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Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I am constantly in search of something and am exhausted, lost and sad. I thought surviving cancer would keep me on track and living simply. It did for a while. Now I am back searching and hoping again. I pray and talk to God, angels, guides, but I think I am making it up or just fantasizing. I have done all the self work and have read several of your books. What am I missing? Where do I go from here? I know there is more, but what? Where?

—Joani S., Corona del Mar, California

Dear Joani,
I find that the most significant part of your letter is your age. At 60, it's natural look for validation in your life. You should be able to look inside and find a set of core values by which to live. Whatever that "something" is that wants to unfold, it does so on the basis of the core of the self that you have established.

In your case, this core seems weak or absent, which means one of two things: Either you have postponed the work of establishing a stable, meaningful self, or that self was weakened by trauma, hurt and disappointment. I can't tell you which is true—perhaps there's an element of both. In any event, the way forward is the same. The "more" you are seeking is you. It isn't a revelation delivered by angels or an epiphany from God.

I don't mean to imply you shouldn't seek a connection with the sacred. But if you spent years trying to chop down a tree with a butter knife, wouldn't you realize you haven't gone about it the right way? In your case, the reason that inspiration from many sources hasn't stuck is that you haven't been realistic about what it means to be on the spiritual path. Beyond anything else, it's the path to reality. So you must become realistic about your life and begin to do the work of finding yourself. The reality you seek is as close as breathing. There's no need to search for it in the sky or the wind.

Love,
Deepak

Next question:  How do you overcome poor self-esteem and emotional scars from your childhood?

Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you— ask your question now!

Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller,  Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on  SiriusXM Channels 102  and 155.

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