The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Urge and Motivation

Discussing the idea of acceptance, a friend wondered what acceptance describes and implies.

It’s a wonderful question as acceptance often invites the idea to have to give up something or that something will not be available anymore. That is an acceptance that can be experienced as very difficult. As if one was forced to let go. It comes with a sense of dependence on others or circumstances. And thus, with a sense that things are out of one’s control but should be within one’s control. Acceptance, to me, means to be able to be without such tension.

Such tension often leads to an urge. An urge, as I see it, is a reaction to a situation that one experiences and can’t let go without doing something about it. It is something external one cannot resist. And it is a sensation that external events keep alive or active.

In contrast to this, I understand motivation as something internal that keeps one active and engaged in the matter. External events may be helpful to confirm one’s motivation but are not needed to remain active.

One might decide one day to let go of such a motivation, but then it will mostly be fluid. This doesn’t happen with an urge. There, letting go is more a sign of having lost or maybe won the battle.

Motivation is a choice, whereas urge will appear existential.

This isn’t to say that one is better than the other. Or that one is good and the other bad.

Both motivation and urge have a reason to exist. However, the way we experience them will be different. Dealing with urges is more an experience of trying to remain in control of things. Being pushed by motivation, on the other hand, is more an experience of freedom and choice.



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