Searching In The Wrong Place?

“As long as anyone believes that their ideal and purpose is outside them, that it is above the clouds, in the past or in the future, they will go outside themselves and seek fulfillment where it cannot be found. They will look for solutions and answers at every point except where they can be found–in themselves.” ~ Erich Seligmann Fromm …

When I read about individuals trying to find fulfillment, happiness, or purpose in life outside of themselves, I immediately think of the Holy Grail, and how men spent their whole lives searching for this fabled spiritual cup, yet never found it. And this gets me asking, “Were they simply searching for the wrong thing… or were they searching in the wrong place?”

We cannot find happiness or fulfillment outside of ourselves. Time and time again we are presented with this truism, yet still we look, ignoring the advice of those whose experience has taught them one of the most important lessons available–that our personal fulfillment cannot come from our job performance or a promotion, or from any material possession or even our relationships. Our personal fulfillment can come only through a strong sense of self, a strong respect for who we are, and proper recognition of our amazing personal potential and true efforts to reach that potential.

In the absence of this awareness, we will continue to seek fulfillment–in others and in things that are outside of ourselves–until we truly believe that we possess everything we need within us. And there are many in society that are ok with that, as those individuals or groups generally make lucrative financial gains by keeping us believing that fulfillment is outside of us and can be acquired at a price–the price of purchasing their product or services. And this can be tempting for us to believe, as being able to simply buy our fulfillment, happiness, and purpose is a much easier approach to life.

But this is not the case. Our fulfillment is up to us and us alone. Only we can get ourselves to a level of peace with who we are and what we are doing. Only we can reach a place in life in which the things that happen around us do not bring us down, put us in a bad mood, or frustrate us.

Everything we need to live a fulfilling and beautiful life has already been gifted to us. All we must do is begin opening those gifts within our hearts and spirits.

Seek for the answers and solutions within yourself.

Questions to consider:

Why do many individuals tend to search for fulfillment in things outside of themselves? Is this an effective approach to life? Why?

Why do we often search for the easiest ways of approaching life?

What gifts do you possess within yourself? How often do you use each of them?

For further thought:

“But I am not a beggar,” I can hear you say.

Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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