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Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life
Atransformativebook about the lives we wish we had and what they can teach us about who we areAll of us lead two parallel lives:the onewe are actively living, and theone we feel we should have had or might yet have. As hard as we try to exist in the moment, theunlived life is an inescapable presence, a shadow at our heels. And this itselfcan become...
Atransformativebook about the lives we wish we had and what they can teach us about who we areAll of us lead two parallel lives:the onewe are actively living, and theone we feel we should have had or might yet have. As hard as we try to exist in the moment, theunlived life is an inescapable presence, a shadow at our heels. And this itselfcan become thestory of our lives:an elegy to unmet needsand sacrificed desires. We become haunted by the myth of our own potential, of what we have in ourselves to be or to do. And this can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short. But what happensif we remove the idea of failure from the equation? Withhis flair for graceful paradox, the acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips suggests that if we accept frustration as a way of outlining what we really want, satisfaction suddenly becomes possible. To crave a life without frustration is to crave a life without the potential to identify and accomplish our desires. In this elegant, compassionate, and absorbing book, Phillips drawsdeeply onhis own clinical experience as well as on the works of Shakespeare and Freud, of D. W.Winnicott and William James, tosuggest that frustration,not gettingit, andand getting away withit are all chapters in our unlived lives—and may beessential to the one fully lived.
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