Wanting Within, Wanting Without


I have a tendency to fall victim to the most prevalent diseases in the Western world: I am ill of want. I’ve got a case of the “Gimme Gimme’s”. The moguls of media have me dead in their sights and have hit me with a barrage of advertisements that me sick of the things I have, and leave me with ache for a tonne of things that I couldn’t possibly use. I know that these things will just make me want even more of the stuff that I could never use; buy, regret, repeat.

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes 1 front

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha (attributed)

The problem is that I am wanting without. I am wanting things. I am wanting so much, that I am losing sight of the greatness around and within me – the love I already have. With this realization I’ve diagnosed my disease and I am able to refocus my desires inward. I turn off the TV, throw out the magazines, put on some soulful music, and hold a deep, deep conversation with one of my younger children about where the wind comes from (They have the best ideas, I promise you I’ve never been so informed, and laughed so hard – they are natural performers/teachers).

Breathing deep and slowly now, and promising that for as long as I can (seconds, minutes, hours?!) I am going to focus inwardly and look within myself for what I want. This is a quick list of wants, not necessarily needs, and this is just for today (tomorrow’s wants are TBA 🙂 )

  • I want to laugh . . . and laugh and laugh (Till my cheeks and tummy hurts. You get the picture)
  • I want to share a special glance with my Love. Our eyes locking and our souls connecting, not long, just a glance will do the trick.
  • I want to hold some truth. I want to hear something that will help me understand myself, the world, and how I am supposed to reconcile my relationship with the world, and my soul with eternity.
  • I want to feel heroic!
  • I want to be energized and excited, and in control.
  • I want to celebrate life and love.
  • I want to help others. I want to know that I’ve helped create some peace.
  • I want to breath peace.
  • I want to keep this focus.
  • I want to be able to forgive myself when I fail.

It seems obvious why I’m doing this doesn’t it? These wants from within are much more rewarding to fulfill than those wants from without. When I fulfill and inward want, I am left with the most important currency of life: peace and good memories. When I fulfill a want from without, I am left with regret, remorse, and eventually feel more naked than I was before.

I love that there is a sign in the back that says "Do Not Touch" - Let's be honest: some pretty funny pictures were probably taken before that sign went up

I love that there is a sign in the back that says “Do Not Touch” – Let’s be honest: some pretty funny pictures were probably taken before that sign went up

I’m not saying that you can’t go out and buy good things. What I am saying is that it is easy (for me at least) to get caught up in the advertisements that lure me into thinking that what I already have, isn’t good enough.  Or worse, the advertisements that try to teach us what ‘normal’ is with Mom, Pop, Skip and Sis, dog/cat, all smiles and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip – No real person/family can stack up against that, and that’s not fair.

Who else just read this in Stewie's voice?

Who else just read this in Stewie’s voice?

Today I am smiling, though I am on my guard. The media is ubiquitous and so we need to be on our toes. Maybe we should get some nice shoes for those toes? Nike is telling me, not asking, telling me to “Just do it”. Maybe not today Nike. Mind your manners.

Call me old fashioned but I do appreciate good manners, thank you very much :)

Call me old fashioned but I do appreciate good manners, thank you very much 🙂

(Story Time!) As an example of this illness of want, I can share a story from a friend (I asked him, and he doesn’t mind). So, I have a friend with a very, very, expensive surf board. He is fascinated by what he calls ‘surf culture’ and he ‘had to get a wicked surfboard’. So he read up on the topic of boards, looked at the plus/minus of the different brands and eventually saved up the money to buy a top of the line board. I remember asking him why he chose brand X board (not the real name) and he said that it was because it was the most expensive and so he felt that it must be the best. I asked him if it was the best board, and he said that it was way out of his league as a beginner, but he wanted it anyway. We, the people who love him, laughed a little and gently teased him some, but don’t think we are mean until you have heard the best part of the story: My friend lives in the middle of North America. On the prairies where the chance of a wave larger than 6 inches is pretty unlikely – and those waves are waves of wheat!

Woah! Hang Ten!

Woah! Hang Ten!

4 Responses to “Wanting Within, Wanting Without”

  1. I really like what you’ve said and pictures are well chosen. I have to admit I did indeed hear Stevie’s voice. I think no matter who or where we are in life we all get the “gimmes”. Somehow these objects bring us a spark of happiness, unfortunately it does’t last long enough. By the way did your friend actually ever get to go surfing on real waves?

    • My friend kept the board for a few years. It slowly found it’s way to a closet somewhere, and then when he married and moved in with his wife, they had so much stuff that he sold it. He was OK with it. He got as much joy from it as a guy could in the middle of the country. We still (kindly) laugh about it 🙂

  2. Read this some days back (takes ages for me to write in English) the statue picture had me stitches. Poor thing..

    Love your post and your choice of photo’s. Made me smile (still does) you’re a very gifted writer!

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