And a sudden rush of ideas and information. It had to do with the manufacturing of discontent. And the consequent manipulation of that discontent. As we all know, yet find it difficult to ignore, advertising plays on our insecurities. The medium is the message. If we can be persuaded that a new item of clothing, a new car or a holiday on the other side of the world will make us happier, it sells.
If we are persuaded that having a flatter belly, bigger/smaller boobs, different shaped nose, or extra hair in the right places, and no hair in others will make us more popular or desirable then we become more discontented with what we have.
The same applies in the ‘self help’ world. There is a pervasive portrayal of perfection. We are lured with the image of permanent happiness and fulfilling relationships. Made to feel that if we have not achieved any of this we have somehow failed. And are less as a human being.
I have worked with many people who suffer on a daily basis from this manufactured discontent. And I too must be on alert in order not to fall into the ubiquitous traps that are laid for us. Because this is actually how a great deal of western society functions.
Of course so many have written about this. Spoken about it. And yet….here we still are…. our vulnerabilities being consciously manipulated by those who seek to gain. And ending up perpetuating it. And those who do gain fame, prestige and money being praised as having ‘made it’.
Much of my work on myself has been, and still is, reflecting on my own insecurities and how I abandon myself when I act from those insecurities rather than being gentle and protective towards myself when such wounds are revealed. I have learned, albeit slowly, to smile at my jealousies. And to use them to discover what it is that I am not permitting myself to do. My aim is to bring awareness to every moment.
That is what I also try to support others to do.
If we can bring gentle and compassionate observation to all of our ‘parts’. from the divine to the monstrous, we are more easily protected from this discontent. We are less in need of something that takes away our sadness or our feeling of never being enough. In the end, what it comes down to is love. For some time now I have been looking at how I can make this kind of support for the wise adult in us more available as I know many people do not have the resources to avail of it, at least in the form of therapy.
This is why my thoughts are going to giving workshops where people can also recognise themselves in the other, which is what always happens anyway and we can mobilise our interconnectedness to co-create the world for which so many of us long.