May 01, 2009
I'm going to sidebar today to speak about craving (but don't worry, it's very relevant to the story).
We speak of craving alot in recovery. But I don't think many people understand the concepts behind craving deeply enough to contend with the power of its force.
Craving is, by definition, the act of feeling an active desire for an object or goal that one feels the need to have in order to fulfill a need or to achieve satisfaction (happiness).
So we are in essence, speaking about desire.
Human beings have desires all the time. We actually are a conglomeration of needs and desires. We spend our days in attempts to fulfill these desires.
There are two types of desires. Short term, easily obtained desires that give immediate gratification and long term, difficult to obtain desires.
The problem is when focus shifts too far towards the long term desires, the short term desires will often begin to lose the power to give temporary satiation and satisfaction.
Long term desires are distant future goals. Our thinking becomes shifted and seated entirely in the future.
The result of this? People begin to look for even quicker ways to fulfil immediate desire.
But in the end, it still fails. Because the FOCUS is still on the long term larger desires that remain unfulfilled.
They lose the ability to achieve short term desire fulfillment and remain in a state that is unhappy and unsatisfied.
The irony here is even should a person fulfill his or her long term desires and goals, they still remain, in the long run unfulfilled.
Because you need that short term desire fulfillment. It's essential to a person's survival.
But you've already unwittingly trained yourself out of the habit of recognizing and achieving short term desires. Ironically, you've also trained yourself out of the habit of recognizing the fulfillment of long term desires.
Which leaves a person pretty screwed. ;-)
This was one of the simplest yet hardest lessons I myself had to learn.
The first step of this is to shift your thinking from the future to the present. Stop dwelling on the past. You have to learn to live in the present at first.
Open your eyes and mind to the world around you. If you spend time just observing the world around you, you will find that you can begin to have appreciation for little things of seemingly no consequence that APPEAR to have no relation to your everyday life.
But they do. Everything is interconnected. By existing just in the present, just in the now, you can begin to reconnect with the world in a way you never have before. You will belong in a way you have never felt before. This brings a fulfillment of desire that is unmatched by any drug, car ownership, job... anything mere possession or task. It is subtle and hard to recognize at first, because you are unused to it. But the more you come to awareness of it, the greater the sense of fulfillment you will get from it.
Everything is interconnected, and you are a part of it.
There's an old quote from a book that I took to heart. A human is commiserating with his wolf companion about all his hopes and desires that have fallen in failure and remained unfulfilled.
The wolf doesn't understand the problem. He says;
"Why can't you just be happy with what you have? The sun is warm on your skin, this grass is comfortable to sleep on. Our bellies are full on our recent kill. What more could there be to life than that?"
His companion complains; "I don't think you can understand this. Being a human being is very complicated."
The wolf replies; "Be a Wolf. It's much easier."
So try living in the present for a time. Learn the simple pleasure of the world you are a part of. Shut down your train of thought.
Be a Wolf.
It's much easier than being a human.