You are starting to feel what’s missing, because it’s not missing any more. It’s as if you’re remembering your own presence among so many events and activities that surround you, though your awareness may occasionally drop below the surface before bobbing back up. When this happens, I suggest you ask yourself if you’re trying to deny the intensity of your own life, or your need for deep commitment to handle the many demands on your growth. One of them seems to be about playing a central role in the emotional cohesion of your family or circle of friends. I suggest you listen carefully to what children have to say, and keep your mind on their well-being—even if they’re not your own kids. See if you can remember your own observations about the world when you were much younger. There are things that didn’t make sense to you then, which still don’t make any sense to you today. What if you refused to pretend that they do? The things you held dear when you were much younger, such the concept of life itself, and your corresponding respect for existence, can be of significant help to you and the people around you. Nearly all of the problems the world faces emerge from the refusal to have even the most basic respect for life. You will be a lot happier if you don’t play this game, and you will set the example that it’s possible to focus on what really matters.