“That Must Be Amazing!” | The Other Side of Desire

Part of the appeal of celebrity magazines and websites is, for the reader, escapism into another life. A life that seemingly has more appeal due to the subjects’ fame, body, address, mate, personal net worth—you name it.

A person may read about the celebrity and think: “That must be amazing. I’d be so happy if I had that [body, bank account, girlfriend, et cetera].”


downside of desire


Another part of the draw of peering into celebrity lives comes from a fascination with how—again and again—these attributes (the looks, money, adulation) fail to shield the person who possesses them from the miseries experienced by everyday folk. Addiction. Depression. Gigantic financial fumblings. Betrayal. Loss of love. Again—you name it.

In short, the things that many people covet, and work hard for each day, are no guarantee against suffering.

But we already know that, right?


Here’s where I usually insert the bright side, the antidote. So here goes: It’s good to aspire, to plan and plot and stretch to those things that we desire.

It’s probably a good idea to examine why you want these things, so you better understand your motivations. For instance, do you want the money for freedom? From what. Security? Again, from what. To buy loads of shiny stuff in the window?

Why do you want a certain physical look? Because it will gather the attention of others? Because it will make you more confident, or give you a pleasurable feeling when you gaze in the mirror?

How about that guy, or girl? What will the presence of that person bring to your life? Everlasting joy and contentment? Pleasant companionship? Some other treasure? If so, for how long do you expect them to supply that feeling?


the downside of desire


Again—there is nothing wrong with desires, per se. With stocking your life with enjoyments. However, if you understand clearly what those *things* represent to you personally, how they bring value to you, you will be in a much better position when they come to you.

Because it seems that—like in the case of our dear celebrity studies—when those desired things land in our lives, they often don’t include the long-awaited satisfaction we anticipated. And often they bring uninvited guests, also which we did not anticipate.

So—why not feel happy now? You may have a pretty damn good thing going at present, but it’s hard to see it if you’re playing off today against some shimmery, imagined future.

Parting bright side: Allow yourself to feel satisfied now, instead of holding off until the day you have [fill in the blank].

Just give it a whirl.

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