Needs Versus Wants: An Introspective Journey
I find myself standing at the base of a mountain looking up and wondering, how will I climb this mountain, not once thinking the climb impossible. Optimism dictates that while all possibilities are fraught with challenges and obstacles, challenges and obstacles are for the purpose of exposing essential fibers of being. Possibilities are everywhere.
Again I ask the question. How will I climb this mountain? The operative word being CLIMB. The answer is simple; one step at a time with one foot in front of the other. There is no other way. This is a test in self reliance and all those nouns and adjectives that help describe it. Tenacity, endurance, grit, and strength.
If I choose to set a timeline of my arrival to the peak, I fear missing the incremental subtleties of the journey – a bird’s cry, a wolf’s howl, a bear’s droppings, crinkled crimson leaves, a soft cool breeze that washes me clean, the smell of nothing in the absence of pollution, sewage, Mr. Clean, and perfume.
The mountain is just the challenge I need in my flat line life, even though it’s only imagined. If I can visualize the mountain and name it with whatever current obstacle I face in my life, determination arises along with an inner passion to conquer and overcome. Yet I must proceed with caution and inner awareness as I am sure to be faced with limitations, real and perceived.
Even before I begin the journey I predetermine its pace. Slow and easy, a natural gait, one in which I can stop time to time to smell the roses. Fast and furious paces do not appeal to me as experience has taught me that when I engage in this type of pace I too quickly get caught up in the fires and burn out before I know it. It’s moderation I’m seeking. A balanced life. Yet even in balance there is a little danger if only perceived. Danger serves to ignite the adrenalin and brings out the worse and the best in me. Balance is about seeing both sides of a thing and then consciously hovering somewhere near the mid-line or center. My husband claims my balance is somewhere between extremes. And maybe he’s right. And maybe that’s why I’m seeking out this mental extreme. Why else would I feel the need to create and then climb a mountain?
My outdated belief includes all or nothing thinking and behaving; boredom and thrill seeking are two opposing extremes. And somewhere in the middle, in the meat of what we collectively deem as life, is the place I have come to know as flat lining. Flat lining is unfelt existence, at least it has been to me.
Someone once said, “It is not living that matters but the courage we bring to it.”
Courage is just another word that expresses the need to face fear. Insecurity is the fear that drives me to extremes. It is the mountain before me now, the final pebble on my path that constantly trips me up. Insecurity is a molehill, but right now from where I stand, insecurity looks like a mountain. Hence the need for this journey.
This is the journey of wants versus needs on a mountain of insecurity.
I need to dress in adequate clothing with just the right amount of protection against the elements. I don’t need six coats and five pairs of shoes.
I need to travel light, otherwise I’ll feel overwhelmed by the pressures of my belongings. Abundance gone awry is called clutter. It is my opinion we suffer from far too much abundance and far too little charity. We suffer from heavy sand filled hearts of ignorance and greed.
I need a portable tent that is good in all seasons not a mansion that requires too much time and energy to maintain and keep clean. I want the people I love near to me not lost in some other part of the house that takes me ten minutes to traverse to.
I need proper footwear to ensure I am steady on my feet and can trek all types of terrain. These are my spiritual and material understandings of the world, the things I’ve learned from my parents and society. These are the tidbits of wisdom I have gleamed from all sorts of life’s valuable teachings.
I stare up to the top of the mountain and wonder if I should not be fearful taking on a task of this magnitude. Yet I feel calm inside. I realize this is a mountain of my creations born from the womb of insecurity. A little voice urges me on. Climb. Climb. Climb.