Balancing Desire with Contentment

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It’s a fine line we walk between wanting more and feeling satisfied with what we have. Desire is unavoidable — it comes with the territory. Our experience helps us realize what we prefer and what we’d rather avoid. The natural result of this process is desire — desire for more of whatever we prefer.

Perhaps our desire for more is the very same urge to expand and grow that’s in all life. The tiny acorn is wired to burst forth into a mighty oak tree. It doesn’t worry or care if this process is good, bad or indifferent — it’s just the way things are. Could this thing we feel called desire be the same force that keeps the entire universe growing, expanding and becoming more?

We humans are unique (as far as we know) because we experience this irresistible urge for growth consciously. Other species grow, develop and change instinctually, but we do it deliberately, consciously, on purpose.

Universal Sense Organs

Could it be that the universe itself benefits from our individual experiences with desire and the resulting manifestation? We provide the eyes and ears to help the entire cosmos know itself a little bit better, in all its glorious, ever-expanding diversity. In the same way, perhaps our contribution provides “All That Is” with experiences in desire and the deliberate manifestations that result from these primal urges.

Desire Used to Be Considered Negative

There are some ancient, but still popular teachings that say desire is something to be ignored or denied — subjugated. Perhaps in other times, in other cultures, that idea made sense because of rampant poverty and huge populations. Or, maybe the ruling class found it easier to control the masses if they could be “trained” to want nothing. The idea of abundance was worlds away from the day-to-day experience of the average person living in such a culture.

Rampant Consumerism

There are still people living with these very limiting ideas, of course, but this day and age is different. Today, many people have made their reality the opposite extreme. They want everything and they want it right now. Their whole life is about getting more stuff and guarding the stuff they’ve already got.

“Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.” – Og Mandino

What’s the Real Cost

Abundance consciousness is a healthy, empowering state of mind, but when it is undisciplined and out of control, the question presents itself: Abundance at what cost?

So many people seem willing to trade it all for abundance (or their current concept of abundance). In the course of a lifetime, they trade their health, their family, their friends, often even their integrity for that fleeting carrot in the sky — wealth. To me that’s not a very smart trade.

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha (563?-483? BC)

All the stuff eventually rusts, corrodes, gets eaten by bugs and turns to dust anyway. So again, the question is: All this frenzied activity about getting more and more . . . at what cost? If contentment and satisfaction are never experienced due to the relentless pursuit of “more,” isn’t that an unreasonably high price to pay?

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.” – Bern Williams

Peace from Balance

So, the trick is to find the balance. There’s a middle ground to be found where deep feelings of contentment and satisfaction are spiced with the delicious excitement of something more on the horizon.

A natural result of contentment is a warm feeling of appreciation — gratitude for all that has already been manifested. Satisfaction plus gratitude plus excited expectation is a good recipe for successfully launching new desires. From this balanced state, the principles of creative manifestation are more efficiently utilized.

From this easy-going state of balance, it’s easier to keep your attention focused on what you want to attract, rather than all the things you want to avoid.

“When we create something, we always create it first in a thought form. If we are basically positive in attitude, expecting and envisioning pleasure, satisfaction and happiness, we will attract and create people, situations, and events which conform to our positive expectations.” – Shakti Gawain (b. 1948)

To Want — Deeper Meanings

The opposite state of mind is one of desperate neediness. In this impoverished mental attitude, your attention is riveted tightly to the lack of whatever you desire. From that state you “want” — notice the other meaning Webster’s attributes to the word want: “Deficiency, need, lack, scarcity. To want is to be without that which contributes to comfort or is desired . . . What we ‘want’ would meet artificial desires, what we ‘need’ would satisfy real requirements.”

The Bottom Line of a Succesful Life

So what do we need? The bottom line seems to be that we need happiness, which includes a measure of contentment. To really relax into the moment and feel genuine, deep satisfaction, desires must be under control. It’s useless to deny them or dislike them. But it does seem healthy to keep them balanced with the other profoundly important things in life — happiness, personal satisfaction and contentment.

“Unless each day can be looked back upon by an individual as one in which he has had some fun, some joy, some real satisfaction, that day is a loss.” – Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) – 34th US President

Today, as I was walking around our house, I really appreciated it. It’s cozy, warm and homey. Sure, a bigger house would be fun, but for right now, I feel grateful, content and satisfied with what we have. These same feelings apply to our recording studio, art studio, and vehicles. I feel genuinely satisfied and content, but still okay with the idea of something bigger and better (more) on the horizon, already heading our way.

Feeling Out Loud

If feelings could talk, this feeling I am enjoying would sound something like this: I love my life and all the “stuff” that we have manifested so far. I am grateful, satisfied and content with all of it. At the same time, I feel an exciting tingle of expectation for all the bigger and better “stuff” and experiences that are already on the way as a result of the universe noticing what we prefer and what we choose to avoid. Yes, universe — more of this and this and this please — it all feels so good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

Listen FREE to the songs below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
Trash Our Treasures
People seem to have a history of awarding seemingly insignificant details with places of prominence in our lives, while ignoring or even destroying the most important aspects.

Stuff, Stuff, Stuff, Stuff, Stuff
About all the stuff you’ve been keeping that’s not good enough to actually use, but it’s way too good to throw away.

May You Have Joy
Have you ever felt a warm appreciation for someone in your life, and just wanted to wish them well?

A Heartbeat in Eternity’s Highway
In the grand scheme of things, what’s the difference between a single moment and all of eternity? What’s the point of reference?

Soul in the Stars
It feels good to try to see the bigger picture once in awhile,and to focus on gratitude for what we have, rather than the frustration of what we are lacking.

You Gotta Have Fun
Our moments are fleeting . . . and finite. Too few to squander on "bad news". We must steer our attention deliberately in order to attract the kind of life we were born to live.

Songs by Tupelo

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This is the end of the article entitled Balancing Desire with Contentment published by Tupelo Kenyon on November 16, 2007 at 5:00 am | In Awareness, Belief Systems, Law of Attraction, Manifestation, Productivity, Purpose - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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