Have I changed so much? I mean, beyond that change from who I was, and still am on a certain level, to who I am? I have changed … I think. It has something to do with moving from a period of acquiring to sharing.
I’m thinking back to a time in my/his far distant past when sharing was the furthest thing from our mind … well, with the exception of sharing his/my dreams of future acquisitions with anyone who would listen. Those dreams were what author Wayne Dyer calls the psychology of “when”. It was a time when I/he had little more than dreams of future acquisitions and the satisfaction they were thought to bring with them, when they were acquired.
I can remember the moment when the realization struck that there would be no satisfaction in the actualization of the central core of those dreams … the never ending quest to buy the the place next door. There would always be a place next door, but there would come a time when the satisfaction of having acquired it would immediately be stifled by the quest to buy the next place next door. In other words, satisfaction would always, always be just beyond the next fence line … something akin to Sisyphus, his rock and the top of the hill.
The most interesting fact of this look back is that I have no memory of visions of dollar wealth, just land wealth. Did that thought result in a change of attitude about acquiring? Not at all! In fact, it only changed where I/he looked for satisfaction in acquiring. Part of the reason the original dream failed was because I/he realized the eventuality of the point of diminishing returns and that was an unacceptable result of acquiring. Each acquisition had to bring with it satisfaction which lasted and could be heaped upon the last satisfaction.
The quest continued for years until suddenly, and without warning, the acquisitions we had made; emotional as with the love from Marilyn, the home, the dollars; all began slipping away bit by bit until it was all gone. Did that end the quest for acquisitions? Again … not at all? It just started all over again from scratch, but this time it all slipped away more quickly. Sometime during that second period of acquisition, however, a subtle change began to assert itself.
It began with the writing down of my thoughts for the members of Tri-Ess and progressed to the writing of Dear Mom and Dad. It took awhile for the realization to sink in, that what I was doing was sharing things that had been fearfully guarded for a long time. The result for me of that sharing was the satisfaction I gained when people I didn’t know, as well as people I did know, began telling me that what I shared had a positive impact on their lives. I was stunned, actually, to think that the elements of my thoughts were of any real value to others; primarily I believe, because I was at the time writing for my own satisfaction; stunned but overwhelmed with gratitude at the same time. It never wears off. Each time someone tells me that I’ve had a positive impact on their life and thanks me for it, I’m still overwhelmed.
As time in this new and somewhat unfamiliar yet parallel universe has passed I have come to realize that the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment I wasted so much of my life on … acquisition of property, things, possessions, had never held the potential for satisfaction I found in sharing my heart and mind. But the real shock to me was when I began to share my time, personal and private time, with people God had been placing in my life, mostly as a result of the continued sharing of my heart and mind.
I used to imagine the satisfied sense of joy that I would feel when I looked out over my dreamed of vast land holdings. The only joy I remember in that respect was sense of pleasure gained when I looked over a newly plowed field at sunset and the peace that came from that. I now know that what I anticipated from acquisitions was to be found in the exact opposite … sharing, giving away of my gifts.
Christ spent his earthly ministry telling people of the joy they would find in giving all their treasures away to others. I always thought it only applied to financial treasure. It doesn’t. It applies to giving away, sharing, the treasures of who we are, what we are, the persons of whom God created us to be.