I believe that, most of the time, we either go into situations with an agenda or an agenda is activated by a change in the situation we are in. The agenda can be quite obvious and even stated or it can be hidden even from ourselves. In most if not all cases, I’d say that our agenda really boils down to the desire for a feeling of contentment, as it’s only when people are not content that they feel the need to manipulate a situation or interaction in order to achieve something specific.
- If I wear this, they’ll pay attention to me and that helps me to feel special.
- If I agree to this, they’ll like spending time with me and that helps me to feel wanted.
- If I do this, they’ll give me money and that helps me to feel secure.
- If I say this, they’ll do what I want and that helps me to feel… content.
Now, the word ‘manipulate’ has picked up a lot of negative connotations over the years, but wanting to feel content isn’t a bad thing. It can, however, blind us to the sometimes destructive repercussions of our actions. It can also take us out of the present moment and further away from actual contentment in our search for that ‘thing’ we believe our happiness is attached to.
There is a gift to be found within every moment, but you need to look closely, like at a ‘Where’s Wally?’ picture. Really pay attention. Stop thinking about how you can achieve your agenda and take in the ‘present’ that has been given to you right now. Often, what you wish for is right in front of you, only it’s come in a different guise than the one you imagined.
I had an experience recently of noticing my agenda being activated, knowing exactly what it was about (the desire for motherly love), choosing not to act upon it, and instead simply continuing to enjoy the lovely moment of interaction I was sharing with a friend. Both the interaction and the clarity were truly beautiful experiences to have.
It reminded me of this lyric from The Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.” And it can be even more amazing than what it was you thought you wanted. 🙂