Ever notice that we don’t live in a perfect world? Ever get disappointed and angry with other people — or even yourself — that we don’t quite live up to expectations?

It just seems that nothing is ever quite enough. The more we have, the more we want. When we get what we want, then we want something else.

This is part of the human condition, it seems, part of human nature — or, more accurately, our fallen human nature. We are never really completely satisfied with anyone, anything — or even ourselves.

In the face of this experience, it seems to me, that there are two fundamentally different ways we can choose to respond.

The first way is just to resign oneself to the inevitability of disappointment. Expect little or nothing; become jaded and cynical; develop a critical, complaining attitude that ceases to expect anything or anyone to change, let alone improve.

Maybe a cynic is just a frustrated idealist. It sure seems that to become one is really just a way of trying to cope with fear of failure and the pain of being disappointed. As a result, with lowered expectations, life becomes very mediocre, and eventually quite boring.

In fact, anyone who dares to try to suggest that there is a better way is greeted with ridicule and even contempt. The old expression “misery loves company” grows out of this mentality.

At the same time, one who expects little never has to deal with very much with reality and so becomes more and more isolated from life, from other people and, sooner of later, even from God.

Sometimes, the fear of loss and failure becomes so overwhelming that a person will get wrapped up in various forms of addiction: drugs, alcohol (the legal drug), work, sex, partying — some form of escape from the pain of living. This is a more or less self-destructive or suicidal form of dealing with that deep hole in the hungry heart, but it can also take more aggressive, ­violent forms of expression.

I am thinking of the growing phenomenon of what might be called “rage-a-holism:” a constant readiness to fly into a fit of anger over just about any inconvenience or perceived slight. It might be couched in a self-justifying, grandiose political or moralistic cause; it might express itself in something remarkably petty.

I was recently talking to a high school teacher who so displeased a student that the teacher became the target of death threats, transmitted over a Twitter account. The language was so strong that the police had to be informed.

Often, what we think we are mad about really isn’t what we are mad about. Anger targeted against public figures is often a projection of deeper personal fears, insecurities and relation-based wounds that can be traced to psychological trauma from a very young age.

Erich Fromm, the German-born American social psychologist, was quite familiar with this. He wrote a very popular book on relationships called “The Art of Loving.” Any who may have read it will remember its wise counsel.

Yet, Fromm was greatly wounded from some of his early life experiences. He had suffered from the rigid discipline of an overly-severe grandfather.

Although he longed to, he could never quite come to the acceptance of a loving God; every time he tried to pray, he could not help but envision his angry grandfather on the throne of God.

Fortunately, there is another way to deal with the deep-down emptiness that inhabits the human heart, and that is to accept the reality that our hearts were made that way by God!

The solution is to stop avoiding — or fighting — the realization that nothing earthly can ever fill the longings of the human heart, only God himself.

God has made our hearts so large that nothing on Earth is ever enough! Only God can fill the heart and make it happy. He will do just that by turning the heart toward the love of his Son, through the Holy Spirit.

It is true that some emotional scars may have to be worked through with a professional counselor or spiritual director — maybe both. But, how often are our emotional aches and pains also made even worse because of unrealistic expectations and demands that we are tempted to place on certain persons and groups? Resentments can develop because of their failure or inability to respond as we would wish.

God is here to console and “satisfy the hungry heart,” as one liturgical hymn reminds us. God wants to fill our hearts with his gifts.

This is a more practical solution than we might realize. Just look at the unhappiness and destruction to which the other approach leads: hatred, envy, character assassination, murderous thoughts and violence.

Accepting the reality, on the other hand, that “our hearts are restless until they rest in God,” as St. Augustine expressed it, is only to allow ourselves to accept being filled with the supernatural gift of God’s love because, in fact, that is the soul’s most “natural” food.

Jesus warned that we do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Jesus is that Word in every sense of the term. His gift of himself is never more real on Earth than in the Eucharist, our true “soul food.”

Why? Because in the Eucharist we have, unequivocally, the real presence of Jesus himself: the Word of God, the bread of heaven. He is the salvation of the world and of every human being, the balm for every broken heart and wounded soul.

(Follow the Bishop at www.facebook.com/AlbanyBishopEd and on Twitter @AlbBishopEd.)