From No Impact Man:
Life experience has shown me that there is no such thing as the fulfillment of desire. Desire, by its nature, never seems to be fulfilled. It is a tyrant that cracks its whip and demands the next thing. The path to freedom does not seem to be getting what I desire…true freedom seems to come when I can be happy whether I have what I want or not.
Before the Jack Handey Deep Thoughts I’ve had of late, I reckon I’ve spent a good 50% of my time as a SAHM pacing back and forth in front of the bars of my cage. I concluded this was due to being underfunded and unable to execute my “vision” for my house, my garden and my kids. If I had enough money to get the house set up “right”, the yard set up “right” and the kids outfitted with the “right” toys, clothes and experiences, this mother/homemaker-manager thing would be a fulfilling experience.
I was on my 3rd house before the realization of the true paucity of my family’s means and the deep acknowledgement that any semblance of affluence not acquired honestly would be inherently dissatisfying, for me to begin to disassemble this architecture of desire. In the end, I had to reject the efficacy of the notion that inner peace can be achieved by the rigorous manipulation of the external environment. This seems like a paradox on its face but in a consumer society this is exactly what we are instructed to do and conditioned to expect.
By reconciling the dueling factions of my internal environment, by letting go of the external striving and focusing on personal accounting: attacking mental clutter and value imbalance and releasing all manner of sacred cows, I found some peace and I am now beginning to express a genuine and satisfying vision for my family.
Acceptance does not equal acquiescence but it allows for the liberating acknowledgment of having enough.
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