Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A plague of extras, a stoic reflection

I look around me and see what's eating at everyone: Everyone wants extras.

Extra money. Extra clothes. An extra house. And extra free time.

Extra girlfriends and wives. Extra sex. Extra food. Extra people to do thy bidding.

Extra status. Extra everything.

What is it about us that makes us so dissatisfied with what we have? How could we calm the storm brewing inside of us?

Certainly we have the opportunity to find peace within. A beginning point is to properly see what we have before us. When we view our wife, is she enough? Our money, is it enough? Our food, is it enough?

A second step is to properly assess what it is that is driving us to want more. Usually, this is some self deficiency. We crave more because we are trying to fill some void, some lack we feel within. It is because we feel disconnected from what makes us whole that we are constantly seeking more.

So what makes us whole?

Part of what makes us whole is when we cease to constantly look outside ourselves for validation. The feeling that everything is right and that we don't need more is available to us at any moment. Yet, we must quiet the voice in us that tells us that we need to look here or there for more. That we need to get extra this or that.

An irony is how little we can enjoy what we have when constantly seeking more. Dog with two bones.

So, do you allow the need for more to plague you and distract you from what is at hand? Or do you take a deep breath and look at what you have and properly appreciate it?

In a similar way, when we confront something which has happened to us, a disappointment for example, the amount of time that the feeling of disappointment lasts can usually be prolonged by us. Certainly in life we face disappointments, they are unavoidable. Perhaps we don't get a job we want. It is perfectly natural to have some feeling of disappointment, of being let down. Yet, sometimes we seem to crave more out of the experience. We prolong the agony by going over and over again what led up to it, what occurred during it, what we might have done differently, and so forth. To some degree we can learn from such mental gymnastics, but past a certain threshold we are only increasing our misery- and likely the misery of those around us as well.

We have an ability to let things go before they tip us over. How often we cling to the extras and observe ourselves being capsized by our own hand.