9 aches you’ll never get rid of unless you do something about them

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Most of us have experienced a deep yearning for something we don’t have.

Often we try to get rid of this longing by burying it, hoping it will go away with time.

But some things just can’t be pushed aside.

Here we’ve got 9 common aches that’ll keep causing you pain and grief unless you do something about them:

1. Aching to live in a place that feels like home.

Those of us who have lived in environments that didn’t feel quite ‘right’, know how soul-crushing this can be.

For some, their family home may be toxic or unsupportive and they try to avoid being there.

In other cases, someone might live in a city or country that doesn’t suit their personality.

As a result, they go through life on autopilot, wincing every time they look out the window because they can’t stand what’s out there.

Moving to a place that feels ‘right’ or fills your spirit with joy is an absolute must if you want to thrive.

It may seem as though your options are limited, but there are always ways to make change happen, though they’ll inevitably involve some measure of sacrifice to achieve.

2. Aching to pursue a vocation you’ve always felt called to.

Some people are fortunate enough to know exactly what they want to do with their lives.

Many of these folks have felt that calling since early childhood or adolescence, but had it sidelined by well-meaning adults who, “Only wanted the best for them”, rather than encouraging their dreams.

If you’ve been longing to pursue a career or vocation that’s been calling to you for ages, make it your mission to do so.

Otherwise, that ache is only going to get worse, making each day that you aren’t pursuing your dream a nightmare you have to get through.

3. Aching to let the world see your most authentic self.

Many people who feel they can’t live authentically experience intense sorrow because of it.

They’re living a lie, pretending to be something they’re not to avoid being condemned or ostracized.

This can be as subtle as not pursuing their interests or expressing themselves in clothing choices, or as intense as not cultivating the romantic relationships they crave or expressing their gender authentically.

Living truthfully may be scary at first, and you may avoid it for fear of condemnation, but for many, living life authentically is worth the temporary discomfort caused by ignorant naysayers.

4. Aching to experience a culture that fascinates you.

Have you ever known someone who was completely obsessed with a particular culture?

Maybe a coworker keeps going on about the Egyptian pyramids, or one of your best friends has been fixated on all things Japanese for as long as you can remember.

People who are drawn to a particular culture generally feel a deep ache to experience it firsthand.

If you fall into this category, you may immerse yourself in the foods, pursuits, and entertainment associated with it.

But you’ll probably only feel truly fulfilled if you make your dreams a reality and visit the place that’s drawing you to it.

Of course, it’s easier said than done, but you’ll likely experience something there that’ll change your life forever.

5. Aching to find your life’s purpose.

A lot of people feel lost these days because they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do with their lives.

They know they’re aching for something on a soul-deep level, but they don’t know what that is.

As such, they go through the motions of day-to-day living feeling like something vital is missing in their world.

If this sounds familiar, take some time to soul-search, and either discover what it is you’re meant to do with this wild and sacred life, or cultivate something that means the world to you.

Dedicate the time you have left to a cause or pursuit that has a real purpose, and that hollow, aching feeling will disappear.

6. Aching to live a lifestyle that feels right in your heart.

A lot of people feel they need to adhere to a particular set of cultural lifestyle expectations to ‘succeed’ in life.

This often involves following the prescribed pattern of going to school, getting a job, settling down in a single-family unit, and having children—all within set timescales.

While this lifestyle may be fulfilling to many, it certainly isn’t for everyone.

Perhaps you’re aching to live your life as a nomad, working remotely from balconies and beaches from Prague to Goa.

Or maybe you dream of buying land with 20 of your favorite people and setting up an intentional community of yurt-dwelling farmers.

Maybe you do want to follow the prescribed pattern of your culture, but you want to do it at your own pace, not when everyone else says you should.

Whatever it is, your heart will tell you, and will ache until those needs are fulfilled.

7. Aching to express your creativity.

Human nature is inherently creative.

Look at everything humans have ever made and you’ll see the intense creativity behind it.

Your favorite dishes required people to innovate with the ingredients they had available, and the clothes you wear are a direct result of people learning how to spin, weave, sew, and decorate fabrics.

If you’re yearning to be creative in some way, but you don’t have the time or energy to make that happen, you’re going to feel it as a gnawing ache inside you.

Studies show that creativity is essential for psychological and cognitive health and well-being. Being creative quite literally makes us happier people.

If you don’t find the time to make beautiful things, that ache is only going to intensify over time.

8. Aching to overcome your fears.

Many people feel shame and self-loathing when they have fears or phobias that have undue influence over their lives.

For some, it could be something like a fear of water that prevents them from learning how to swim and enjoy the beautiful coastline they live nearby.

In other cases, someone may be so afraid of failure that they don’t allow themselves to try, even though they desperately want to.

It’s completely normal (and probably a good idea) to listen to your psyche when it’s telling you to be afraid of getting out of your car to cuddle a grizzly bear.

In contrast, if there isn’t real danger ahead of you, then fear—including mild to moderate anxiety—is often a signal from both mind and body that you’ve encountered an opportunity to grow.

If you don’t face this fear, the shadow will loom ever larger until you perceive it to be utterly insurmountable.

By dealing with it, you’ll move past whatever it is that’s holding you back and often realize that your fears were based on personal assumptions and expectations, rather than reality.

9. Aching for closure.

Just about everyone you meet will have regret or trauma from some unresolved issue in their past.

Some may regret times they mistreated people, while others will have deep, open wounds from damage that others have caused them, such as abuse or abandonment.

Although some people are fortunate enough to get closure from those who have done them wrong (or forgiveness from those they have wronged), others won’t and may never have that opportunity.

As such, they need to find closure for themselves.

This is going to look different for everyone, as no single technique works for everybody.

One approach involves writing a letter to the person you want closure from in which you take the initiative to end contact.

You don’t even have to send it: the mere act of writing it can allow people to leave their past behind them and move forward in a healthier, more grounded manner.


The ache you’ve been feeling may not fall into the categories mentioned here, but you’ll likely know what it is as it will be important to you on a fundamental level.

You’re a brave, strong, capable human being, and you can make real change happen if you summon up the courage to take that first step in the right direction.

From there on, you just need to keep going.

About The Author

Catherine Winter is an herbalist, INTJ empath, narcissistic abuse survivor, and PTSD warrior currently based in Quebec's Laurentian mountains. In an informal role as confidant and guide, Catherine has helped countless people work through difficult times in their lives and relationships, including divorce, ageing and death journeys, grief, abuse, and trauma recovery, as they navigate their individual paths towards healing and personal peace.