Learn the Right Way to Miss Things
Learning how to miss things is a part of personal growth. Feeling the lasting mark of an absence can be consuming at times, which is why it’s necessary to learn the art of saying goodbye. Letting go is painful and sad, but in the end, it’s part of life.
The concept of missing something is always associated with people, but it’s interesting how humans are also experts in missing objects, situations, people, and even abstract things that are impossible to define. These empty emotional and existential spaces and inner worlds that are so complex that they sometimes put our mental health at risk.
“Somebody once said that oblivion is full of memory.”
I miss the person I was before, when I was happier and more hopeful. This idea, this sense of regression that most people have probably experienced at some point, is what psychologist Robert Plutchik defined as “longing for the past,” which he also featured in his famous wheel of emotions.
Living in a bubble of longing turns into a desperate yearning for something that we once had or were. And then yearning devolves into vulnerability, and vulnerability into fear and even the beginnings of depression. So, before we let ourselves drift away the way Ophelia submerged herself in an aquatic world of sorrow, we must train ourselves in the art of saying goodbye and knowing how to miss things.
The country called “Missing”
There’s an invisible country, a parallel, imprecise, intangible world that we all go to sometimes, called “Missing.” We turn the knob to enter it every time someone we love leaves us. We go there when we leave behind a routine or an activity that was meaningful to us. And we live there almost permanently when we lose someone, or even when we feel deeply dissatisfied with ourselves.
In this hole, a cold wind called longing is constantly blowing. Longing for someone or something. As the Latin root reveals, anhelāre means a lack of breath. We struggle to breathe because there’s a hole in our hearts where everything falls through one after another. The country called “Missing” is a dark and gloomy maze where you should NEVER stay for too long, because the deeper you go, the more you forget the way out.
Living in permanent exile like this will throw you into desperation and deep dissatisfaction with the present, real world. Before you get stuck in this twilight zone, you have to be able to make smart decisions during times of emotional difficulty so that you can get out of the maze and understand that missing is a part of life, not a way of life.
Training your emotions in the art of goodbye
It’s important to learn how to end a chapter. Instead of longing for what you were yesterday, invest in what you could be today. Learn to miss the people who are no longer with you, but let them go to a special corner in your heart, while you resolve to be happy again. Life is all about making decisions, putting one foot in front of the other, and getting out of those terrible personal mazes.
Now let’s reflect on some strategies you can use in these situations.
“Letting go isn’t giving up, but accepting that there are things that can no longer be.”
Finding your way out of emotional difficulty
Missing something puts you at the crossroads of three powerful battlegrounds: longing, fear of loneliness, and emotional vulnerability. These are three clever enemies that you must get to know and learn how to tame.
- Experience confusion. With longing comes immediate confusion. What am I going to do now? What will become of me? You’re bombarded by an endless barrage of feelings and emotions. You have to experience them for a while, accept them, and then release them.
- Analyze the emotional thicket you’re in. To face the pain of absence or emptiness, it’s essential to analyze and dissect the emotional fabric that’s suffocating you.
- You can overcome longing by making new goals for the present. The fear of loneliness, for its part, can be extinguished by being brave and starting to enjoy your own company while seeking the support of others.
- Emotional vulnerability is remedied by looking at the future with more courage than fear. This can be done by investing in resilience, the kind of strength that nobody teaches you, that you discover day by day with every firm step you take. You can do it by yourself, sometimes in other people’s company, with the resolve of someone who’s taking charge of their own story.
You have to be able to set out on new paths in life without letting the shadows of absence and emptiness make you doubt your decisions. Humans always miss things, people, and snippets of an exceptional past. All these things are pages of our lives that we cherish affectionately, but they’re just chapters in a novel that has many more still to come, many more lines to be written.