There have been a number of people who have committed suicide who seemed at the pinnacle of success. So what is going on? And most of us thought that once we choose a profession and follow it and succeed at it, becoming an expert and well known, that would be fulfilling. We would feel like a success. Wrong. When we have deep-rooted lack of love, rejection, indifference and missing touch early in our lives we cannot feel like a success.
Usually because success and fame are ephemeral notions not part of our systems. Success is not a feeling, loved is. Fame is other people’s idea of success; it is in a way their feeling……admiration, humbling, important, etc. And why does the person, even most accomplished, never feel satisfied nor fulfilled? Because all of his fulfillment and all of his admiration is symbolic; it is not the love he needed early on. It covers it over, sits on top of the real need and leaves an emotional vacuum in its place. It is the imprinted pain that cannot be erased no matter what kind of success is there. And it drives him for more and more. Finally at the top of his fame he feels still unfulfilled and a failure; there is nothing more to gain, nothing more to try for. He looks at all his billboards and feels empty. What does it mean? “I don’t know what else to do to feel good. It seems that life is empty. There is no point; suicidal thoughts thrust their way in. The pain that drove it all is still alive and gnawing inside. It says, sotto voice, you are not loved and that is all that matters. You have failed at what matters most; to be adored, admired, encouraged, held and caressed. That is the malaise that speaks of something missing. “All your drive was to try to feel loved, and you are, but not by the people who really matter.” To be loved early on, is what sets the stage for your life; it makes you feel confident but not driven. It offers daring and enthusiasm and a joie de vivre. It allows you to try but never in desperation.
Symbolic love has to be repeated over and over exactly because it cannot fulfill. Why not? Because it sits on the painful imprint of no love; that imprint has only one goal in life; to be relived exactly as it was laid down. It will NEVER leave until it is lived again, fully, in its original context. It cannot. Its goal is a constant warning of unfinished business. The pain from very early on has to be felt and dealt with in all its agony. Yes, there is agony from deep, deep pain that was transformed into an imprint that becomes a primordial part of us. It now confuses us, distracts us, and above all, stops our concentration. Oh yes; it depresses us because we live with an enemy in the house that we cannot shake off. It lives with us and in us; it claws for its liberation; it wants freedom to live the pain, believe it or not. Yet we do what we can to stop it. No wonder most psychotherapy is aimed at repression, rationales, understanding but never deep feeling. They get a bit of relief which the patient settles for; but no cure. So what does the successful person feel? Very little: Down, unhappy and unfulfilled. He has to with no other choice because those feelings will not leave even for mercy’s sake. The imprint knows no mercy. It wants conscious awareness somewhere inside even while the top cortical level does what it can to imprison it. Conscious awareness means deep feeling plus ultimate understanding of what it is. Enough rearranging of the chairs on the Titanic. We must replace things to be healthy’ we must join feelings with their thoughts and make ourselves whole. Fame won’t do that; I have treated enough Stars to know that, and my patients also know it. There is no substitute for extirpating the imprint. None. Leaving the imprint and you are leaving misery there.
So let’s go over this again. When there is a basic lack of fulfillment early life, gestation and birth and infancy, There is an imprint of lack of fulfillment. That stays and is embedded deep in the brain, almost in accessible. But the feeling is imperceptibly accessible: feeling unfulfilled. And we drag it and it drags us into into the race for fulfillment. It has be symbolic because once embedded and out of reach we will fill ourselves with substitutes; symbols. We cannot know the real lack and what it is. That is why the system insists on reliving later in life. It understands real integration and liberation. And it finally stops the terrible drive to feel like a success. That is different from being successful. That is the drive to do things right. A little more relaxing.