Friday, January 24, 2014

The Thin Line of Contentment

Morning.  I am so excited it is Friday!  Nothing special happening in my day but Friday's are always good.  My brother and his family are leaving for Jamaica today- that would be really exciting.  My sister-in-law and niece are heading to Mexico today- I would be pumped. My mom and stepdad are enjoying the warm sun in Texas- that would be blissful.  My dad is in the hospital right now- not so great.  My middle 2 kids start their semester final exams today- not so exciting.  No matter how you look at things, life has its ups and downs.

It seems everywhere around me lately is talk of contentment. I think it is more than coincidental that riding the heels of the new year are the soul searching thoughts of what is really important in life. Some of us (I will speak for myself) don't really make any resolutions for the beginning of a new year but that doesn't mean that I don't think hard about what direction I want to be in.

Yesterday's devotional was really inspiring and mind changing.


Embrace challenges?  Be eager for them? Anxiety is growth? Don't waste energy with regret? Ok, maybe I know these things but reading and thinking brings them back in the front line.  Do I DO this becomes the question.

So, back to contentment.  I am so glad I am not content to live with things in a certain way.  I'm not happy running a 10 mile pace forever, nor bike a 5 min mile forever, or live with chronic inflammation forever.  I want to learn more, get better, remove the kinks, live happier, gain knowledge (and muscle).  Usually, this journey may have brief plateaus and may have a bit of frustration but usually has a whole load full of confidence and improved self-esteem.  It's all good right?  Well, somewhere along there I cross to the other side and I don't know it until I am so far into the Land of Ugly that I am not sure of my way back.  Where is the line?  When do I cross the line of something good and make it something bad?

The flip the coin of contentment/discontentment happens quickly and sneakily and we find ourselves unhappy with our lot in life because someone has more, or gets to go places or is faster.  This always results in us feeling BAD about ourselves, unmotivated, unhappy, and especially with negative self-talk.  All of a sudden we can't do ANYTHING, nothing is EVER going to get better and basically life SUCKS.  I think being discontent can bring healing and joy but discontent brings comparison and dissatisfaction.

Discontentment works into our finances, wardrobes, jobs, toys, vehicles, food, health, and free time.  We are a nation of unhappy people.

We are a society that spend more money than we should on really nothing because we think we will be happier and satisfied if we do.  We live in houses and drive vehicles we really can't afford.  We eat out so much and buy clothes and toys non-stop.  We spend countless hours keeping up with the tec world making sure we know what everyone is doing.  We have a "favorite" show on tv every night of the week we need to watch.

When is wanting more ever enough?

STOP! What is really important in your life?  What do you really need?  If things were taken away from you one by one- what is the absolute last thing to go?

Ok, please don't slam me, I mean no disrespect nor am I judging.  This is me and my friends and acquaintances, in my world I am seeing this.  If this makes you mad or you want to blow it off, maybe a nerve has been hit.

  • We need to be discontent with things that are not right, and take action to correct them.

  • We need to keep true to the things in life that mean the most.

  • We need to be people of change that can build on bad to turn things into good.

However, we should not hurt ourselves and those around us in this process.  Me listening to the voice in my head that's telling me I am fat and will never get faster as a runner, biker, swimmer is NOT productive.  I need to be content with the present;  I currently have digestive issues and yes it sucks and yes I get bloated more than I want to and yes it drives me batty and I acknowledge this is my life right now.  I may not be able to achieve things 100% but I can do things 100% with a less than 100% body and be thankful and grateful for what I can accomplish.  And trust that it too will pass (like the diaper phase) and I will be stronger and able to reach out and help someone who is also walking in the same shoes I once wore.

I need to be content with the snow and crazy cold weather, content with teenage kids who think I know nothing, content with less in my wardrobe, content with life.  And willing to work at improving, to ironing out the kinks and getting better; keeping my values and motives at the forefront all the time.

I think that we will find contentment only by accepting where we are in life right now.

 Acknowledging and accepting the good and bad in our lives, the challenges and pitfalls, is the start to opening up opportunities for those challenges to turned into wonderful thing!
sunset over ocean, sonoma coast

I thought I was just going to post a short pick me up encouraging post about staying positive but I guess my fingers had another plan for me today.  I do know that after reading so many posts from other blogs, lots of time what we write about is what we need so today, I needed a good dose of reality.  Thanks for hanging in.

I wish you a great day today and hope that you are encouraged.

p.s. When do YOU know you have crossed the line?

How do you get back on track?




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