As I’ve watched the O.J. Simpson documentary this week, I feel a great sadness for him, his family and Nicole Brown’s family. He wanted fame. He wanted adoration. He wanted Nicole, and other women, but still he wanted the loyalty and devotion of Nicole. He wanted control. He wanted respect. He wanted nice things. And now, ultimately he has none of those things.
He was human. Most people want and reach for these things – love, nice things, respect. And, yes we want control. We work toward controlling the outcomes of our reality. You may think ‘Oh no not me.’ But, do you mow your yard? You want it to look a certain way at all times, right. I know people who get depressed when their grass starts getting a little long. No worries if that is you – we’re all human here.
Desire is part of the human condition. But, there is something we must recognize. It is the cause of all mental pain. Think about it. Wanting can produce feelings from mild irritation to sadness to rage (as was O.J.’s case). The thing about wanting is it produces a feeling of lack. And, lack just plain feels bad.
So, what is the solution? It is simple. Want what you have and don’t want what you don’t have. Yes, it is that simple. Authentic happiness is that simple. Whenever you feel emotional discomfort, pull up above your ego mind and say to yourself, “There goes that ego again – wanting and feeling bad about things out of its control. I have everything I need and will choose to not engage with these thoughts.” Then switch the channel to thoughts of all the things in your life for which you feel grateful. There’s more you can do as well, and over time we will get to those things too.
Here’s something deeper to ponder. Desire and fear, two things that cause all your lower level emotions, are actually at the deepest level born out of self-love. Desire is a result of us looking to things in the world and thinking that they will make us happy. We reach for those things out of self-love. But, as we all know, once we’ve attained that shiny new car we wanted, a week later the shine of happiness for it has dulled and over time completely fades. Nothing that we can reach for in the world will ever give us more than a fleeting moment of happiness. But, here’s the double edge of desire. It sparks all creation. Something has to first be wanted before action is taken and something is created. Some of the finest inventions, organizations in the world started with a desire, not to mention some of the most loving relationships. So, moving toward desires but remaining detached from the outcomes, flexible and grateful in each moment is a path to a more graceful journey. Oh, and I mentioned fear as a form of self-love. Yes! What is fear more than an intense feeling of self-preservation – self-love.
As always, I’d love your thoughts on this! Blessings!