Satisfaction Guaranteed

This was an advertising slogan from my childhood, “satisfaction guaranteed”. I believe it was for cigarettes.

And along came “Betcha can’t eat just one”.

And of course the Queen offers to Snow White a wishing apple and says, “One bite, and all your dreams will come true”. Echoes of Eve in the garden.

Now today we have “binge watching”.

None of these result in satisfaction.

But they may result in addiction.  Addiction to more and more and more.

None of these appeal to appetite.  Appetite can be satisfied.

They appeal to greed, which can never be satisfied.  Greed always demands more, and more and more.

In the consulting room, I frequently listen to patients and I sense I hear echoes of all this.

He is tormented. He works hard, never cheats on his wife, takes care of the children, cooks and gives his wife anything she wants.  And yet his wife won’t pay him any attention or be intimate with him.  His solution is to assume that there is something wrong with him.  He is never enough.  He cannot conceive that it is his wife who perceives that he is never enough to hide her own feeling of not being enough.  She hides behind her entitlement which he can never satisfy so he must be at fault.

The parents are dismayed.  They can’t understand why their child has no regard or respect for them or anyone else.  He has become a monster that does not appreciate what the parents have done for him.  After all they have done for him, he lacks any sense of value.  Nothing is ever good enough for him.

It appears that greed and addictions are alive and well, which has been known by politicians, advertisers, con men, gurus and cult leaders for eons.

To me, a central issue in all this is the feeling one grows up with of “I’m never enough”.  Curiously, it appears that if you neglect a child or spoil a child you get the same result, a feeling of “I’m not enough”.

This leads to all sorts of remedies which in the end are attempts to rid oneself of this feeling.  All these remedies are greedy.  All these remedies result in addiction.  The remedy is always more and more and more of whatever to get rid of the “I’m not enough” feeling.  But they all fail.  Because greed cannot be satisfied.

When is enough, enough?

When am I enough?

Can one be satisfied?

Can I be satisfied?

Or if I feel satisfied does that mean that I am really not enough and that I have settled for less because I couldn’t have more?



I reread this writing and find myself feeling pressured to provide some answers, some solutions.

But I resist, because if I do, then I will become just another expert, know it all with all the answers.  Another con man.

The difficult trick is to resist and allow you, if you will, to find your own answers.

It is your journey, not mine.

My journey started a long time ago.

As Fritz Perls one said, “Everybody wants to be somebody, nobody wants to grow”.


Dr. Brody


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