Man loses his job, then, feeling quite the loser, instead becomes a boozer.
Woman escapes abusive relationship, then falls prey to exactly the same type of misogynistic, masochistic monster.
Our true selves know. They have always known. They are knocking on our doors, yet we do not open, as if they were pertinacious Yehova’s Witnesses or relentless debt collectors.
We dread the ill news they bring, the news of hope and change, of purpose, the real news we need to hear.
Since we are naturally inclined to revolt against needs which cause such dismay and unrest, we are tempted to follow wants instead of needs.
The list of wants may seem endless: consumer goods, drugs, alcohol, sex, enchanting sights, squishies, seductive smells, self-serving ideas, intellectual achievements, Girl Scouts Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies, comforts, repetition, instincts, emotions, depression, patterns, and familiar, but horrific types of (abusive) partners.
When good news – and I do not mean Yehova’s Witnesses here – knocks gently on our doors, we often crawl back under the safety of our blanket of familiarity.
If it bangs on the door and adversity strikes, we dig deep into the seemingly rich soil of those wants, which develop into extremities, monstrosities of addiction and derealization, anything that can numb the pain.
Tragically, even at the bottom, when we realize that none of the tempest’s promises have come true, we are often unwilling to exchange wants for needs, and grow bitter in contempt or denial.
And the more we deny, eventually, the louder our true selves will come knocking at the door. It is us who have to find the courage and strength of will to open it, for it will never open by itself. And once the door is opened, something majestic happens, that humbles us and makes us wish we could take back all our wrongs. Why didn’t we choose needs rather than wants, why didn’t we submit to purpose and fulfillment rather than to denial and escapism?
Painting: Vladimir Makovsky
© 2019 Marcel van Delft