WOW! what a topic!
First, how did I come today to want to write about issues that the philosophers have wrangled over for centuries? Margie is visiting family and therefore the house is "empty" - or so my friend Patrick Ryan named it last night when we were discussing what it is like for one of a couple when the other ones (and possibly the children too) are away. Why our home is never empty because we have the dogs and the cat, there is definitely a huge hole when Margie leaves.
Nature abhors a vacuum - and within our souls, our partners fulfill some aspect of life for us - so when they are not around I contend that our tendency is to fill that hole with something. Confession: most of my life I have used food to fill or seem to fill some of those holes and while that works for me better than drugs did, as I grow older the side effects bring on challenges like joint wear and tear.
This, coupled with my current state of being to uncover my True Sefl and to Heal leave me feeling exposed as I confront the emptiness that Margie leaves behind. However, committed as I am to NOT FILLING THE GAPS WITH KNEE JERK REACTIONS AND FEEL GOOD MEASURES, what do I do? Yesterdays' focus on a liquid diet, therefore minimizing the effects of food, was a start. First I'll muse on fulfillment and what it means to me, then I'll move on to motivation.
Fulfillment - What is it?
I confess when I asked this question I drew a complete blank. At that moment fulfillment seemed an impossible dream - I felt empty and scared. Now I realize that is bullshit and it doesn't serve to play small.
I am fulfilled when I help others reach their dreams. A bold statement and a thousand percent true.
So that directs me to do as much of that as I can. To teach, to facilitate, to help things move ahead - whether through nurturing OR through pruning as my spirit raises up at the injustice as much as it jumps in to support. Right now that support is DoctoralNet - both to help students and propel what I think is best for educators to consider about students. I realise it has both the energy of pruning AND support - raises my hackles that students don't find the support they need and fulfills me to be able to offer new options.
What other parts of my life are driven by fulfillment? Water aerobics is another way I support - myself and others. Probably my body as much as anything so not exactly altruistic. Blogging like this also fulfills that need, whether or not anyone reads it I am supporting both myself, lecturing to myself really, and, hopefully, someday others. Art???? I don't know, something there satisfies my Soul deeply - beauty? philosophy? sharing "how the world seems to me" using the language of symbology.
My friend Julie Silvferberg reminds me that 50% of the people are motivated by the positive and 50% by the negative. I wish I could say that the positive (fulfillment) motivated me but looking at my life it has been a few moments where that was true. Now those were life-changing moments like when I told Margie I could live in Ireland and she responded that if I orchestrated it she would follow - still I can count those moments on one hand.
No, the truth is that so far, day to day I have moved ahead motivated by fear of a known obstacle I was trying to avoid. This makes life a bit like a pinball machine where I'm careening from one bumper into another one, hoping to come out in the high scoring position at the end. Looking at myself in the mirror yesterday I see that weight has become one of those bumpers again. I wonder if we all have one or two that loom large from time to time, much like a tide that ebbs and flows? Worth considering what they are and what life might be like if they were never an issue again?