Contentment: Arriving At our Own Destinations
Since we were children, we were told that we were "bad" or "wrong" if we didn't do what OTHERS wanted us to do. This forced conformity through "punishment and reward" has imposed and enticed us to drop what our Hearts tell us to do, and abide and conform to what others want us to do. We have been coerced into deserting ourselves.
Instead of having motives of bringing more joy into our lives through expression and creativity like we had when we were children, our motives become fear based: "I won't be liked unless I do what that person wants." Or "I better not do that or else I'll be rejected or punished by them."
This is how we are taken off our course in life. Instead of following our own path we end up following everyone else's - We end up giving away our power of choice.
If we allow others to get away with manipulating us we desert our natural destinies and ourselves. It's like the difference between going on a business trip and a vacation. When you buy a ticket for a business trip and you arrive at your destination you are not happy. It is simply someone else's destination. You went only because someone else wanted you to go. With a vacation it's different. In this, you choose your destination. When you arrive, you are happy (hopefully) because you arrived where your heart called you to go. If you didn't, you can always choose again.
Most of us have spent our entire lives on "business trips". We have wasted our whole lives allowing others to dictate what destinations we would go to next. We've been continually going around in circles pleasing everyone else but ourselves. They've gotten us to believe it was selfish to pursue our own goals because they wanted us to pursue theirs! Even if they thought they were doing this "for our own good" they could not possibly know what "good for us" really is. Only WE know this because only we know what fulfills us ON THE INSIDE.
For me, I've found that continually subscribing to other people's values and goals leaves me dead inside. I am left empty because these social values I've been taught to subscribe to are either unattainable or leave me wanting when I do attain them. Not that there's anything wrong with attaining riches or popularity, these are good things, but they are side benefits. They are gifts along the path to personal contentment through attainment of becoming who and what I want to become. It is in being TRUE to our inner world that we manifest riches in our outer world. The riches and popularity are only physical manifestations of our attainment. The REAL attainment is our inner contentment for having become on the outside who we were motivated to be on the inside. This is never IMPOSED, it is REAL-IZED/ACTUALIZED. As Joseph Campbell stated: "Follow your heart, and the money will follow." And if it doesn't, it will not be a great loss because the REAL richness will be the contentment of arriving at the goal of YOUR choice. You will have become who YOU intended to be instead of what others intended you to be. It's not important that others approve of where you arrived, but that YOU do.