Tuesday, October 27, 2009

fulfillment

A good friend and I were having a conversation recently about life and he used the word "fulfillment". I tossed that word around for days afterwards...thinking about the role that fulfillment has in our lives. There are so many different aspects to one's life...areas that matter, that affect our well being, that help us determine whether or not we are living the best version of our life: our work, our relationships, our children, our health, our hobbies, our financial stability, our faith and so on. In each of those areas we have a set of ideals, of expectations, of how we want that part of our life to be...what we need it to be in order to feel fulfilled.



I look around me and I see, more often than I would have expected, that people use the fulfillment they may be getting from one aspect of their life to make up for a lack of it in another. The fulfillment from having children makes up for the void left by a mediocre marriage. Or financial stability makes up for the monotony of a job that one has no passion for. Can one strive for fulfillment in every area of their life?



Finding fulfillment is hard, hard work. Things that are worth doing are usually hard. Sophie taught me about what true fulfillment really feels like....I had never really experienced that until she came into my life. I have written before that I had never felt as proud or as accomplished than when people would comment on how well we worked together or how well trained she was. Once you taste that kind of joy, you begin to seek it out in other areas of your life. But that kind of fulfillment does not come easy....it is a journey, and it is usually found by making tough decisions, by having courage, by having perseverance. I have found more fulfillment in the last year than I have known in my lifetime...but I have a long way to go still. I guarantee you will know two things for sure on your journey to fulfillment:



One....you will know when you have found it, because it will feel like your soul has grown wings.

And two...you will know that it was worth every second of that journey.



So is it possible to find fulfillment in every aspect of your life.? My answer is I don't know...but I intend to spend most of my time on this earth trying to find out.




16 comments:

Scout 'n Freyja said...

I think you have found the key to fulfillment. When your soul melds with another so completely that to be without the other would mean that you would feel half alive, half there, half awake, half gone...

You have that with your dog. Sadly, it is difficult to find with another human being...

Hilary said...

Lovely thoughts, as always, Andrea. I was just thinking about you today when I saw a beauty of a Border Collie on the path near my home. Glad to see you posting. :)

gigi said...

Wow, that is a wonderful post, Andrea. Thank you. Continued joy and fulfillment :)

Bruce said...

Finding fullfillment is definitely worth the journey!
your cat pal,
Bruce:)

Claire said...

i love our retrospective posts! fulfillment is a really interesting thing to think about...i'm going to do some thinking on that for my own life now :) but yes, no doubt, roux is absolutely one of the most fulfilling parts of it.

Barry said...

Very thoughtful post Andrea. And, as always, your photos of Sophie are fascinating!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I have missed seeing Sophie, so it was wonderful to see your post today! Fulfillment..some deep thoughts ..I think it may be more important at your age than mine! I am content, for the most part..I guess that must mean that I am fulfilled... we have a dog..or he has us..All he needs is someone to throw the ball to be totally absolutely fulfilled:)

Anya said...

Fantastic post :)
Nice to meet new friends ....
hugs
Kareltje =^.^=

The Write Girl said...

Beautifully spoken and written. I am very happy for you and Sophie, Andrea. Fulfillment may take a lifetime but it is certainly worth the journey. Best wishes : )

Robynn's Ravings said...

I think you nailed a few things here. Sometimes things bring us even greater fulfillment when they take the place of disappointment elsewhere. Maybe they wouldn't be as sweet without it.

Thank you, Andrea, for your sweet words to me. :)

Oz Girl said...

I truly believe that our pets are great helpers when it comes to finding fulfillment in our lives. They sure can help us forget a bad day, and then as we sit quietly and pet them, we can reflect on WHAT is causing our bad days,and try to rectify it. Many people have lackluster jobs, that rob them of joy every single day. I used to be one of those people.

I am ever so thankful that I am no longer one of those people. :)

Andrea, wonderful pictures of Sophie. I adore the first one, with her eye peeking into the corner of the frame and the beautiful red/pink flowers muted in the background!

Carolynn said...

I think I experience fulfillment when I'm doing things that just come naturally. Not those things I get paid for, necessarily (unfortunately). The difficulty I'm having now, is find a way to marry those to concepts.

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Wonderful post, Andrea.
I love that last photo.

Thanks for visiting my blog. :-)

Lose That Girl said...

My puppy Zoey is helping me get there. It's been a truly horrible year and she's been one of the sole shining lights. I think pets hold the key to many things and they can teach about fulfillment better than any person. Another beautiful post, Andrea. Love the photos.

Sherri said...

It is possible, Andrea, but I think it takes time and realistic expectations. You reached a point of cognitive dissonance in your life before Sophie and when you changed your employment to one that is a better match for your current values, you eliminated a big area that lacked fulfillment. Keep listening to your heart and giving more than you receive and you will reach fulfillment in all areas of your life.

Annie said...

Just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these pictures!!! Seems we humans should follow the example of dogs...they enjoy fulfillment everyday without even trying!