Friday, August 9, 2013

Satisfaction


By
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

What exactly is 'satisfaction'?  Is it writing a blog article at noon on a Friday knowing the day is already half over?  Perhaps.  If it was, however, I wouldn't admit it for obvious reasons!

Satisfaction is basically the feeling we get after meeting a need or desire.  For example, if I eat a nice meal when I am hungry then I will feel 'satisfied'.  Why?  Because I am no longer beholden to my 'hunger'.

Many people try to find satisfaction in different ways.  Food.  Sex.  Money.  Power.  Relationships.  Goals.  Dreams.  Ambitions.  Alcohol.  Drugs.  Those last two are what I like to speak about today. 

There is a cultural myth that the only way to be truly satisfied socially is to drink and/or do drugs.  Our  advertisements push this idea.  Don't believe me?  Next time you see a beer commercial pay close attention to what the 'beer drinker' gets if he (notice it's not a she) drinks that particular brand of beer.  Usually it is the affection of a drop-dead gorgeous, blond, model, bikini-wearing, and  volleyball-playing superwoman who falls head over heels for him based on his beer choice.

Also there is a cultural myth that says that you will not find satisfaction living a sober life.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  The reality is that drugs and alcohol are one type of activity and they are not the only game in town! 

Do you derive satisfaction from using alcohol and drugs?  Are you afraid to be at a party without using some sort of 'chemical courage' to get you in the mood, whether that's to hit on the girl in the next room or pick a fight with the guy she's talking to?  Do you wonder how people are sober and still have fun without using substances? 

Perhaps you are a person who has chronic pain and you feel no satisfaction in life except when you take pain pills but lately that has gotten out of control.  Maybe it's time to ask for help.  Maybe the pain pills you think are the cure are really the problem.  It is possible that getting off the pills might show you that the pain is not as bad as you remember it to be before you started taking them in the first place. 

Satisfaction, in my opinion, is a choice.  I choose to assuage my hunger by eating.  If I need to see a rock concert, I purchase Paul McCartney tickets.  If I want to dance, I put on my favorite station and get busy dancing the night away.  Even with chronic pain, accepting where you are today with that pain instead of railing against it could bring you one step closer to satisfaction. 

Take some time this weekend to figure out how you define satisfaction.  Maybe it's time to make some changes in your life.  Maybe it's confirmation that you don't need to change your life.  One thing we know for sure: you don't need drugs and/or alcohol to have a fun and satisfying life! 

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