Everything that I need is not outside of me
There are so many advertisements for seemingly everything that we need (or think we need) being sent to our ear and eye gates, from the time that we pick up our morning newspaper, to when we get inside our cars. There's literally someone constantly reminding us of how imperfect we are and how their product will help us get to an impossible state of being. Very rarely, almost never, will you see a clear and visible sign saying just look within. It profits a corporation nothing to make consumers aware that they don't have to spend all their resources (I use that term loosely) to be fulfilled, so it becomes our job to be more conscious of the things that we truly need and to also decipher what’s to be let go.
Think about what is truly needed to survive. Food, water, shelter will of course be the basics, so where did electronics, excessive clothing, and the other material possessions come from? If I've learned anything, it’s that corporations who make advertisements don’t do so to adhere to consumer’s desires but more so to CREATE them. Growing up, I never knew that I needed to have an Atari to complete my Saturday mornings until Atari manufacturers contacted the marketing department and created an entire advertising campaign around me sitting in the the house versus me going outside and doing something more productive and creative. I never thought about playing a video game because I didn’t know what it was until they told me. So Atari never sought to help me out by adhering to something that I wanted, they created the want. They inadvertently told me that if I had this gaming system, I would feel happy…so I must not be happy already, right? WRONG!!! The same thing happens over and over and over to all of us on a day to day basis. Had an Atari commercial never aired, my Saturday mornings would’ve continued to be the same joyful experience that it’d always been. For a child, that may be hard to understand but what about us? We spend much of time working to acquire things that an ad told us would help us be more fulfilled. If I only had this, or that, or this, I would be good. But if ads control your spending patterns, what happens when a new flood of them comes around again and they will. A new desire will be created, making you unhappy with what you currently have, and you’ll find yourself at the exact same place that you were before. So how do we change this pattern of thinking and escape the maze? Simply by searching within ourselves for what we truly need and already have access to.
When was the last time that you looked within yourself to see what’s going on, on the inside? Something like a checkup. Where you just sat quietly and evaluated how you were truly doing? I usually find myself doing this after prayer. If something has been constantly bothering me or if I just need to have that time alone with myself and my creator, I spend some time in prayer (which is a daily practice for the most part), I then meditate, and afterwards I may read the scripture. But what I find is that in those quiet moments is where I learn the most about myself and where I’m able to develop an opinion, diagnosis, and prescription. If we calmly just evaluate the things that have been bothering us, then we’ll see and hear the answers to our concerns more clearly. We won’t rely on a group of people to tell us what we need or provide a false sense of hope.
So the next time that you find yourself spending uncontrollably to fill a void, look within. You may just be due for a checkup.
Please share this with someone who you feel may benefit from it. I will also be posting on this for the next few days in my social media accounts listed below.