A Consumption-Oriented Society

We seek value outside of ourselves, when we don’t feel our personal value inside.

This is the basis of a consumption-oriented society. We feel an emptiness inside that we keep trying to fill-up. We search for something material to provide us with a feeling of happiness, yet when this temporary experience of happiness is over, we are still left with a deeper yearning to know and value who we are.

This consumption pattern we are trapped in is never ending; until we make a conscious intention for something different. But here is the determining factor: The desire to change has to be stronger than the desire to receive temporary pleasure.

What I often tell clients who are stuck in this habitual pattern is to spend a period of time doing the opposite of what they usually do. This helps to stop the repetitive mind/body pattern in motion. It gives us time to understand the thoughts and feelings behind the pattern. It gives us the time to develop a new strategy.

Consumption patterns are often learned in childhood and carried forward unknowingly. As we grow up they become a part of our normal way of being. Often, we have been taught to use the buying of things as a way to disconnect from our true feelings, or from what we are experiencing in life.

We can use a shopping spree to fill our time when we feel bored or unhappy. We can also use shopping as the means to feel we have value. But we will quickly discover that our purchase only provides a temporary boost of pleasure or self-esteem, and soon we are searching for something else to buy.

The most important question we can ask ourselves is, “How can we recognize our value, and feel that we are good enough exactly as we are? This is a state of mind in which our experience of who we are feels sufficient. It is the realization that we can continue to expand who we are from a place of prosperity, instead of being driven by a feeling of emptiness and lack.

The only lasting way to discover our value and feel good about ourselves is to do our inner work. We want to get to the core of our consumption patterns and deeply understand them. We want to identify the layers of messages stored in our brain that cause us to feel that we are not valuable.

It requires patience to change these habitual messages, and it takes discipline to stay aware of what we are thinking. We also need the determination to not allow the old feelings to take us over and send us right back into the false stories that tell us we are not good enough.

The more we access our inner-strength and true intelligence to overcome these false stories, the more we are able to recognize our true value. Our value emerges naturally as we pay attention to what is true.

With heightened awareness, we realize that our value is not based on what we know, what we do, or what we have, but solely on the fact that we are a radiant human being experiencing life on earth. Our aliveness in itself, and how we express this aliveness, is our true value. It is what will bring us happiness and a more meaningful experience of life.

Photograph by Andreas Brucker

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