Wants, needs, desires, wishes, attachments…

Yesterday I posted about finding out what we really want.  I suggested that we don’t want objects or experiences, but we want the feelings that we think we’ll get from those objects or experiences.   I also suggested something that might be harder to swallow…that we can work our way through those wants and desires by practicing feeling a sense of enough in our bodies.

It is worth spending a little time on this whole concept and experience of “enough.”   I am a classic “never enough-er,” according to Jack Lee Rosenburg, founder of Integrative Body Psychotherapy.   I am a person who just doesn’t know how much is enough.  Correction….I WAS a person like that.   That was the way that I functioned in the world.

When I was a young adult, I attributed this characteristic to being raised in a home where alcohol was an influential factor.   Adult children of alcoholics often struggle with enough.  I found that I could not entertain without making more than twice enough food.  If I carefully planned out the food, I’d rush out at the last minute to buy more, certain that running out of food would be a disaster.   When I was a student, I could never figure out when a paper or project was finished.  I would keep working and working on it, until I had actually undermined the work I’d done.  I learned to procrastinate because then the time constraints would tell me that “this is enough…”  because I had to turn it in.

credit: http://ttactechtuesday.pbworks.com/w/page/7857889/AT%20Solutions%20for%20Writing

In later life, I struggled with binge eating, and with binge exercising, running on an injury to the point of needing surgical repair.  I could not tell what was enough.  I never felt that I was enough in any situation, always over-preparing my classes when I was teaching at the university, always having to read more, and buy more books about any topic I need to study.  In fact, I had so many unread books at one time that I made a tidy sum selling them on Amazon.  (Not as much as I’d spent originally, of course.)

By almost any measure, it was clear that I could not tell what was enough.  I didn’t trust my own body experience to tell me what I needed, wanted, or when I was ready to stop.  I overworked, over-ate, over prepared, and over-thought just about everything in my life.

Through body-based therapy, meditation, journal work, and much attention to my own moment-by-moment experience,  I have found a better place for enough in my life.  I now make it a daily practice around eating, sitting in meditation, and in my work to ask myself if this is enough.   I have developed a couple of mantras that help, too.

Credit: http://robertballew.com/2010/11/making-peace-with-your-body/

Now that I can feel that sense of “enough” in my body, and I can trust it enough to take action around it, I don’t struggle nearly as much with the wants, desires, and wishes that used to plague me.   I know what is enough.   For most of my life, for most things in my life, I have enough.  I am enough.  There is enough.

In this moment, right here and now, the only moment that actually matters because it is the only moment that I am actually living, there is enough.

I am enough.

This is good enough.

And good enough is good enough.

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