The opposition between what we want and what we really need

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Have you ever got that feeling you got exactly what you wanted in life but still you are not satisfied at all?
I invite you to read this work I wrote with a lot of inspiration but also with a lot of ambiguity because it's so close to us in our every day life. Like something inevitable we cannot escape. My work is not complete here, but I'm open to any suggestions or feedback. My language might not always be exemplary or custom but that's part of the way I write and speak. Gotta deal with it cuz that's the raw deal I'm giving ya. Either way, I hope you enjoy to read my piece and I'm expecting some constructive feedback soon from all of ya. Cheers!

Submitted: June 10, 2015

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Submitted: June 10, 2015

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The opposition between what we want and what we really need

Sometimes in life there are things we want so badly like all of our happiness depends on it. There’s something outside ourselves we desire more than life itself. We can call it our object of desire. It can be a person, a business, a journey, a new job, a house or whatever it is that keeps our heart and mind awake at night. We are so focussed on how to get it that we forget about other important aspects of life. We might forget about our friendships, our life partners, our parents, the job we have currently, other possible options that could lead us to higher levels of happiness and most of all we might even forget about ourselves. Some of the worst mistakes in life we make by forgetting our own needs. Never confuse needs with desire. What we really need in life might be as plain simple as trust and self-confidence, a real friend who’s there to listen when you are down, having a place you can call home, friends and family who are there when you need them the most and other people to share happiness and joy with. What we really need in life might be exact the same opposite of what we desire. They say what we really need in life are things which were always there right in front of us but the moment we desired anything else we forgot about them. We don’t miss what we don’t know is a simple but often true statement in life.

So when you are little there’s little to miss in life since there’s little to know. But when we grow older we get exposed to this world and all of its must haves. You can see this very clear with little kids and how they react when you take something out of their hands. They can’t deal with it because they don’t know how to put things in perspective. But then again I just wonder about a very, scary thought. Is it just in human nature to be egocentric and to believe everything we touch is ours? It already starts as a baby when you take a toy out of their hands. Later it moves on to the child next to them that has a toy they don’t have. They will scream and yell, drop themselves to the floor and even try to hit the other kid when they got a chance too. And all in our amusement we see these things as normal because that’s just what little kids do, right? That’s just the same thing we did when we were little rascals running around, beating each other up, putting nasty stuff in our mouth and crying and yelling when we didn’t get it our way.

But look at the adults. They are ten times worse but they like to believe they are so much more “civilized”, haha. We still keep kicking each other’s asses but only now in more sophisticated ways. We still keep settling scores and testing each other to see if you got balls enough. But I guess that’s what growing up is all about. I guess it has always been like this and it always will. Maybe that’s just the sad truth of humanity. We will never grow up and always stay little kids messing around wandering why this planet got fucked up in the first place, but cheers to the dreamers out there. But we always have to keep believing. Even if you don’t believe you gotta accept you’re in this same shit whether you like it or not. Whether you are responsible for anything or not. Life and its consequences doesn’t give a damn shit whether it was you or someone else who’s put co2 gasses in the atmosphere. Whether you like it or not you will be suffering along. That’s a cold reality when you look at it. So it is with every aspect in life.

It’s easy to give up hope when you look at humanity and all of the mess we got into. It makes it only more painful when you realize you are just one of the monkeys. Like, hell, we can’t escape our destiny. It’s just in our human nature to feel jealousy and to want what anyone else has around us. It goes deep into our basic animalistic instincts and so it is difficult to deal with this in real life. Part of it is curiosity which is a good thing since we wouldn’t be able to survive in this world without it. Other part is just plain simple egoism. It’s mine, not yours, give it back to me. So we fight our whole life long to gather things that are ours and nobody else has the right to take them away from us. Neither do we have to share anything unless we are willing to. You see how that works? Hell, I’m not better than anyone of yours. When I’m selling this book for real and getting some real money I’m gonna buy myself some nice house in the woods so I can get away from all you noisy people. And it will be my house and I won’t have to share it with anyone else. Unless I want too of course. And I will put a big alarm system at the gate so any of you little sneaky bastards that sets food on my ramp will get his ass kicked back from where it came. Cause that’s the law man, you know? The law that’s protecting us and civilization from killing ourselves like savages in some good old caveman fashion style. Yeah, that’s how it goes. We humans would never be able to live in peace together if there wasn’t any kind of law to force peace upon us. That’s just the sad truth. Kids need rules and authority to prevent them from doing dope shit. Since we are nothing more than sophisticated kids, there can be only a more sophisticated system to keep the mess together. But even the system is ruled by kids who fight each other in public to win the hearts and votes from the citizen kids. Cause a good fight, that’s what we all like to see, ain’t it? Well, I guess I have to stop insulting everyone as kids cause otherwise this book ain’t going to sell and bring me some money to buy all the cool stuff I ever wanted… Hell yeah, let’s just continue with the basic message I was trying to explain ya. The opposition between what we want and what we really need in life. Basically, only when you are missing elementary needs like a warm family to grew up in, a safe shelter to hide when you come home from a long day journey, a place where there is room for respect and trust or even your most basic physical needs like proper food, water and heath, only then will you know what real missing means. Let’s be honest to each other. Most of us here in the west got all of our basic physical needs insured from the day you were born. We even have too much from it. The real poverty in this day and age is lack of a little wisdom amongst the people. A little wisdom can go a long way if you start using it every day.

Aren’t we all looking inside ourselves for a safe and stable home? A family unit were we are more than welcome and accepted as the persons we are with all of our flaws and shortcomings as human beings. Don’t we desire being accepted as the person we are in this world the most of all? Don’t we desire to care for one another and to be cared for? In a world hard like this we might forget the most basic needs we have as a human being. Things like true unconditional love, affection and acceptation from the world around us. When we are human enough to see all of our own flaws and mistakes, would it not be a lot easier to see the world around us through a different rear-view? When you realize we are all in the same boat? Maybe not the same boat, but I’ll get back on that one later.

The objects we desire are often and almost every time nothing but an attempt to fulfil the empty holes inside ourselves. When we lost something in life so true and meaningful, like honesty, trust, purity or even love itself, often times we are not able to deal with the pain that’s left behind. Sometimes the pain is so deep we are not able to face it. We are not able anymore to look our most essential self being straight in the eye. Therefor we are not able anymore to live life the fullest. If we don’t deal with this pain right away it will become an obstruction in our future. It will become difficult to enjoy what’s really there because what’s really there is that pain in the back of your mind. It is the pain deep inside the bottom of your heart that stays there with you until the day you are able to face it or unfortunately to take it with you and your last breath in life. What is there with you is part of yourself or who you used to be as a person as whole. When you are not able to deal with what’s going on inside yourself, you won’t be able to accept yourself as a whole person, as someone who deserves to be loved and cared for. Whatever you do in life from that moment on, wherever your road takes you, whoever the people are you meet on that same road, you’ll never have that same inner piece again, that same inner joy that once made you smile without a reason just because life itself touched you’re heart and you were so happy to be alive and to be part of it.

Most of us struggle ourselves to life, day after day, doing the things we believe we are meant to be doing in this world. We try to live on autopilot and are more than happy when we reach our worldly goals. We focus on projects, we focus on money, we focus on status, we focus on social acceptation and being someone in life, we focus on a career, on studies, a life partner, preparing the way for kids, adventure, journeys, doing exciting things in life, trying to live life the most meaningful, to get the most out of it before you ever grow old and die.

All of this is very normal human behaviour. Even in the kingdom of animals you see certain kinds of hierarchy, status, work that needs to be done, life stages that one must go through, propagation and even the time to enjoy and relax life. This is all but normal and natural behaviour that comes with the circle of life. What we don’t seem to realize is that it’s not the circle of life that makes us happy or fulfilled. Whether you are a good girl or a good boy doing everything exactly by the book or you are an antagonist and a rebel who’s against every rule and boundary that life and society have constructed, one thing’s for sure, you won’t find happiness inside the circle. That doesn’t mean the circle is not for real. The circle is very real and everything that rises up in the circle must come down in the circle. There is no way out of it. Life and death, hunger and thirst, sickness and adversity. We all meet them on our way no matter how rich or powerful we are. But it’s also true that the strong ones survive or at least the longest. Being strong in this world today in first place means how you wear yourself through life. Being strong is an attitude. Not just a physical activity or looking like Rocky IV when he beats up that clown in the end scene. Not just a draw of luck in your genes but how you deal with the cards that have been given to you. Unfortunately nobody chooses his own cards. Still I see people with less than average cards wearing themselves through life with decency, proud and respect. These people wear themselves and don’t count on anybody to make life a little less harder for them. Whether they are happy or not I leave on the table since I can’t speak for them and words don’t always ring the truth. But I respect their mentality and whether they are really happy or not, mentality is the way to go through. It’s where it all starts. It’s where you are taking care of you. It’s where you are taking care of your own business. It’s where you decide how you wanna go through life. How you act, how you walk and how you talk. Beware of bad words coming out of your mouth cause they might be wandering around for the rest of your life. What’s said and done can never be taken back. It’s for life. You will lose people you didn’t want to lose. You will hurt people you never wanted to hurt and they will never be part of your life again. Not in the same way they once did when they still trusted you and respected you. They’re gone and broken trust is probably one of the most difficult things to heal in life. Better make sure you don’t break anything. Learn to think before you speak or be aware of the consequences and accept them as a man. But there’s nothing to be proud of as a man who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. It doesn’t even matter if other people don’t know when to seal their mouths. Make sure you can and you will. Be proud of yourself because you are better than them. Don’t let yourself in with bad mouthed people. Keep away from them as far as possible. Don’t let yourself get seduced to respond dirt with dirt. Keep your own dignity even if others don’t. The world is full of fools. Make sure you stay out of that zoo.

Sometimes we have less margin with people than we think we have. They might stay with us for a while, a long while or a short one, but because we keep fooling and messing around one day these people decide to walk out of your life for good. Maybe these people were for real with ya, maybe they opened their heart for you and were honest and sincere in every possible way. Maybe they had the best intentions coming out of their heart. But you couldn’t see it because you think life’s a joke. Because you think people shoulda respect you even when you don’t respect them. But in the end you always lose. You always lose.

So it starts with self-respect. Because no decent person starts without himself to be an excellent example. To himself and to other ones around him. Until you learn this lesson no one else can truly respect you as a person since you are lacking respect for yourself to begin with. You can’t show disrespect to other people and still be a respectable person yourself. But even if someone else shows you disrespect but you keep your dignity, you will be the most respectable person at that time and place. You should praise yourself if you have built that kind of character within you. Doesn’t matter if others respect you for it or not. It’s how you walk through life. It’s how you feel yourself when you are alone and there is no one else around you. Than you will find your true self. You have to live with him or her the rest of your life. Make sure you like yourself. Make sure you like your reflection in the mirror when you take a good look at it. See who you really are. Accept yourself as a person first but make yourself acceptable. It rings through in all your words and all your deeds. Everything you do in life has little or bigger consequences. Make sure the consequences are good or at least know you tried the hardest you could. Don’t live in a world where everything you touched once has a bad taste in its mouth. The world is a reflection of how you look at it and how you look at it is the same way you treat it. And so will the world treat you.

You can live in a dark place, in a dark spot where nothing can reach you. No happiness, no joy, no love and not even the sun shines in there. You only ask yourself, how do I get out of here? You can’t get out like that. Nobody can help you. No one can do it for you. No one else can pull you out of your dark zone unless you are ready to make it happen. To let life touch your heart again. To stop walking around full of judgements, bitterness, resentment and pure hate. Suppose you woke up tomorrow and all of your sorrows would be gone for good. All of your anger and poison inside would’ve left your soul and you could start a new life again as a whole different person. Somebody new you haven’t met before or forgot about a long time ago. You could leave your past behind and start all over again. Suppose you had this unique chance to start tomorrow. Would you grab it with both of your hands or would you let the chance slip away to get your own life on rails again? Wake up my friend, you have a chance right now while you are reading this. The only thing that’s holding you down is fear to change. That fear you must go through before you can walk out the other end of the tunnel. That fear you must face everything in your life that has gone wrong until now. To see with your own eyes and to feel with your own heart how much pain you feel for everything you have lost. For all these people who were once there but you pushed them away out of your life. The fear to face all of your mistakes. That’s what’s holding you back. But that’s not all. It is even bigger than that. I goes wider, further and deeper than that. Let’s face it, you don’t trust yourself as a person. You don’t have the least ambition to really change because you are afraid you won’t make it. You’re afraid you won’t be that strong. You’re afraid what it will do to you when you would really try. Afraid to face your own demons. To go deep enough before it ever becomes better. To walk through the valley in the shadow of dust you must go through and fall down on your knees before it ever goes away. You must leave all of your wrongful proud behind, become humble and accept how small and how little we really are in this world. How fragile we are as human beings. How easy it is to brake something that can’t be fixed. How you lost love and hope. The people you looked once up to and maybe they even looked up to you. That’s how deep you must go before it maybe but never guaranteed one day becomes better again. If you truly feel sorry for everything that has gone wrong, maybe one day you can rise up from the ashes you left behind when you burned your own soul in that moment of resentment. After you are long burned and crumbled down until nothing from who you were once survived the fire. That’s how deep you must dig before you ever see a ray of light again in your soul. That’s total collapse of your own ego and the false agenda’s you had in this world. No purity will ever come out of your heart before you reached that state of mind. That state of heart. That state of purity. You have to go all the way to hell and back to break the chains of bitterness and illusion. The chains that are holding your mental state in poverty. The chains that lock your heart from truly being a lovable person who can love without needing. Who can give without taking. Before you will break through you will have to break first.

There’s no way around it. No shortcut, no redirection unless you’re not really going for it, all the way. That’s the only deal you have. You take it or leave it but know the life you are living right now ain’t going to change not even if you lived a thousand years.

It’s not the circle itself that brings true peace and happiness in a person’s life. The circle is nothing more than chasing wild dreams and unfulfilled expectations or the hard reality that one must make his living to survive in this world. If the circle for you means chasing something outside of you to find happiness inside, I’m afraid the joke’s on you. If you already experience joy and peace inside than the circle is just a lifetime adventure with its ups and downs but nothing that keeps you away from you being you. You will see right through it and won’t get disappointed if not all of your expectations ran through or even if you had some real bad luck. Your happiness won’t depend that much anymore from outside events even though we remain connected with life as long as we live.

But when you never find happiness or true piece inside yourself the world will look like an evil place with people and situations going around which have nothing do to with you and don’t seem to care at all. It will almost look like this world likes to see you sad and lonely and other people around you are preventing you or even outright sabotaging you from finding happiness in this world. That’s how confused and disappointed we’ll become when we can’t find what we need inside ourselves. Because nobody else unfortunately can give you or bring you what you really need, that is yourself.

Does it mean there are no bad people trying to sabotage our happiness or joy? First of all we have to ask ourselves how we define bad people versus good people. Without going into religious dogmas I think we can simply sum it up like this: bad people are the ones that harm us and good people are the ones that help us out when we need them or at least are not standing in our way or trying to hold us down somehow. In a very simple manner I think most people experience the good versus the bad like this.

In reality however the good versus the bad thing is a bit more complicated than that. I have to admit it sounds very plausible that we experience people who harm us as bad and people who don’t as good. But when we try to look further than that and we look at motivation and intention sometimes we see very different factors at work. The “good” people who are trying to help us out with something might just be doing it for the sake of their own image, because they are getting something out of it or because they are depending on you to help them out later. Maybe they don’t give a rats ass about you or what you really need but at that moment it just comes as convenient to help you out. Also you might keep in back of your mind that some people will help you in a way that in the end doesn’t really help you at all or even put you in a more difficult spot than you were before. Sometimes because of ignorance, sometimes realizing all the way down things would go this way…

There’s nothing worse than false or jealous friends who are helping you out in a way it appears later they were backstabbing you all the time. So be aware of who your friends are or the so called “good people”. Like they say, with friends like these, you don’t need enemies. And unfortunately this often sounds true when you are not careful who you’re dealing with. Otherwise, some people might seem to be your biggest enemies at first sight, they outright don’t like you and even disrespect you as a person, sometimes without any given reason nor without any harm from your side. You two just met and somehow the other one can’t stand you. They just dismiss you and whatever you try to do or say to them, it doesn’t seem to change their attitude towards you. It seems they just didn’t like you at first sight and nothing is going to change anything about it. At least we can say they are honest in their own way even if they didn’t give you an honest chance as a person. At least they are not backstabbers because they made it clear to you from the very beginning they don’t want to deal with you in any way whatever the reason may be. That doesn’t mean you also have crazy ones who will stab your back for real or metaphorical if you don’t watch out with them. But still you know from the beginning they were not on your side to start with. They were not going to be your best buddies to hang out with or help you out in discomfort. So at least they stay true in their actions.

Where am I going with this? I was talking about how we experience the world around us in terms of bad people versus good people. I was pointing out that when you don’t find happiness inside yourself it will be very difficult to experience happiness in the outside world. Because when you are in a situation of emotional weakness or emotional need nobody can really help you out. Nobody can do it for you because that would imply you need other people to fill in your emotional needs or to relief your emotional pain. That would mean you depend on other people for your own wellbeing. Therefor you will never be free or experience real happiness in life. When you don’t find what you need inside yourself and you expect somebody else to fill it in for you, you will always depend on this person or another one. People with good intentions will get sucked emotionally dry by you until they have no other choice than to take a distance from you and eventually break every contact with you at all. People with bad intentions will see you as an easy and weak prey who they will try to use or even abuse to their own will. Sometimes in life we are just naïve and we fall prey to these kind of people but when we are strong enough we learn something out of it and probably won’t make the same mistake again. But when you are weak and these kind of people smell weakness from a quarter mile around you, than you will always fall prey to them and you get bullied around or misused as a person. Often times these people are weak as well and try to drag you down with them. The weak attract the weak even if in their own world they see themselves as though or strong. So you see it’s a two way cutting knife that’s sabotaging your own life when you have weakness inside of you. First of all you will push away all of the good people around you until no real friend is there for you anymore. Secondly, you will attract the wrong kind of people who will only see you as an easy prey, usable for their own purposes.

That’s why it is so easy to fall prey to thoughts like the world is an evil place that doesn’t want me to become happy. Nobody cares about me. No one is trying to help me to become happy or they even try to sabotage me by not helping me out. And that my friend, is the real deal breaker when you are wandering why you are not happy or fulfilled in life. Because first of all we have the responsibility to make ourselves happy and to take care of ourselves. Everyone should be aware of this from a young age that we are growing up to become independent people who take care of their own business. That counts twice for a man but I won’t discuss that any further here.

There’s a momentum in life we depend on the world and the people around us. We literally depend on them in every sense of the way. But they are just our teachers and guides and they will not be taking care of your sorry ass for the rest of your life nor are they perfect or even good teachers or good guides to start with. The moment you get this, there’s only one thing left to do, that’s making your own life. Don’t count on anyone else in life. Start counting on you. Start working with yourself. Whatever it is in life you want, you gotta be the one that turns the tide. You’re the one that’s controlling the ship that’s sailing away on its way to your adventures, your dreams, your disappointments and your failures.

You are the one who’s choosing the crew to work with. When you are not satisfied you can kick their sorry ass overboard and sail away because it’s your ship and you’re the captain of it. You decide who’s on it and who’s not. You make your own rules but the ocean will always be your true master. Never forget that.

When you realize all this you must come to terms with the following underlying truth. Everyone is sailing his or her own ship through life. We are all responsible for ourselves. That’s why you can never expect somebody else to help you out just because you ask for it. We’re all in this together, that’s right. But we’re all sailing a different course because that’s life. You are free to sail wherever the tide takes you and so is anyone else.

There is no real crew in life. Everyone is just living his or her own life. Try to ingrain this truth deep into your heart and soul because it’s the only one that really counts in life. We are not on the same ship but we sail in the same ocean and that’s why we better try to find ways of agreement with each other so we are not getting in each other ways.

So when you want something in life and no one’s helping you out, than always remember you are the captain of your own ship. You choose the direction you’re sailing to, no one else is in control and no one else should feel obligated to become a crew member of your ship. Neither should you.

When you feel people or society owe you something, you should always wander why. Why does anyone owes me anything? Why should I owe anything to anyone? You have your answer right there if you think deep about this. We don’t owe each other anything in life but we just help each other out if we feel good about it. If we love the person that needs our help or if we respect the goals they are striving for. People like to help you when they trust you and feel you’re worth it. Some other people like to help you because they want to get something out of it as well. So is life.

When we don’t like ourselves it’s difficult for other people to like us. When we don’t respect ourselves it’s difficult for other people to respect us. So it is the same with loyalty and trust. Everything starts with yourself and that’s a hard but necessary lesson. We are only mirrors to ourselves. How we treat others will often result in how they treat us and vice versa.

The world is a busy place and whether you like it or not it’s turning around 24/7 without asking your permission if that’s ok with you or not. There’s no hold button, no pause to stop, rewind or replay. As far as we know we only have one life. And it’s always moving on without any chance of going back. Without any chance to live your life all over again. Although many of us would definitively like that option. Suppose you would know everything you know right now, would you make better life choices if somehow you were reborn? That’s a deep question and an interesting one to dwell on, but it doesn’t change the fact that reality doesn’t work that way. Perhaps for many good reasons which I won’t dig deeper into.


© Copyright 2019 Thomas Oliveira. All rights reserved.

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