Thursday, 12 July 2012

Affluenza - Are You Addicted To Affluence?

Prior to entering competitions and winning I was quite content and able to let my life unfold and be at peace with my simple life. Once I started winning I was aware of this addiction to the buzz of the material world and I am now swinging back to the centre on this topic.

I look around and instead of the increase in technology, the increase in health-care, the increase in material products being there to slow us all down, improve our lives, to give us more time with loved ones, and time to relax, it has had the opposite effect for many people.

The media revels in showing us the next gadget we need, the next mobile phone, the next big thing, how we need to increase our wealth, have the best house, the best car, the best relationship.. the list goes on. And this insatiable need for wanting more and more is making many people into modern day addicts.

Instead of being addicted to drugs or drink they are addicted to wanting. And it's not anyone's fault, most of us have been programmed to want and want and want. We are surrounded by the material world. Everywhere we go the media showers us with hypnotic messages that we need X,Y,Z to be a valuable member of society. Car adverts make you think you will be really attractive if you have that new car. Celebrities flout it in our faces celebrating consumerism.

I am shocked that I allowed myself to go that far down the rabbit hole with regards to being addicted to affluence. After a simple life of accepting where I am, what is in my life, I went to the opposite extreme of wanting fast wealth, quick fixes and an increase in my standard of living.  I was not satisfied with letting my life naturally unfold. I wanted the McDonald's meal of abundance and prosperity. I lost touch with my essential nature. I tried to fill the void where my inner peace once was with 'stuff'.

Me?? After all I have written about on my blog over the years. And re-reading an earlier blog I was so against consumerism and look !! Here I am, fully into consuming, shocked at where I went with all of this (How different I was in my earlier blog Material Things).

I won an IPAD, I fell down the rabbit hole, I got lost down there and now, taking time to come back up the rabbit hole and get the balance back between allowing life to naturally bring me what I need and any action needed for it. I realised I can have what I want and let life unfold naturally. It is the desperation, the attachment to wanting that needs to change for me.

So I took some time out. Time out to allow myself to still increase my understanding of my personal value (with or without abundance) and taking time to let myself know I deserve to have what I want in life, without being addicted or attached to the form that want comes in. A more natural loving approach to allowing.

I enter competitions still, I still win, but I am questioning any sense of urgency or desperation in myself to win. And if any comparing myself with others arises I question myself. What is this really all about? What part of me is feeling that insecure? Am I addicted to excitement, the thrill of winning? Why?

Now, I know deep within me is a wise, whole, being (as there is inside every single human being). This consciousness inside me needs no material items or wins to be whole, but after 2 years of living a very simple lifestyle to having my abundance increase it was hard to bypass my ego desires.

I read a section of a book I got from the library on compassion this week and in that book they mentioned this increase in addiction to affluence. It made me think a lot. After talking with Mike I realised instead of things becoming more relaxed for people, the increase in material products and consumerism has caused a great increase in the wants and desires of people.

Back in Mike's youth, people had very little, supply was short, many people were in extreme poverty and instead of feeling lackful or needing to fill a void with affluent things they did not have the wants many of us do now. The scarcity that most people experienced decreased wanting of the material world, instead it increased a need for connections and community.

Technology, affluence, over-emphasis on wealth and status has created a world where many people do not feel good enough if they do not have the latest gadget or have what their neighbours or friends have. This in turn has increased the number of people who resort to crime to get these 'must-have' items (just take a look at the London riots for example).

In the competition world I have noticed a substantial increase in envy, jealousy and even bullying of those that have been blessed with good fortune. The recession has made people even more hungry for all that must-have stuff out there. (My Blog On Adult-Cyber Bullying In Competitions).

But where does it end? When will we be satisfied? Will we ever be satisfied?

For me, I have slowed down my competitions, focusing on only things that will bring value to my life, I am not content to fill my home with stuff I will not use just because I can. I am having to take a good hard look at myself and why I enter what I do. And question myself when I feel upset if I have not won for a couple of days (yes it did become that bad).

I must ask myself where is my sense of personal value?

Who am I? Once again... that age-old question.

What do I really want in my life?

Where is all this wanting coming from?

Why do I compare my world with others when we are all incomparably unique?

So here I am, slowing right down. Focusing on what is important to me, what makes my heart sing (writing) and focusing, allowing life to unfold again, more naturally.

My main desires are for experiences, human connection, love, travel, exploration. My inner world is a source of nourishment if I let it be.

Where are your desires taking you?


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