In my early twenties, somehow, travelling or even the mere thought of doing it, or even just fantasizing about it became an addictive drug for me. Only later did I find that travelling was just a symbol, a higher call, for my search for freedom! I had been denied freedom since high school until college. And the suffocating unnecessary control I had to face made me long and seek for it ever since. Escaping to the mountains with no phone signal and being with nature had unconsciously became the ultimate ideal and image for me, but under that lied in disguised form my real search, which was ”the freedom” I had been constantly denied during my arduous teenage years .
It’s true: We seek what we had been denied!
Sometimes there are psychological explanations that lie under what is happening on the outside. When, even in my late teenage, I was forced to reach home before 6 in the evening and was supposed to do nothing fun in my life other than studying—directly and indirectly I was more or less being completely in control of my parents! I was taken for granted and was denied everything I wanted. So my unconscious self, made its escape plan by breaking out and getting too bad at studies, which was the only worthy thing I was doing properly at that time. And eventually signing up in a media school to study film-making or travelling to the Himalayas became few of my unconscious breaking out plans. When I was too powerless to make direct rebellion, my mind did it all in a cunning way, and screwed my life for a long time. Well, without freedom, it was screwed already either.
Look for what we seek in our lives and we could trace it back to a basic psychological need which originated from some form of denial we had to cope up with. You push and suppress at one point and something pops out at somewhere else, which is the same energy itself.
Some children are denied parents’ love and affection, and their whole life they seek for love from others to fill that void, love that would make them feel secure and taken care of. Even the partners they choose will most likely be someone who would treat them like a child.
Some people are denied all the good things in their life like good food, beautiful clothes, or even a decent home. They try hard to get these basic things first, perhaps for their whole life. For them, having delicious food at the table all the time, a beautiful home, and having neat clothes to wear is the paradise they seek. But those who already have these seek for something else.
People seek for so many things. Some seek sex—may be because they were denied the physical pleasure. But seeking sex or having it all the time to fill that void inside could have an underlying psychological need as well. Perhaps the person feels good each time he had sex just because it makes him feel worthy and able. Having sex is like getting bragging rights in front of his guy friends or is a pure ego boost or a way of attaining high self-esteem, there by trying to shed off the inferior feelings that got into the mind due to various kinds of denial.
Some might had been denied respect, or love, or freedom, or money, or self-acceptance, or the chance to freely express emotions or umpteen other things.
Whatever it had been that was denied at various points in our life, we seek them out most of the times without knowing what or why we are seeking it. Most of the time the thing we seek is actually disguised and the real reason hide within.
The underlying emotions are to be dug out to really understand what it is that you search for, otherwise you may unconsciously go after certain things in your life that is not meant for you. If you ask yourself why you seek something, and go deeper than the superficial answer your mind tries to convince you, you could find a totally different thing beneath all this. Most of the time, it will have something to do with how the parents or peers treated you or the way you grew up. Sometimes what you find out won’t be something that would make you feel comfortable.
Getting accepted was one of the things I had sought after at some points in my life. Because that was something I had being denied. So I tried to act like cool and tried to mingle with everyone like I was part of the crowd. But this only made things worse, making me look like a needy personality and one with a hyperactive behaviour. The real reason was that the real me was never accepted or was ever considered normal. But later I found out being different and out-of-the-crowd is something that made me unique. I stopped seeking for acceptance by the herd of sheep and started finding happiness in being the occasional wolf!
So, find out what you’re running after: Money? Career growth? Divine love? Long term relationships? Friends-forever? Sex? Travel? Drugs? Apple products?..
Underlying all that peripheral layers, there is something you had been denied. Find that. Know what you are running after unconsciously. Know thyself.
Knowing yourself is the only way to genuinely find out what you really want in life.