The Search For Satisfaction

The Search For Satisfaction

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“Only  the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”    Dalai Lama

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”    Charles Spurgeon

“But I do know we’re deficient in some way. We are too involved in materialistic things, and they don’t satisfy us. The loving relationships we have, the universe around us, we take these things for granted.”     Mitch Alborn  Tuesdays with Morrie

“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”     Ann Voskamp
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

I realized the other day, how much influence media has on our lives. If any of us know how manipulating it is we perhaps would be horrified. It leads us through a path of  never ending wants not needs. Actually all the wants take up more and more of our time. If we get the boat we have to clean, store and maintain it. Nobody helps us with that kind of work. Pools likewise require a lot of hard work with maintenance issues. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if any of it is worth our time effort and trouble.When I was younger the place I lived in was gorgeous to me at the time. Of course now, I might infer it was simply adequate. What changed my mind? Why do I not have the same image I had when I was younger? I believe it has to do with time media and the influence of others. We as a people are always trying to improve our lives. upgrading our lives means more material comfort. We honestly believe that if we had enough money to buy enough things it would make life easier and comfortable.

When I think about the years I spent in other places, I had just as many wonderful times. I recall being happy. I do not remember ever having a day where I said if only I lived over there. So it almost appears to be a self-inflicted desire for more and a self-inflicted feeling of deprivation. I mean this in the wanting sense rather than the needing sense. If I had no access to the view of a different lifestyle I might not ever realize there was anything “better” out in the world.

Going deeper with this requires that we question what “better” means. Is it brainwashed into our minds to strive for more? Is it a trick to get people to buy more things out of want rather than need? Certainly it warrants our attention. I love to consider what it would be like to have a vacation home, condo at a resort, huge house with gardens and indoor pools and people to maintain it.  Then I consider how bored I really would be sitting down doing nothing. I suppose some people do this but I would get antsy.

To me the small garden and patch of flowers is something I tend to myself. The pleasure I derive is from the nurturing itself.  The blooms of the flowers fill me with thoughts of gratitude and awe as I observe the shaded colors of the flower petals.  When I weed or dig I observe the insects running for their lives as my shovel pierces the dirt. I see worms burrowing in deeper and I hear birds singing along with the buzzing insects. I guess it is the whole atmosphere of enjoyment. My garden is more natural because I don’t give it total attention. Then again I don’t have to because nature likes the freedom and I like nature.

I must admit a lot of pleasure comes from the times we give our time and effort to others. The  sense of worth seeps through our whole body as we contemplate another’s happiness derived from our goodwill. You cannot buy those moments. They are experienced through our senses and speak a stronger truth to us than any media device.

You won’t hear any commercial espousing the happiness derived from one’s own home and backyard. They want us to want more so things will sell. They don’t tell you that if you are rich you have others maintain your things and your life basically. You are left with little time to give anything any serious attention. You trust no one and protect yourself from everyone. I am not really sure when these people even take a look at what they have. When do they obtain happiness from their objects.

On the other side of it, if you are well off you are stuck with the maintenance of your toys. You can’t pay others for the upkeep. That leaves you little time to enjoy them. You find yourself always talking about your latest toy acquired because you have a need for others to condone your buying it. If they are pleased and impressed then we think we did the correct thing. If we could read the minds of other people we might be surprised at what we might find out.

I don’t mean to insult anybody but there are few rich people and many people who sense loss at not having many toys. Instead of reflecting on desires for items that likely won’t bring you the comfort you are planning on, contemplate the beauty around you that is free. I really mean it because the more I see of nature even in a minor snowstorm, the more I realize we have been fooled as to what it means to be happy. Remember the snowball fights and the forts built out of snow? Recall the laughing you experienced until you fell into the wet snow.

The pleasure of the company of friends outweighs a lonely trip anywhere. I enjoy visiting places as much as anybody but the trips are short and not always as significant as I had in mind. If we change the road map in our minds regarding where we are heading, we might find pleasure happiness and contentment right around the corner. It was always there just hidden behind the sparkling entrapment’s of man made desires.

It is important to know when you have had enough and you step off of the wheel of fortune. It has too many falsehoods and promises that are not real. I have concluded that people are real. They have their flaws and they bring their disappointments but they are forever full of surprises and they hold empathy, compassion, tolerance and steadfastness. We will never find those qualities in the best most expensive item we can find. If we were offered to select between an island full of food and toys but no  people or a comfortable life with people we love what would we choose?

We all work so hard for more pleasures which we don’t have time to enjoy. We are overlooking those treasures in front of us. Those chasing false dreams may view us with disdain if we stop searching for their types of pleasure. Don’t take their bait and strive after false dreams. You won’t ever find them. Open your eyes and follow your own path to the richness of happiness amongst those you love. That is where you will find contentment and peace. It is always with us because it is within us not out there in the world. The search is over and a sense of satisfaction takes hold.

“Human happiness and human satisfaction must ultimately come from within oneself.”         Dalai Lama

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”    Seneca

“Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want; It is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have.”


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