So, what’s missing?  This seemed to be the threshold question for me to consider as I took inventory of the outward manifestations of a very real, inward reality of pain in my life.  There I was, sitting alone in one of my favorite little “dive” restaurants writing this entry into my journal, “in the abundance of relationships I find myself profoundly lonely.”  Wow!  A man so rich in relationships yet realizing that there was something so radically missing in my life.  As I made note of the symptomatic characteristics of my loneliness I began to list things like; I’m not as funny as I used to be, I’m not as spontaneous as I used to be or I’m not as adventurous as I once was.  But those were just the outward signs…what was the inward reality?  Truth is I was confronting the loss of my “refrigerator friend,” a man I’ll tell you more about at a later date.  Even that though wasn’t getting me to the core, magma-level issue driving these outward symptomatic signs.  So, I needed to dive deeper to understand.  When my dig was over I recorded three things driving the inward reality of this pain; a longing to be pursued, a longing to be understood and a desperate longing to be fully known.  These three things seemed to me to be the hallmarks of my understanding of authentic intimacy.  That was it! That’s what was missing in my life.  Well, over time this experience has caused me to think more about how important it is to get way beyond the surface of life and dig deep to discover and understand what it is that drives us, what it is that explains the outward signs of our life that we reveal to the watching world.  And what I’ve seen is that so often in life we are driven more by what’s missing in our life as opposed to those things that we are being pulled or drawn towards.  In much the same way it’s like many of us who might be driven more by the things we are running from versus the things we are actually attracted to.  So, what do we do with this?  We need to stop and take inventory to fully understand at a deep level what’s driving the outward characteristics of our behavior, our thoughts, our longings, etc.  Let’s not settle for the answers we find on the surface.  Let’s seek to know the core…the truth of the matter.  It is there we will find the freedom that comes from living a life of authenticity.  Peace.