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The Means not the End, Gratification as a Source of Energy
Have you ever heard the phrase “The great thing about chopping wood is that it warms you twice”? I like this perspective because it highlights the value in everything, functions that are multiple and hidden benefits accessible from appreciating every interaction, pleasure attainable from maintaining positive focus on the presence of whatever makes up one’s reality.
Whereas at a more narrow perspective one could moan and groan about having to chop the wood, curse the sweat dripping into one’s eyes and complain about the callouses forming on one’s hands, which do you think will feel better and have more prosperous relationships during, and not just at the end of the day? Yes, we all know who we prefer to be around, the one who is allowing and at peace, how to be more like them?
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in cultures where gratification is an end goal, a future possibility that distracts from the purpose of the task at hand. We do things that don’t really matter to us in order to get something out of it, and live in a world where reward and punishment are the norm placed by authority figures in order to control us. We’ve grown in families, in schools and workplaces that teach us deeply ingrained methods of transaction rather than the pursuit of experiences that lead to inner transformation. We’ve learned to uphold quests for triumph in return for praise and materialistic things, rather than giving fuel to the fire of our own innate natural desires that do not seek exchange, only growth. But when we are in the flow of doing things for the love of it, without attachment to any outcome, we are free from the stress that comes from demands and control of external forces such as goals set and installed notions of ‘deserving’, without these strings attached we can rather enjoy accomplishing the fruition process and all that goes into it.
Health and vitality tend to come from intrinsic motivators based on choice of what means towards what ends. True gratification requires an alignment of guts, hearts and minds (instinct, emotion and intellect) to feel which direction the inner compass is pointing, bringing us towards our ever shifting horizon of desires. Knowing what truly matters and changing our perspective to make things truly matter makes life all the more worth living.
Gratification relies on our senses, our positive feedback sensations of relief moving towards joy that result in gratitude. Gratification being closely linked to gratitude, can be differentiated by acting on an intention to please, leading to a state of being pleased. As an example, I felt really gratified recently when I had my concerns listened to and was completely grateful when my friend promised to take my perspective into consideration from then on. I approached this situation in the non-violent communicative form of stating my feeling worry, pointing out what lead to that, stating a need for reassurance and requesting a change in behaviour, open to what this partner felt was appropriate and working to get us on the same page. Our meeting of minds lead to a mutual feeling of strength and support and I can tell you I feel blessed to be surrounded by people who validate my opinion and happy that I am confident enough to let things play out creatively with our common awareness, our energy moving in the same direction with the same intentions that make us feel good.
I send these shared blessings to you from Cataluña where it interests me the common word for thanks is ‘gracies’, the English word for ‘grace’ evidently coming from the same Latin root. Additionally another thankful phrase extending from the proximity to France is ‘mercy’, both words inviting a state of harmony and acceptance of come whatever may, giving thanks to the relieve of suffering and energy to the cultivation of compassion. This sense of surrender and gratitude can dissolve the ego in the face of a greater collective consciousness and open one to receive the many lessons life has to offer our expansion, it is up to us to recognise these blessings that with a limited judgemental perspective have become disguised.
Ultimately we can observe a world of contrast, light and dark, presence and absence, wanted and unwanted, the list goes on. To use gratification as a source of energy, we need to put our attention on what is, rather than what is not, the light, the presence, the wanted and welcome that which informs us of how close to or how far from the track we are. We do not need external motivators that are based on fear and lack, all we need is a sense of meaningful excitement and the right thoughts, words and actions that keep that internal fire burning in a state of freedom and grace.
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