deshswvs.jpg“You can’t get enough of what you don’t need.” You may think you need it, but do you really? Is it what you really are seeking? What your soul truly needs? Will it bring you calmness, certainty, contentment, serenity, peace of mind? Or merely pleasant physical sensation, however temporary and fleeting?

I have watched exactly one episode of “Desperate Housewives,” and in it there was one scene that has stayed with me. One of the female leads (Eva Longoria Parker as ex-model Gabrielle Solis) was in bed having a post-coital conversation with John, her young (17) and very-hot gardener. Asked why she married her husband, she replied, “Because he promised to give me everything I ever wanted.” John asked, “Then why aren’t you happy?” She confessed that it “turns out that I wanted all the wrong things.”

You can’t get enough of what you don’t need means that you cannot satisfy emotional needs with physical things, that comfort food really isn’t, and that dysfunctional coping strategies simply create bigger problems.

There are things in life that never satisfy, but somehow still are highly desired. There are things in life that are mirages, mental traps for the unwary, “siren songs,” appeals to our weaker side that may be hard to resist, but if heeded will lead to dire consequences.

Malcolm Muggeridge once said, “When I look back on my life nowadays, which I sometimes do, what strikes me most forcibly about it is that what seemed at the time most significant and seductive, seems now most futile and absurd. For instance, success in all of its various guises, being known and praised, ostensible pleasures like acquiring money or seducing women, or traveling, going to and fro in the world and up and down in it like Satan, explaining and experiencing whatever Vanity Fair has to offer. In retrospect, all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called, ‘licking the earth’.”

I like that phrase of Pascal’s, “licking the earth.” It is a powerful visualization: Man trying to satisfy his deepest desires with material pleasures when, in reality, our deepest needs are immaterial in nature.

On occasion I have found myself in denial, trying to satisfy an emotional or spiritual void with material possessions or physical sensations. At most you distract yourself for a time but the issue remains forever a problem to be solved, a growth opportunity to be resolved. I think Scott Peck spoke a great truth when he said most neuroses are the result of people attempting to avoid the necessary and legitimate pain of confronting a difficult situation.

“You can’t get enough of what you don’t need.” What are you afraid to face? Where are you sublimating? Are there areas of your life where you might be in denial? How would those closest to you answer?

Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge was a British journalist, author, satirist, media personality, soldier-spy, and writer. Source: Wikipedia.