The “I don’t have a life” pattern


First off, let’s start with a higher truth about this subject: there is no such thing as “having no life”. If you’re alive, you have a life. Period. And more than that, you are actually meant to be having this exact life in your current phase, no matter how “wrong” it may look like to your conditioned mind or what you may consciously think you want.

The many experiences that constitute our lives are indeed happening, regardless of how they are being judged by the mental calculations we’re used to define our lives by.

So, what we’re in fact dealing with when we’re contemplating the concept of “not having a life” is the superimposed – and without exception incorrect – criticism of our lives (as given by generic societal measurements which we have automatically absorbed during childhood).

The process of growing up can be brutally unkind and failing to respect or even recognise the essence of life within a child.

This traumatisation is exactly what teaches us as children that supposedly “nothing” is happening when we’re not doing one of the specified “somethings” which our families/societies happened to deem valuable – which of course didn’t necessarily correlate with our soul’s inclinations.

When we feel like we’re doing “nothing”, it’s because we’re conditioned to disregard the subtle and distinctive elements that characterise each of our beings, as if they don’t exist at all, and then to replace those sacred and almost magical-feeling energies of our true resonances with adopted, foreign and irrelevant characteristics.

This type of upbringing of course causes a great deal of shame around the very nature of our beingness, halting what could arise from within it, and it is this multi-faceted wounding occurring in childhood that is now sounding in our current feeling of “I don’t have a life”.

Another way of saying “I don’t have a life” is “I’m a failure” and in this statement it becomes more obvious that we are talking about parental rejection (and the various coping strategies developed over it), rather than any external situation in our lives.

If we are infected by this pattern, it means that we haven’t experienced the feeling of somebody authentically caring about our lives – even if their words and actions looked “positive”.

This is an intensely confusing element of this pattern, because unfortunately parents who aren’t genuinely interested in their child’s essence will very rarely be transparent about it.

Therefore, while their verbal messages and symbolic gestures will don the appearance of love, the effects of their behaviours will reflect their neglect, leaving the child in a state of conflict between what they are feeling as a result of neglectful parenting and what they’re being told is occuring instead.

The truth is that it is impossible for an adult to conceive the notion that they “have no life” unless they have felt as children the lack of care towards who they actually were (and in extension, towards the natural development and blossoming of their life).

Therefore, this pattern is not at all about what we are doing in our lives, but about subconsciously adjusting to how our parents have felt about our (and really, their) existence.

We accept the idea that love must be earned through our doing – instead of naturally being given to our being – in order to match our parents’ negative perceptions of us.

This way, we maintain the illusion that we are eventually going to be loved by them, if we only identify with what we do and then manage to simply do “enough” and of the “right” things (which can never be achieved).

So, while this pattern markets itself as a supposed striving towards success, its program is actually to maintain a never-ending state of struggling/payment/punishment, because it satisfies the parents’ (subconscious) negative demands of us, which we emotionally conclude on from their various treatments that highlight our supposed “unworthiness”.

When we judge our lives as “non-existent”, what we’re doing is essentially agreeing with the lack of value our parents too showed towards our lives. If, hypothetically, we were to allow ourselves to feel valuable, it would then be an obvious contradiction to our parents’ previous behaviours towards us and such a state of cognitive dissonance simply isn’t tolerated by a child’s system.

Feeling valuable is directly disallowed by this pattern.

In fact, this pattern actually bids us to ignore, undervalue or discount whatever may be happening in our lives, by default, no matter what we’re achieving.

This is crucial, because it’s convincing to imagine that the way we’re feeling is due to what we have failed to manage in the world, but its root is in fact the pre-existing feeling of worthlessness we’ve been mentioning. Indeed the pattern sadly dismisses any achievements, because acknowledging them would put us in the awkward position of having to question why the love and sense of meaning we expect as a result of our successes still don’t come.

The self-recognition and natural valuing that would come from observing a positive completion of a goal that is important to us is simply a danger to our subconscious, because it threatens to separate us from the terms of our original relationships. In other words, we have had to choose between belonging with someone and feeling worthy as we were.

We may be subconsciously choosing to sacrifice the creation of our lives in order to stay safe within a relationship or maintain an idea of not being alone in our lives, simply because this sacrifice was the price of our inclusion in our family/community.

Nobody makes a child feel like a “loser” out of love. Children do not get treated like they’re nothing because they are not big enough (=adults). So the feeling of “not having a life” is not there for our benefit after all.

In fact, there’s this strong conscious mental aspect to this pattern and that’s the idea that it is there to motivate and alert us towards action; even that it’s the only system to rely on it in order to manage to go forward in life.

Though this idea was communicated to us as something addressing our supposed defective character, it was in fact a forceful (abusive) behaviour towards us (whether conscious or unconscious).

Therefore, the concept of harshness and judgment as a way to mobilise us is a manipulation which hides the reality of the lack of love towards us.

Pain is not a good motivator and does not produce positive (authentic) results.

At first sight, pain may seem like a functional avenue, as, of course, one has an incentive to run away from what can hurt, but our real purpose cannot possibly be nurtured by a wounding energy. In fact, this pattern pushes our true purpose entirely out of the picture.

Evidently, it is only love and acceptance first that would have made us naturally flower into our innate creativity (and we’d have all the energy to express ourselves in the world too!).

Moreover, it is not even possible to be pushed towards the correct direction.

If our purpose had been compatible with our parents’ desires, we wouldn’t have felt rejected by them in the first place and there wouldn’t have been a need for them to try to direct us at all.

As children, we’ve learned that our innate direction is not a trustworthy drive and that we should instead trust others above us.

The truth of this belief is that its purpose is not to establish one’s path, but to redirect the child from its own selfhood to what a parent/society may prefer that child to be. Therefore, we are talking about control, even oppression; not guidance towards a “good life”.

Needless to say that parents and societies may not be aware of the reality of the effects of such behaviour. They may think they’re doing “the right thing”, but what they are actually doing is competing against the light, intelligence and natural beauty of the being in their care.

So, this rejection-based system does not produce individuals that are driven towards their path, because: One, such drive does not require building, as it is pre-existing, supported by the very life-force of our incarnation. And two, because one does not fully know another’s true path (nor is it necessary), as it is intuited in every single moment of one’s living experience and in accordance with one’s own soul.

Therefore, the case must be made that being scolded and disapproved of towards a successful life is neither needed nor effective. (Yes, it can produce a semblance of an approvable life-script, but it will not be happy nor will it be ours.)

When we feel that we don’t have a life, it also means we have been psychologically blocked from it (by someone else).

The pattern of “I don’t have a life” is always at the same time the pattern of “I’m not allowed to live my own way”.

Moreover, if this pattern plays out in our lives currently, this suggests that we may still be under the influence of an important figure in our lives, being either invisibly sabotaged or actively attacked on who we are, even now.

The final element of this pattern relates to our intrinsic need for a sense of achievement, which is a natural part of our communal and personal experience.

If we find ourselves plagued by this pattern, it means we’re in a state of profound deficiency of this sense of achievement.

However, this must not be taken as proof that this pattern is indeed useful nor that it can potentially succeed! It really cannot. Rather, this  is the result of not having received any confirmation or appreciation of our unique tendencies and abilities from our parents as children. Therefore, we feel this way not because we haven’t reached higher goals, but because our parents failed to see the value of who we were in our natural state and they didn’t respond with pleasing emotions when we’d be spontaneously exhibiting our everyday-life “successes” and creative expressions. 

And that’s essential to pinpoint, because the pattern wants us to focus on external results instead of admitting to this internal deficiency and therefore fails to address the issue in its right domain.

After all, the continuous hunting for the next, more impressive external status is a profoundly addictive state (aiming to fill up the gap that the missing love and approval towards our unconditioned selves would):

We rush to attach titles of gained value to our lives (including career advancement, relationship milestones and personal development) only if we are not aligned with ourselves and our innate life purpose, which would naturally produce the missing meaningful emotional notes.

When we’re being ourselves, we undoubtedly feel the value of our lives (and wouldn’t dream of trying to restrict ourselves through inadequate or irrelevant guidelines).

At the same time, purpose isn’t something as simply defined and it takes time for us to discern it, develop it and feel as if we’re starting to achieve it! This is important because “purpose” too can be hijacked by this pattern turning it into a yet again externally focused fixation.

All in all, the pain of rejection in conjunction with the disallowance of our own direction and the fact that it has been hidden from our consciousness through deflection, projection, enmeshment and scapegoating can understandably cause a pause in our activities.

However, that is a perfectly appropriate place to be in and for as long as it takes, until we feel ready to face the truth of what has happened to us -rejection- and gradually and organically regain our original directions.

The pattern is compounded by the fact that we’ve learned we must feel shame about being in this halted state, as if it were somehow proof of our inability or unworthiness, so we circle back to the abusive belief that only through self-judgment and self-violation can it be remedied, which will only make things worse.

The shame we now feel about “not doing anything” is in fact a direct mirror of our original wound, the one that found our real living (and in extension, purpose) as children, inadequate or incorrect.

But no, we are not betraying ourselves and we’re not “failing” at life.

Rather, there are various elements that have been affecting us, which we were not educated to recognise and in addressing these, we can ignite the change we desire.

In fact, it is this pattern itself that ironically plays a huge part in our immobilisation, because while we believe it to be there for the good of our purpose, it effectively positions us in an inhumane tug of war within ourselves, experiencing all at once the shame of where and how we are, the frustration of being blocked from our direction, while being abusively and ruthlessly pushed in the wrong direction through criticism and on top of everything also being overwhelmed by the confusion of it all !

As a result, due to this pattern, we find ourselves in a constant static form of stress which is invisible to other people.

The amount of energy this consumes is immense; it depletes and disempowers to no end. Therefore, the psychological effort happening under the surface must not be underestimated. This must always be remembered when we’re instructed to only look at the seeming “nothings” happening in our external lives. 

So, if you’re finding yourself in this pattern, let me be the first to acknowledge that what you’ve been going through is indeed a horrifying space to be in and to assure you that none of it has been proof of your supposed unworthiness or even your fault in any way.

And from here on, I invite you to allow yourself to openly question and redefine what “having a life” means to you only (and then to live solely based on that). Also, re-learn to include the following previously disallowed natural states of being, because they matter and will gracefully lead you to creating a life that truly matches you:

Rest – as long and as often as wanted.

Heal – which is going to be gradual and looooooong; and there is no rush, because needing or wanting to heal doesn’t mean anything other than that you’ve gotten hurt somewhere (it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you).

Identity exploration  — spend as much time and energy on discovering who you are and experimenting with aspects of yourself as you feel.

Playfulness – playing is God’s working. 

Various relating experiences – they matter and they deserve endless time and energy! Life is being with others as who we are. Life is love!

Your life is simply yours! So, no experience can possibly be a failure. You are honestly free to do with your life what you will.

So, if you ever still feel like “you have no life”, first ask yourself if this has emanated from your own thoughts and feelings or if it might be a subconscious strategy to get somebody else’s approval or inclusion. Then, ask yourself if it is truly necessary to view your life through that filter, and then proceed to directly feel your spirit and investigate the happenings (and non-happenings) of your life from their original source, your own soul.