Satiety and Satisfaction

Satiety means the quality or state of being sated, fed or gratified to or beyond capacity. Satisfaction is fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.

Satiety is a tough one for me. I like to eat. I like to eat beyond the level of fullness. Sometimes I even like to gorge. I do this because it makes me feel better. In three entries in this blog, I have written entries about depression. Before the year is out, I am sure I will write more. Eating is a coping mechanism. The food slowly filling me up is one of the best feelings. The taste of the food in my mouth is one of the best feelings. Food is life. We all need to eat. We all deserve a variety of good tasting and healthy food choices. We should celebrate food. We should celebrate the pleasure that we take in eating. We should also fight for food justice. Healthy and diverse food should not be a luxury but a right.

Do I overindulge? Yes. It is one of the few things that makes me feel better. I have lost a good sense of satiety because I want to eat more and more. I have few effective tools when it comes to dealing with depression. Food is one that never lets me down. I admit it is an issue, but until I find different tools for battling depression, I will need to turn to food to survive. Food has enabled my survival. That may sounds dramatic or even hyperbolic, but it is really not. It is truth. Depression is life-threatening and one has to do whatever they can to survive.

When I think of satisfaction, I think of buying things. This can be another problem for me. I don’t make much money, but what I do make quickly gets spent. I buy things for the same reason that I eat: to make myself feel better. It works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. Even when it does work it usually doesn’t work for long. It is a temporary high. It is a way to forget. Pleasure is derived from the fulfillment of one’s wishes, to be sure. But it is not anything like spirituality. I think spirituality does not even belong in the same lane as “satisfaction.” It is of a different order. It is a feeling that is so much deeper than satisfaction. It is an existential connection; in fact, it is a connection from the self to the Cosmos and to God.

When you are down and depressed, reaching for food or material goods can be pretty easy. Reaching for something deeper can be much more diffcult. It is like reaching in the dark for a much deeper “satisfaction”, a connectivity that will truly make you feel full rather than merely sated or satisfied. I believe the few times I have reached this fullness has been when I am deep in spirtual practice, in prayer or in meditation. Or when I feel deeply connected to another human being, with an animal or in nature. As I face down this latest battle of depression, I wish for a fullness and spirit that transcends satisfaction and satiety. I wish this for you as well.