Here’s a nice quote from Inayat Khan:
“A person who lives in happy surroundings with luxuries and sources of pleasure and comfort, may be envied and imagined to be a very happy and lucky man. In reality, however, he may be very unhappy. The external world has given him all he wished for, but the inner world, the inner being, is unhappy. There is something absent, and he wants it to be present. There is something missing inwardly. This shows that the inner presence is required. The external presence is not the only comfort.
“But we may ask, the inner presence of what? Many will say, ‘We know we are unhappy sometimes in spite of wealth, comfort, happiness, friends, or beloved.’ But, perhaps they will not believe that it is another lack, the lack of a divine ideal that makes them unhappy. Others consider that life requires scope for progress, and that it is the lack of scope that causes the greatest unhappiness. Such persons think that they cannot prosper in the work that they are doing, that they cannot be any better off than the others. Such a thought is worse than death. Life is unlimited, and it wants scope to expand and rise. Without that scope life is unhappy.”
Even if we trick ourself for awhile, or even for years; if we don’t nurture that which is most important to our soul; a deep pang of emptiness will hit us eventually. For those who ignore this most essential need, it often nags us when we are alone, or at other odd moments of the day.
We are made of earth and air, so we must work to sustain ourselves in this world. But we are also made of much more, of life, of something that requires not only worldly sustenance, but spiritual sustenance. The first step is to simply find out what that is.