Desire, Fulfillment and Well-Being


I believe that many times, our health and well-being suffers because we are looking for fulfillment in the wrong places. We have innate desires built into us that we try to satisfy over and over, and oftentimes we do do, but for some we never quite “get there”. Every natural desire we have corresponds to some sort of objective state of affairs that fulfills that desire. For example, we all naturally desire food, shelter, water, and sleep. And objective features of reality exist that fulfill those desires. And those desires we can and do satisfy. 

But we also have natural, innate desires built within us that seek things like love, beauty, goodness and truth. But we don’t just seek those in a partial manner, we seek them in a complete or perfect way. We desire ultimacy. When we want somebody to love us, we don’t just want superficial love on the surface or somebody to go halfway. We want to experience the fullness of their love.

Ultimate joy and ultimate happiness is our ultimate goal. We want to know all of the truth, not just bits and pieces. We want unconditioned beauty, unconditioned love, unconditioned goodness in our daily lives. But unfortunately we never quite seem to find that. Now don’t get me wrong, we can get close, but be honest with yourself. Are you 100% completely fulfilled 100% of the time with 100% of your relationships, your job functions, your family life, and your hobbies? Are you perfectly happy, perfectly loved, perfectly in love and perfectly filled with respect to everything in your life? I bet the answer is probably no. 

But yet we have this innate desire built-in which yearns for this perfection. And we also have some sense of what that is. We certainly have a good sense for what that is not. Now, if these desires cannot be fulfilled in this world, how can they be fulfilled and why do we have them? Where do they come from? 

The Ultimate Source

The answer is, from a logical and philosophical perspective, found in God. Our desires cannot be fulfilled from some objective state affairs in the natural world. Only some kind of objective, supernatural reality can fulfill them. God is that objective, unconditioned, supernatural reality. And God entails everything that we desire: unconditioned and perfect love, unconditioned ultimate truth, perfect goodness and justice, unlimited beauty. We don’t just want these things partially, we want them fully. And we cannot fully experience them in this world because they do not exist in an unlimited capacity in this world.

So that’s why it’s so vital to gear our hearts and our minds towards God. Every day we should strive to use our God-given intellect (our logical minds) to better understand the nature of God (to attain truth), to try to develop and improve upon a relationship with God, as well as relationships with our fellow human beings. Only God can fulfill our desires to the highest degree, so we shouldn’t look for things like materialistic pleasures or even humans in this world to do that. Now I’m not saying to avoid these things because they are all very good, but we should focus on the immaterial aspects of this world to satisfy our innate desires, namely the pursuit of perfect love, beauty, goodness and truth everyday of our lives. That leads to ultimate fulfillment and the greatest degree of health and well-being.