Christmas, we are told, is a time of giving, but sadly I am finding of late, also a time of wanting. 

Often children hanker after the latest gizmo whilst endless adverts seek to ignite our desire for a new sofa or smart TV, and with this so many children and adults start to say the words “I want..” or even “I need…” when in fact they don’t “need” but they do “want”! 

Not just a desire for something new, wanting is also defined as a lack or deficiency; a hole in our lives that requires filling or to be satisfied with fulfilment.  The younger generation so desperate for instant gratification in life that they get constantly from their electronic games! I even recall my eldest having his first example of this as a 2 year old when Barney the dinosaur would call out “Good Job!” as he matched the noise with the right button on a mock lap-top!!

There was a quote this morning in my meditation (I use the Calm app) which seems particularly resonant at this time of year: “It’s only in the absence of wanting that we find peace.” 

But what does an “absence of wanting” really mean? I got to thinking that depending on your perspective, it could be considered positive or negative.

Some may believe it to be a sign of suppressed cravings, denial or trying to accept that, for whatever reason, you can’t have something you truly desire.  Could it signal a lack of drive, a loss of impetus or even a case of giving up? 

I prefer to interpret an absence of wanting as a sense of inner fulfilment. Not that there isn’t more to be achieved or improvements yet to be made, but that I have reached a point of recognition and acceptance. I have left no stone unturned and have got the best out of myself and others to reach this moment.  

Life is certainly not about perfection – those of you that know me well will acknowledge this – but I believe it is about doing our best and recognising our own and others’ efforts. To reach a point where we are not found wanting is then to find peace. I also like to remember that “gratitude is the lubricant for a happy life”, so, especially at this time of year, I am mindful to be grateful for all that I have in my life, good and bad.

With Christmas just days away, maybe you can also take a moment to consider the benefits of an absence of wanting. Maybe together we can strip back our desires and let go of our wants, focusing instead on feelings of appreciation, acceptance and gratitude. I wonder what that could do for peace on earth and goodwill to all men?

Wishing you and your family and friends a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

Most warmly

Antony

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