Sometimes what’s wrong feels nebulous

Sometimes what’s wrong feels nebulous:

  • It’s a subtle feeling of “not-rightness” that we only get in moments when we don’t have a lot to do.

  • It’s a nagging feeling in our belly that we need to make a change.

  • It's like we can only “see” what’s wrong out of the corner of our eye. And it's blurry.

Even more confusingly, we might feel fine a lot of the time! We go to work, spend time with our friends our partners, go to the gym, enjoy delicious meals. A lot of our lives are great!

And yet, we can’t shake the feeling: Something isn’t right. Something is “off.”

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Here’s my suggestion: don’t ignore that feeling.

That feeling is important. It’s even life-affirming, even though it might also feel vague and confusing. But precisely because it's vague and confusing, and because there are concrete things that we've gotta get done in the here and now — laundry to do, reports to write, friends to see — we have a tendency to push it aside. I'll deal with it later, we think.

And then we never actually deal with it later.

Here’s what I know for sure about this nebulous feeling of not-rightness: you have to stay in the question.

“Staying in the question” means not ignoring it. In fact, "staying in the question" means revisiting this feeling that something's off and asking, What’s wrong? and What needs my attention? and What am I resisting?

Feelings like this respond well to patient curiosity, but it may take some time. (And, of course, support can be quite helpful.)