The individual human soul strives to be satisfied. Whole industries are built upon trying to meet this human need. That said, the truth is, that even without countless billions that are spent every year to sell us the next secret that will meet our need for self worth and self esteem, the truth is that we choose the inner parts of ourself that we want to be known.
Without an honest approach to who we are on the inside, we will continue to only allow the pieces of ourselves that are in some way ‘worthy’ of being known to be seen. Given enough time, we are even able to fool ourselves in such a way that the latest purchase will satisfy the discontentment we know is beneath the surface…. hiding the deep shame and insignificance that we feel for believing we are not good enough.
There is a sense that if we can just only acknowledge the certain aspects of our being that we want to be seen, and hide the rest, then in some way the shame will disappear… go away.
How is it then that we hide the shame, or rather, from the shame that we feel in such a real way? How is it that we run from the truth that who we are is all we need to be?
The answer is in some shape or fashion… consumption.
To many, there is an anecdote called retail therapy. We run out and buy this or that with the hopes that the satisfaction of the next ‘deal’ will somehow fill the void that leaves an echo of emptiness in our soul. Look around you, see how long it takes to list out just 10 things that were not quite impulse buys, but were purchases that went where merely window shopping did not stand a chance. My guess is that if you were simply to take one our, and a paper grocery bag, you would be able to fill it in such a way that Goodwill would feel as if it were Christmas for them.
We do this to ourselves, the compulsive consumption, because in so many ways, the echo of shame and discontentment gets so loud in our soul that even in silence, we can’t stand how loud it is. Rather than dealing with the shame of feeling as if we aren’t enough in our own skin, we look outside of the many many jagged edges of our being to stop the cutting feeling that plagues us deep inside.
We… like Adam… choose to hide our exposure… our nakedness… behind something as simple as a fig leaf out of fear, as to avoid what we are feeling on the inside be seen. In the end, we are hiding from the reflection in the mirror, because not even we can come to grips that we are not as perfect as we really want to be.
While it is true that we are not perfect, it is even more true that who we are is no more… and no less… than who we were created to be.