The Syndrome of Disavowed Yearning.
Rumi said his life could be summed up in three phases, “I was raw. I became cooked. Then, I burned.” Learn, Earn, Burn. It’s the way many of us see the progression of life. But, what if, instead, it was, “Learn, Earn, Yearn, and then Learn again”?
A two-time MEA alum, Farmer D, came to realize in Baja that he needed to follow his “why” (or “Y”) and put his yearning at the forefront of his earnings. In other words, focus on his passion and purpose with less distraction from the dinero.
I did a podcast with Dr. Mark Goulston some time ago (“My Wakeup Call”), and he introduced me to this idea of “disavowed yearning” that often afflicts many successful people. They often come from parents where their dad was too busy with his job or career, and their mother might have lacked warmth. Often these were not bad parents. The dad was worried about earning a living and was focused more on his boss or his customers and clients than his family. The mom loved her kids but came from a mother who also might have lacked warmth (it was often a condition passed on for generations).
In an ideal situation, a child feels solid from the inside out because there is a warmth to comfort them when they are hurt, afraid, or just plain lonely. They benefit from “you can do it” guidance, support, and coaching, leading to confidence and courage. If these elements are missing, that child’s personality discovers that instead of feeling the pain from the lack of warmth and enthusiastic support, it hurts less if you disavow needing either.
According to Dr. Goulston, in the people who become high achievers, they often sublimate an aching yearning into accomplishing things. Even if this “accomplishing” doesn’t fill you up from the inside out, the conditional grin of approval for what you do, instead of the love and celebration for who you are, can certainly distract you from the yearning. However, as effective as that may be to help you cope, down deep in your core, something feels false. And after many years of accomplishments, those grins of conditional love and approval wear thin and can leave you feeling empty.
Hopefully, this is when you reconnect with your yearning. It may feel very young and awkward at first. Maybe even silly and self-indulgent. But, in this newfound yearning, there is great wisdom, call it a GPS for your soul. While Joseph Campbell may have gotten it right when he suggested, “Follow your bliss,” I might suggest you consider, “Follow your yearn.”