Satisfaction – and why we never feel it.

Satisfaction

Did you ever long for something for days, months or maybe years? Did you get what you wanted, thinking it would make you happy – only to find out that you are soon back in the feeling of wanting something else?

For as long as I have lived, the (extremely) common discussion of how to feel satisfied with your life has been revolving around me. Partly it has been a popular subject of discussion between friends or colleagues of mine, but mainly I have struggled to find an answer in my own head. It is something I think about when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night. Am I doing the right thing with my life? Am I happy? Should I focus on studying hard and making a lot of money to feel productive or should I play my guitar, creating musical art and feel creative? What makes me happier?

I am sure that these questions circle around many peoples lives, probably during a big part of their lifetime. How could I possibly feel satisfied with my life knowing that I may be happier doing something else?

To me, the feeling of always wanting something else is a blessing and a curse. It keeps me driven, never wanting to stand still. It also makes me confused and sometimes frustrated.

There is one thing my dad always told me when I was younger that has stuck to me until this day. It was before every christmas and every birthday. During my childhood, me and my sister rarely got any material things other than on these occasions. If I wanted a toy, they always said “well then, that’s something you can put on your wish list”. So obviously I was extremely eager to get my gifts (as any other kid would be) and I really couldn’t wait to get the things I had longed for so long. I would be sleepless for a month before christmas, just dreaming of what I could get on december 24th.

What my dad always said was; “Take joy in the feeling of longing. Once you have gotten your toys, you won’t have anything to look forward to anymore“. Now, my dad was not a sadist and surely he put it in a nicer way than that. But what he basically wanted me to understand was that this tingly feeling of knowing that I will get what I want soon enough, will be over once I have gotten it. The joy of longing for something can many times be as strong and maybe stronger, than the joy of actually getting the thing you wanted.

I am very lucky that he told me this, since I have been able to apply this kind of thinking to my whole way of looking at my life. When I was in highschool I really wanted to travel abroad for a long time, avoiding all kinds of studying. That gave me motivation to study hard, knowing that I can reward myself with a year of traveling once I have gotten my exam. Shortly after my exam, I went to Australia for a year. When I had been traveling for 10 months and I was all out of money, I really wanted to study in order to feel productive again. I have now been in college for two years and I really want to get a good job, earn some money and maybe be able to buy an apartment. So I am longing for that but I also know that my key to doing so is to finish my studies first.

I am not satisfied with my situation because I still want to change it. I like studying, I like the city I live in and I like my friends. But I would not settle with this. I want to advance and see and do new things.

Where I want to get with this is that most of you will never feel satisfied. You will always have a need of getting something that you don’t have. And that really can be a good thing, generating motivation and focus. What many people miss out on though, is that you should enjoy the feeling of wanting something new. Because once you get it, you have to find something else in order to get this motivating experience again.

First post – Jealousy

Jealousy

I have chosen jealousy as the first subject to write about. There are several definitions of the word and therefore I have narrowed it down to the definition I will analyse; Suspecting rivalry in love and experiencing a fear of being replaced. It also has to be said that there are two kinds of threats that can develop jealousy in a relationship, real threats and perceived ones. This will be discussed later on in my text.  As for the reason why I have chosen this subject, there are several reasons.

First of all, jealousy is something I have been in contact with many times. Both in my own relationships and by witnessing others relations I have found jealousy being a problem more than once.

Also, I have seen many relations getting destroyed by jealousy. Mainly because the person having these issues wasn’t able to acknowledge his or her own emotions and why they where there in the first place.

My main reason for writing about this subject is to make people understand that jealousy is something that you can defeat. It is not something that you have to live with your whole life and it is not something that has to destroy your relationships.

Understanding jealousy

Jealousy is a force that drives some of us to distraction. An emotion often described as anger, insecurity or anxiety of being betrayed or left alone. A force that is partly driven by our self defense mechanism but can also be driven by insecurity in our selves.

Jealousy can mean that you want something that somebody else has but it can also mean that you experience that your partner is betraying you, doing things behind your back.

The feeling of jealousy can be (but is not always) irrational. Referring to what I wrote earlier about real threats and perceived threats; feeling jealous is after all a natural part of being human. The emotion is part of our evolutionary instincts, a warning that a relationship of value is in danger. If a relationship has been damaged before, maybe by one partner being unfaithful, there is a bigger risk that jealousy will be a problem in the relationship. And that is somewhat normal, since it can be hard to feel trust between one another if a destructive event has occurred before.

However, many relations struggle with this problem even though a trust-destructing event has never occurred.

We must remember that the keyword of jealousy is insecurity. The insecurity can be something that disturbs the whole relationship, between both parts. A lack of trust from both sides which results in an insecurity for the whole relationship. The insecurity can also be something that only one part of the relation is struggling with, when the other part is not. Of course both parts are affected by it, but only one part is feeling jealous. This is when you need to find out whether your jealousy is based of a real threat or a perceived threat.

Discover unhealthy jealousy

If jealousy is a problem in your relationship and it seems like it is only coming from your end, you need to start examine what the reason is and whether your emotions are rational or not. To be able to do this, you have to look at your relationship from the outside. This can be very hard and one may need help from friends or a therapist. You need to distinguish if your reaction to the situations where you feel jealousy is reasonable or not. Maybe the emotions are based on your view of yourself, that you feel insecure about the fact that your partner can be satisfied with you as their partner.

Counteracting jealousy

A person with jealousy problems that comes from personal insecurity must start by strengthening their own self-picture. You must to believe that the person you are in a relationship with chose you for a reason. They did not choose you just to be able to find someone else. They chose you because you are the one they want to be in a relationship with. This is one part of your self-picture, understanding how other people see you as a person. It is easy to make yourself believe that you need to work hard in order to make others like you or feel satisfied with who you are. This is not the case. The people you are surrounded with and the person you have a relationship with have chosen to be with you because they enjoy your company based on your real personality. They do not need you to prove yourself because they do not like you for the things you do but for the person you are.

This also can be hard to tell yourself and make yourself believe. Get help from someone you trust or a therapist that you can be honest with to understand these things. Life is not always the picture that you have in your head. Your relations in reality are not perfectly aligned with how you see them, since there are other people involved in them who may see them differently. A situation that you find threatening or scary may, in someone else’s mind, seem perfectly normal. And that is maybe the bottom line of this text. You should not always be convinced that your view of things is the right one.

Find a way to feel confident with who you are and everything else will fall in place.