Today there are no shortage of products and activities to provide one with pleasure. The goal is to give you a hit of dopamine or numb you out a little – but most importantly the goal is to get you to want more. The pleasure often has a numbing effect. What felt good the first time you tried it doesn’t quite feel good enough the second. You need just a little more . . . and then a little more after that – like a scoop of ice cream, a glass a wine, a cheap binge-worthy TV show, a quick glance at a certain website. They can lull you in and without even knowing it you need more and more.
Pleasure doesn’t equal satisfaction.
Satisfaction is a different feeling – one where you don’t need more to feel good again. It’s not about consumption for only your own purposes and pleasures. It’s not that satisfaction can’t also be pleasurable (it can be) it’s that the things that bring satisfaction fill you up instead of leaving you empty when the pleasure subsides. Satisfaction brings peace and wholeness. It often connects you with others. It may remind you of the story you were meant to live. It comes from a dinner out with good friends, a time of quiet reflection and prayer, a couple hours lost in an activity that lights you up, a small act of kindness or a great conversation with your son or daughter.