Where Do We Go to Get More?
We live in a world where almost everyone wants to get more.
Some of us want to get more money or more time. Many people are desperate for more celebrity, particularly on social media. We want bigger and smarter houses or faster cars. Some of us hope to spend our vacations in more relaxing places.
Almost everyone seems to be looking for more of something.
Where are you looking for more?
We seem to view life as a basket or a barrel and our job is to fill it as full as we can. There is no time to catch our breath because we are under constant pressure to get more.
Our lives are like a contest to find more and acquire it. We seem to think having more stored away somewhere safe makes our lives more secure, more meaningful.
Many of us, more than we like to admit, take comfort from our search for more. We assume finding and acquiring more gives our lives meaning. It is as if having the most recent phone, with even more features, makes our lives more significant.
The idea there might not be more scares us. We have made ourselves comfortable in a world searching and struggling for more. If there is no more, what is the point?
It may not be more material things we are struggling to find. Some of us are looking for more education, more information. We have a worldwide web of information at our fingertips, in our pockets, and we look for more.
Do we believe more information will make our decisions wiser?
We grow tired as our lives continue to focus on finding more. Where else can we look to get more?
What more is there for us to learn, to find, to acquire?
Can Spiritual Life Help Us Get More?
There are times when we feel we have done everything we have set out to do.
We have accomplished our goals and are having a very good year. Following good advice, we are exceeding expectations. Everything is under control. Sometimes we have even overcome opposition and outscored our competitors.
There are other times when we feel there is no real point to continuing.
We can become hopeless about making a difference. Do we even still believe in what we are doing? It is easy for us to become discouraged, tired, ready to give up and stop trying. We may see ourselves as out of options, out of time, out of luck.
People come to me for different reasons, looking for different answers. Some people want to become better or stronger. They would like to develop new skills and learn to do things in new ways. Some people want to find peace, happiness, calmness which has eluded them.
Many people are looking for someone who will listen to them.
Each person is trying to get more. We are dissatisfied, disappointed by what we have found so far. Each one of us wants to heal the pain of lacking the depth and joy for which we hunger.
People who come to me want more than to be reassured or comforted. They want something real which will make their lives different. Many want to find deep, underlying truth which transcends life’s challenges.
We work together to discover and explore the deep places where they can find everyday happiness.
Our work together often begins with listening to sacred stillness. We take time to stop trying to get more and take a deep breath. Together we relax our grip on what we are holding so tightly.
Listening to Sacred Stillness We Get More
As we practice listening to sacred stillness we learn an ironic truth. The more tightly we hold onto what we have found, the harder it is for us to get more.
We wrap our arms around what we have already found and clench our fists to make sure it is safe. The more we are able to find the more we lock away so no one can take it from us. We are like the people who hoard piles of old newspapers.
Listening to sacred stillness shows us we need to open our arms and our hands to get more.
How can we receive more when we put so much of ourselves into holding onto what we already have?
It is only as we stretch out our arms and reach out with our fingers we are able to embrace more.
Our joy is not in finding and acquiring more, in filling our safes with even more than yesterday. We get more as we revel in each morsel of the more which we find.
Listening to sacred stillness shows us we find more by opening ourselves to the more all around us and within us.
What Does it Mean When We Get More?
Our practice of listening to sacred stillness shows us our search to get more is not about gaining more. We struggle to find more because we give meaning to what we are seeking. The more we think we have acquired the more we want.
We believe it is good for us to work hard to acquire more. The more effort it takes, the more significant it is for us to find more. Our search for more earns us the meaning we give to finding more.
In fact the more we seek to find is, at its essence, a gift to us. We take time to close our eyes, sit still, and breathe deeply, and we begin to find the more we seek. All our striving and struggling and grasping only get in our way.
When we calm ourselves and listen to sacred stillness we realize we already have more than we seek. We find more than we can hold onto and we share what we have.
Listening to sacred stillness is how we get more.
Where will we go to get more today?
How will we open ourselves to get more this week?
[Image by gruntzooki]
Greg Richardson is a spiritual director in Southern California. He is a recovering assistant district attorney and associate university professor, and is a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.