Satisfaction is our strongest urge. The desire to satisfy ourselves motivates everything we do in one way or another.
Our self-gratification reflex is not well thought out though. Our choices while under the influence of this intoxicating human imperative are often unwise. Short sighted satisfaction may be easy but it’s not cheap, and willing or not, the debt is always collected. Our drive to satisfy ourselves can then seriously damage us.
Satisfying desire is tricky. If we choose to satisfy ourselves by drinking excessively or taking drugs, we wind up feeling far worse down the line. What begins as our best friend soon becomes our worst enemy. If you are in this category and you don’t know this already — you will.
Addiction befriends us in many guises: food, sex, relationships, religion, mindless entertainment, self-help workshops, gurus, priests and pastors, mentors and friends. They can all become powerful addictions, satisfying the fear of owning our lives and taking productive action. Avoidance is highly addictive.
But our drive for satisfaction is not to blame; we just misdirect it. Sometimes we seek satisfaction in all the wrong places.
“There are moods in which we court suffering in the hopes that here at least, we shall find reality, sharp peaks and edges of truth.”
…Ralph Waldo Emerson
Perhaps all we need is some self-understanding. It’s not difficult to understand why we choose as we do. No one is an essentially bad person. The sinner and the saint are both searching for satisfaction. They just don’t see the same choices or the same correlations between cause and effect.
If we understand ourselves more deeply, we can choose differently. We can take greater control of our lives and create true satisfaction and fulfilment.
We buy into the promise of instant satisfaction, because we feel a void within us and we want to fill it. That void is the gap between where we are and where our spirit is calling us. Instead of bridging that gap with actions that will take us there, we avoid it with one or all of the following:
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Sexual addiction
- Constant busyness
- False friendships
- Money and work obsessions
- New romantic relationships
- Religious self-righteousness
- Over-reliance on gurus and workshops
- Inappropriate humor
- Habitually retreating into the comfort of the known
- Tuning out by tuning in to constant TV or Internet
We silently hope that in retreating from our challenges, we will satisfy ourselves without having to leave the security and comfort of what we are accustomed to.
Would we be so willing though, to indulge ourselves in these ways if we could see the price that we will pay for our satisfactions?
If we could view our life from a future perspective, would we be truly satisfied knowing that we have stayed in the past because we were too afraid or too lazy to move into our future? Would we consider our avoidance and indulgences worth the cost? We both know the answer to those questions.
We could excuse ourselves by saying that this isn’t a perfect world, but isn’t our perception predicated on our choices? We can choose to screw it up in any way imaginable, or we can create true satisfaction by bridging those dark voids in life with constructive thought and positive action.
True satisfaction is purchased with courage.
Over to you now!