In this society, and through the media we are taught to consume, we are urged to find our pleasure from external sources. Most people find temporary pleasure through the senses; eating, drinking, smoking, shopping, sex or being aesthetically beautiful.
To do any of these things is normal, everyone eats and has sex and buys things, it’s when these activities become addictions that are controlling our behavior that it becomes a problem. It is only when we seek out pleasure from these external sources alone that we suffer. Addictions are false pleasures, they don’t add a ton of meaning to our lives. In fact, most of these addictions end up taking our power from us. And at the end of life, we’re left with not much to show for it.
True and lasting pleasure comes from working on oneself. Whether it is cultivating your craft, learning a new skill, embarking on a new course of study, improving your physical body through training or practices, meditating, writing, journaling, reading, spending time in nature, or creating art or music.
When we spend our energy in this way, we see results in our lives that are meaningful and fill us up from the inside. The same can be said for the work we do with our children, spending hours of time with them to help them learn and grow. Teaching my daughters new things is a wonderful experience. I love being the first one to teach them how trees grow, how to cook, or land a combo in Super Smash Brothers. There is something truly magic about watching their eyes light up with confidence and knowledge.
We can apply this to any relationship we have where we invest our hearts, time and energy that produces a truly intimate connection to another human being or pet where we are sharing our selves and our love.
We can feel the difference between what is truly meaningful in our lives and that which is false pleasure.
We may embark on the false pleasure anyway, most everyone has an addiction big or small (hello Instagram memes!), but do not be fooled by it! Be aware and conscious of its true nature.
Consider the ways you can master your inner self.