Often our quest for material possessions is our attempt to fill a space within us. A desire to fit in. A desire to belong. A desire to be loved, admired or respected. A desire to feel like enough.
It may work temporarily. We may get that recognition, that comment, that bit of a high when getting something new. But it will never last. Not when it is based on material possessions. This is a lesson that has been learned a billion times over. However, if we can learn to find joy in what is abundantly available to us all, then we can find a sustainable joy. We can find a deep feeling of purpose, of belonging, of completeness. The earth provides us what we need to exist in a deeply fulfilling manner. If we can learn to appreciate the ground underneath each step, to admire the sky above, to find joy in the air on our skin, to cherish the smell of blooming flowers or simply of wet dirt, to find wonder in the most common of creatures, then we can reasonably hope for a long-term fulfilling existence.
Not all moments will take place in a river with stunning beauty flowing in every drop. But beauty is present in every moment of our existence. It’s clear that our existence is as much a matter of how we perceive it, as it is a matter of the physical surroundings. Even in a bleak city on a cloudy day, the vibrantly green plants are breaking through the concrete, or the miracle of a raindrop is falling on our noses, or a snowflake is fluttering down to the ground.
This is why I don’t feel a need for large amounts of money. This is why I can be satisfied with the basics of possessions. Because I’m already full. The earth fills me with what I need with each breath I take and each blink of my eyes. Sure, I don’t feel clear and joyous at all times. Far from at all times. And sometimes I want what I don’t need. I still seek reassurance. But I have come so far in the last decade, day by day, month by month, year by year. I have become more complete by letting the world complete me. I’ll never make it as far as I’d like to. But if I can consistently look back and know that I’m in a slightly better place now than I was before then I’ll have lived a life truly worth living.
Photo by Sierra Ford Photography