Sunday, March 01, 2015

A Shifting Source of Satisfaction - Eleanor Shepherd

             When I was younger, it was all about me.  I wanted for people to like me and I wanted to be valued and appreciated for the things that I did.  While I still enjoy the affirmation of others, I have found that now I find greater satisfaction in shared projects and in the good things that happen to others.
Over the years I have discovered that my source of satisfaction has altered.
            I am not sure when or how the shift happened.  I only know that today I have a much greater capacity to find pleasure in the good things that happen to other people and good things that happen to others is a greater source of satisfaction for me than they ever were before.
            This realization hit me forcefully the other day when I went out for lunch with a friend who I had not seen for several months, even though we live in the same city.  During our conversation, she told me how she was being considered for a prestigious award.  I smiled when she told me and felt so pleased to hear this news.  She reminded me that several years ago I had nominated her for this award and nothing had come of it.  Now she is seriously being considered and I was delighted.  As I felt joy for her bubbling up in me, I was also aware that there was a time in my life, when my feelings would have been much different. I would have been jealous of her being considered for this honour or wondered why I was not able to do things that might result in someone nominating me for awards. 
            Now, perhaps I have been able to appreciate her good fortune because I have had a few accomplishments of my own.  Rewards and honours have come my way, so perhaps I no longer have to prove my value by seeking to win acclaim from others.
            At a more profound level, it may be that the adversity that has come my way has also helped to teach me about a more significant source of satisfaction. During some dark days, in my life, particularly after the crippling accident of my son, I came to value the support and encouragement that came when we were carried by others and their prayers for us.
            My experience of learning the solidarity of support from others has played a significant role in leading me to a deeper source of satisfaction, that which is found in our shared humanity.  Knowing I am among fellow beggars telling each other where to find bread has taught me to appreciate and be there for others in their time of need.  This mutual caring becomes a huge source of satisfaction as we realize that we are all in this together.  It is the satisfaction of abundant life.

            This kind of shift in our source of satisfaction is an integral part of our spiritual formation.  Through the process our values come to adhere more closely to those of the One who loves us most. 

Word Guild Award

Word Guild Award



Peter Black said...

Amen and amen, Eleanor!
Elements of your journey in coming to the place in which you can find "satisfaction ... in the good things that happen to others" resonate with and mirror mine.
Having the capacity to freely and wholeheartedly rejoice in other people's successes, awards and recognitions provides a truly blessed emotional and spiritual place for one in which to dwell. Beautiful. Thank you. ~~+~~

fudge4ever said...

"Knowing I am among fellow beggars telling each other where to find bread . . . " has taught me to appreciate and be there for others in their time of need." Love this quote. My Bible College professor used to say this all the time. So true.

Pam M.

Glynis said...

Oh, how very true, Eleanor. The world seems so intent some days about telling us how we deserve a break, how we should have all the power, how we are entitled, worthy, commendable, justified in our selfishness. . .

It is refreshing to celebrate with others their accomplishments and to lift them onto our shoulders with sincere motivation. Lovely post and we should all take a good lesson from that.

Popular Posts