The big D

January 22, 2006

stairwell accompaniment:The Postal Service

I was reading an extremely intriguing article the other day in a secular magazine (if i recall correctly, it was in Oprah’s magazine…which, of course, I do not read). Written by a psychologist who is not a believer, the article discussed the apparent epidemic of depression plaguing the United States (and apparently, along with fast food chains, obesity and materialism, is taking force in many developing countries as well!). This doctor argued that the problem isn’t truly medical depression, a condition attributed to a chemical imbalance in the brain that can effectively treated with medication. People who suffer with true depression are characterized by their fatalistic views, the thinking that this world is not good enough for me and I will never be fulfilled by anything. The illness is stamped with the marker of darkness which has no knowledge of light. Rather than an epidemic of widespread depression, this doctor argued that Americans are adamently fighting dissatisfaction. People see things as they “ought to be” in their idealistic views of life as it should be and live in a constant state of dissatisfaction. Can you see the difference the author was painting? Dissatisfaction means that you see the light, the good, the ideal and you compare it with the less-than-ieal lives we often live and remain dissatisfied, in the chains of comparison. It’s the American Dream and the years and years spent striving for what is unattainable, living dissatisfied with anything “less”. The psychologist went on, expanding his views of dissatisfaction by using what he considers to be the roots of dissatisfaction. The Garden of Eden. Adam and his wife living without want, without pain and in perfect communion with God. Obsession with the one thing God forbid lead to dissatisfaction with the true Life they were living. As they fell, the bible clearly states that they were ashamed and sough covering for their naked bodies. Nakedness before God was shameful. The article’s author believes that their desire for covering coincided with the beginning of the aging process. Before the fall A and E did not age. Their bodies were pefect and would remain perfect day after day for years. Life after the fall brought the reality of weight gain, sagging skin and wrinkles. The author explained that the original dissatisfaction was their failure to fully comprehend the gift of life in the Garden of Eden and the effects of living a dissatisfied life continued as they sought covering for their increasingly dissatisfying bodies. And so dissatisfaction is rooted in humanity as something we must acknowlede and combat. One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Merton. He petitions us to tune into our “inner lives” by cultivating a deep appreciation and joy in the little, often unnoticed gifts in our days. The rain. A good cup of coffee. A phone call. A good laugh. God’s provision. Friends. Cartoon bandaids. Skipping. Being Surprised. Oldies music. The sunset. Turning off the tv. The small steps that lead to an overhaul of dissatisfaction in our lives.

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One Response to “The big D”

  1. tearful dishwasher said

    Ambrosia-

    Hey.

    Stumbled on your site today and just wanted to tell you how much I’m enjoying it.

    It amazes me that so many of us fail to take notice of the millions of ‘tiny’ miracles that surround us all the time. Once you open your eyes and heart to them, you see that they are everywhere.

    But we maintain a willful blindness to the joy in a cup of hot coffee, to having two dollars in our pocket, to the simple wonder of our bodies moving as they were designed to.

    I wish you luck in your adventure.

    I’ll bet you have everything you’ll ever need.

    yrs-

    tearful dishwasher

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