I had a very interesting conversation with a friend of mine over the weekend. We were talking about life and spirituality and she said something to the effect of
“I need to learn how to not crave. Let go of attachments. I’ve found out that every time I get what I want I don’t want it anymore. I have these desires but as soon as those desires are fulfilled I don’t want the responsibility that comes with it. It’s why I go from situation to situation.”
As I reflect on life and the things I’ve observed I realize that this is a reoccurring theme. If I were to be honest with myself I would admit that I don’t experience this type of unease very often. I’m typically content with what I have. However I’ve seen how craving affects those around me and the suffering it brings.
It plays itself out most with relationships. Craving is usually what causes people to go from relationship to relationship. They see someone they want and have to have that person. They pursue the person, get them, and then realize that they didn’t want that person after all or it wasn’t what they expected. I’ve experienced these situations in a way where people have pursued me, wanting certain things from me. Then once they have me or get what they want from me they no longer want me.
It’s not easy to find myself in those type of situations but what I’ve learned from them is to recognize the signs from others early on. Most of us have the assumption that anything other than what we’re experiencing is the ideal–the grass is greener on the other side. We’re constantly looking over that fence wishing we were there. But what we’re seeing is only what’s on the surface and never the reality. We don’t experience the reality until we walk over to the other side, but by the time we do that it’s too late. We’ve already abandoned what we had to gain something else, something that we never truly wanted nor needed to begin with.
A lesson in contentment is to remember that the grass is greener where you water it. We can spend our energy wishing for anything other than what we have or we can learn to cultivate the elements we feel are missing in our own lives.
Another aspect of cultivation is knowing when not to get in our own way. We may plant seeds but we are not in control of how those seeds take root and grow, if they grow at all. Nature is on its own time and too often impatience causes us to trample over the very grass we’re trying to nurture.
I’m entering into a very unique period in my life. The current circumstances and relationships I find myself in have caused me to find a part of myself that I’d lost a long time ago. I’m also experiencing an unprecedented sense of self-awareness. The combination of self discovery with self-awareness can be overwhelming at times, causing me to be impatient with my process. For once I’m actually excited about my journey. I’m anticipating the destination. I see the destination. More than ever I have to remember not to get in my own way. To be mindful of the grass I’m watering.