What Gives You Deep Joy?
Have you let others put you in a prison?
Father Anthony DeMello in one of his exquisite meditations invites you to consider two scenarios.
In the first, you have done something that is difficult and considered by many to be a great accomplishment.
Perhaps you were promoted to CEO or you were awarded a prestigious prize or you won some major competition or you were honored at a special reception because you did something notable for a worthy cause. There were persons applauding you and saying how great you were. And there were persons who were jealous of you and others for whom you became a role model.
You felt good.
And in the second scenario you met up with a good friend with whom you were out of touch. You had a few beers and sat by the fire and caught up with each other and talked about shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.
You felt good.
Which of these would you like to have more of in your life?
The first is scenario is ego driven. It requires someone to acknowledge your superiority in some manner and also that others are found wanting because you were the ‘winner’.
And, even though you ‘won’ you lose in a subtle way.
Because you now become addicted to the drug of approbation and begin to tailor your thoughts and actions to get more of it. And more and still more.
Your need to get approval from others becomes your prison.
That approval is fickle. It comes and it goes. Frequently it does so rapidly.
The second scenario touches you at a deeper level. There is no one-upmanship. You are not caught in the jail of other’s expectation. There are many ways in which you can reach that same emotional domain and a powerful one is to contemplate nature – a beautiful sunset, a rainbow, a blanket of white snow covering everything in sight.
Chart your life so you have many more instances of scenario #2 in your life.
By all means strive to get the rewards of scenario 1 but never forget the wonderful injunction by Rudyard Kipling: “…If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same, … And then you will be a Man, my son!”