us back to our roots and reminding us of where we came from and who we dreamed we’d be some day. Remembering where we came from may be the key that unlocks the doors to all the answers we have been seeking. These stories that unfold in our lives have such intricate and subtle beauty and healing if we allow ourselves to open to the experience of living instead of judging ourselves based on where or who we think we should be.

The more I have surrendered to the ebb and flow of my life, returned to my roots, and let go of the need to know why things happen the way that they do, the more meaning and purpose has been revealed to me in the unfolding of there things.

Perhaps this is the greatest human experience: to learn to trust that by following your heart and remaining open, you will receive everything you need and become everything you were always meant to be.

The experience of fulfillment, finding yourself, and experiencing your dreams come true isn't just about getting what you want. It is in learning to love who you already are, what you’ve got and where you are, right here and now.


Chloë Rain is The Human Experience Artist, CEO & Founder of Explore Deeply™. To read more about how turning left instead of right can change everything, including how just being nice can get you far in life and in bed, and what to do when heart break doesn’t kill you, go to ExploreDeeply.com where Chloë shares stories on the search to find true love, life purpose, and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. To read the original post about living in Paris and having a love affair go here. For more inspiration and to like Explore Deeply, go here.

Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.

A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.

✌️ Free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Welcome to Holstee

Living with intention is an ongoing practice, not a destination. Inspired by this, we’ve created a range of products to help you on your journey to live both fully and mindfully, including the Holstee Membership, Reflection Cards, and our recently-launched Reflection.app.


This article is part of our series on the theme of .


Shop Holstee

product-image product-image product-image

Inspiration and tools to help you live a more meaningful life.