Chain of Obsession
By: Jessica Manuel
There are crossroads everywhere and endless battles between wants, desires or needs. We always strive for something, healthy or not. The chain of obsession is dangerous because it not only distracts us from the big picture, it robs us from the beauty in it.
The definition of obsession is “the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire etc”. This is an overwhelming focus that consumes you and determines what you do in a day and where your heart is. There is nothing good that comes from obsession.
There is beauty that comes from achieving something that you worked hard for or pursuing those desires and being passionate about them. It is important to have purpose behind everything you do, but there is danger in pursuing only one thing, and that only thing consumes everything about you.
My obsession at one point was getting approval from others. The approval of my parents, the approval of my peers and that level of perceived approval dictated how I approved of myself. This obsession was unhealthy, unnecessary and unnoticed. It chained me to looking for affirmation and recognition from others, achieving it and then looking for it again somewhere else.
Looking back I see that this was exhausting. I was only feeling proud of myself when someone else was proud of me? How much sense does that make? We all do this. Affirmation or recognition is a good thing but being consumed by it is not.
Other people are consumed by a desire for success, money, possessions, even the thought of a person or a relationship. Obsession is far reaching and can affect our daily lives. We become obsessed with working out because we need to have the perfect body rather than reap the health benefits. It can even infect one’s personal faith as they become so consumed with spiritual perfection in that they fail to realize they’ve crossed the line from faith to fanaticism and henceforth fallen into superstition.
Some people never break the chain of obsession, and eventually become obsessed over the obsession.
Just so you know, like any of my other “CHAIN” topics, I am not writing on this for pleasure. I am writing on this in hopes that I may help someone fix something they don’t acknowledge. I want to ensure we’re taking time to re-evaluate our choices if needed.
The reality is, these chains are a choice; we are in full control of what we decide to carry around with us. You need to know what drives your passion or motives. Just like a chain, these choices create a heavy, inhibiting weight.
Here are a couple key reasons why obsession is not something you should choose to carry: First, you will not gain respect, trust, friendship, happiness, contentment, excitement or freedom.
What you will get is lust, greed, disappointment, pain, emptiness and a broken heart from a life full of loneliness.
People do not want to be around someone that places the same weight onto others. We’ve all been there, sitting across from someone that has “tunnel vision”, unable to see past their own reflection. It is a selfish, consuming way to live and true friendship will not sustain when someone is selfish, manipulative or destructive.
People want your time, energy, passion, consideration – the list goes on. You cannot be present with people if you’re focusing on yourself.
Let’s encourage people to not be consumed with fruitless things. Instead, encourage them to lead by example and in a way that is selfless. If you’re going to carry any type of obsession, I would highly recommend channeling that focus to giving your time, talents and treasures even when it’s difficult. Obsess about getting to a place of being able to give out of an overflow of gratitude.
The only obsession you should have is the urgency of serving others well.