Monday, March 16, 2009

Still Trying

Last week's piece about the chocolate dream sparked much debate. The issue of satisfaction touched a raw nerve! The concern seems to be over whether satisfaction is a destination or the journey itself. Are you satisfied with your life?

We're all striving for total satisfaction but most of the time the torrent of complaints and negative thoughts in our heads put us far from nirvana. They say satisfaction equals happiness. If it does, then, seemingly, there are many unhappy people out there. Something's wrong with this picture!

Strikes me that a lack of clarity about what motivates our journey is the reason that we (often unconsciously) opt for mediocrity and satisfaction evaporates into the ether.

Getting there
Here in South Africa, there's a phrase you will hear often when you ask people how they are - 'oh, I'm trying' or 'we're getting there'. Well, that says it all!

It's true to say that we're all 'getting there' as we ebb and flow through life's journey, but each time we say 'I'm trying', there's a tape that plays 10 times over in our heads repeating the same phrase. Hardly surprising then, when I meet the same person next week, she's still trying.

Trying to do what? Trying to be what? The problem is that vague, open-ended thoughts end up in murky waters called depression. Being specific is vital to our very being in this world. In that specificity we automatically jump from trying to being, from visualising to actualising our dreams.

Unbridled consumerism
Yes, you've heard it all before but are you listening to your heart? Having nurtured a culture of unbridled consumerism, the external messages saying 'take me!' often ring louder, resonate deeper than those that are within.

Some may argue - it's not our fault. After all, we've grown up in cultures where consumption is literally ingrained into our psyche. Unless we're consuming and demonstrating our capacity to consume, we somehow feel inferior - even within ourselves; forget the Jones family next door!
When you check it out, happiness will continue to elude us because often we're so lost in the act of consuming that we lose our grip on the reason why we wanted it in the first place.
Culturally speaking, whether our life spaces are in Africa, Europe or the Caribbean, the philosophical orientation impacts our understanding of consumption and satisfaction.

Combat desperation
In various parts of Africa, I often hear the message of acceptance in the face of gloom. 'It wasn't meant to be', 'it wasn't for you' and 'God didn't want it that way'. However you slice it up, it means the same thing! Some things in life are tough, but it needn't be the end of the world or your cue for desperation.

This culturally reinforced anchor keeps people strong. Strength is gained from living in the now. Total satisfaction may still be a milestone away but in acceptance, the vision is reinvigorated.
I'm for effortless ecstasy on a never-ending street called desire. Here's to you knowing your hearts desire and daily satisfaction!

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