“I must do something worthwhile with my life, achieve my potential.” I think that’s a common feeling, but so is “I want to feel needed, liked and appreciated.” And these two feelings don’t always fit together easily. We may feel pressured to fulfil other people’s expectations of us, although part of us would rather “do it our way”. Some of us also wonder “But what does God expect from me?” How can we best find fulfilment?
Emanuel Swedenborg assures us that we will all find it in some way eventually. Whatever character we choose to adopt is capable of endless development, of filling out with more and more depth and detail, bringing us an increasing sense of completeness.
Our chosen character is sure to be unique. It will be “our way”. Still, the more it involves of really caring for others’ happiness, the greater will be the potential for beauty, the finer our sense of fulfilment.
The Bible pictures some negative kinds of fulfilment. One is people trying to build the ‘Tower of Babel’ up to the sky “to make a name for themselves” but bringing on themselves total confusion. (Genesis 11:1-9)
Another is a rich man storing up wealth for himself, but dying before he can enjoy it. (Luke 12:13-21)
A fulfilled character cannot be all love, nor all thought, nor action alone. True love will draw wisdom to itself, like a marriage partner, and their offspring will be good actions. The three make completeness.
Many people feel wonderful fulfilment in producing children, while others are distressed that they cannot. In spirit we all are equally children of God, but can feel our achievements of sharing light and love as our children.
So it is reaching our potentials for creativity, for being useful, and for actively caring for others that cause us to feel ‘filled full’ and complete deep down inside.