On Finding Pleasure in Life

On Finding Pleasure in Life

“Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.” – Soren Kirkegaard, Danish philosopher, theologian, religious author and psychologist

Pleasure is a normal human pursuit. In recovery, we often deny ourselves what we perceive to be the liberty of enjoying pleasure. Why? Do we feel as if we do not deserve it? Undoubtedly this is the case for many of us, especially in early recovery when we’re just finding our way. But think of pleasure as happiness or joy. Surely we deserve those, as do all men and women. The answer is, of course we do. So, perhaps finding pleasure in life is something we should put on our list of goals for recovery.

Where should we begin to find pleasure in life? Start with our surroundings, the people we know and love best – our family. We can express our love for them in subtle and simple ways: a hug, a kiss of affection, a small deed done selflessly and with no expectation for reciprocity. Seeing their smiles is reward enough. It gives us instant pleasure that’s worth more than money can buy.

There are many other ways to find pleasure in life. Once we start enjoying instead of constantly searching, finding pleasure will become second nature. Admire the beauty of nature, the playfulness of a kitten, the innocence of our babies, the loving expression of our spouse or partner. Begin by doing, all the while keeping an open mind ready to embrace the sheer pleasure the doing brings. By doing for others out of the goodness of our hearts, we will find the greatest and most unquenchable source of pleasure.

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