Contentment- what it isn’t
So you noticed her shoes; but did you see her boyfriend? Do you wish you were the one on that train, or do you eye your couch suspiciously since you’ve seen theirs? Then stop, and take a look at the mirror; how you see yourself depends greatly on how you see the world, but that’s the other way around; you should be looking at the world from the inside OUT not from the outside IN..
…versus what it is
You may look at someone else’s life and think everything is perfect, but you really don’t know what stares them back in the soul when they close their eyes at night (if their conscience ever lets them sleep). There may be many things you have that they yearn for just as much as you think you want a little more in your life. We all have good with the bad. The good makes us happy enough to know that the bad can’t last forever – it builds hope. The bad makes us sad long enough to remember that we should strive for more – that builds hope too. So it is that our lives are a source of hope, both the good and the bad. Hope is good, hope means you’re not dead inside. Hope is different from stone cold ambition willing to trample on anyone to prove yourself better than the next person or keep them underfoot. Because to hope means that you still have a little sandman in your eye, a dream, something beautiful to look forward to and plan for.
Hold on now, when I say you may want a little more of life I’m not talking about jealousy; I’m talking about looking from the inside out and recognising that you’d like a little more this or that in your life, not linked to what anyone else has.
Too many people consider their worth by looking around at what lies outside their scope of immediate gratification, or they consider their worth in terms of their bank account or the latest finishes at home. This leads to misery because you’re looking at yourself from the outside in, and that’s not living a soul-driven life; that’s being forced forward by appearances, by the illusion of what others say you should be/attain/have.
So, you may have a simple home with simple things; but these things are a product of who you are, of the road you’ve travelled, of the good and bad times you have seen, and that makes them valuable. You come home and you collapse on a bed that you know is a source of peace because those surrounding you respect, love and are kind to you; that’s contentment. Your mat may have seen better days while your new lamp brings you great joy because you’ve been looking for something like that for so long… your table may be something your grandmother kept in her garage and your car may give you a few hassles but it gets you places; Each thing in your home and everyone in your life speaks to what and who you have surrounded yourself with over the years.
So if something isn’t giving you that feeling of contentment, perhaps its time to make a change. Change is hard, but change is okay if it leads to contentment; some changes are small and some not so much; some require you to evaluate where you are at a particular point and make a categorical shift.
Taking out the trash:
Remember when you are making changes in the furniture or the colour of your walls, to keep an eye on the company you keep as well, some friends don’t add to your contentment but keep dragging you outside, so that you are always looking at yourself from the outside in and always find yourself lacking something. Good women should lift you up, point to the good as well as shine an impartial light on what may need changing. Good women friends spend just as much time assessing the contentment of your heart with you than they do picking out new clothes. If all they do is worry about your taps, your car, new clothes, new trips, and keep pushing you for “more more more”, they may not be building you up as much as you may want to believe that; they may well be leading you down a glossy road to personal hell where you are trapped by appearances that you want to keep and silencing your inner contentment with what you already have.
Change isn’t bad, de-cluttering your association circle isn’t bad. The only determinant of failure is how you handle the change; do you sink with discouragement, or do you focus on reaching a state of inner peace and so tread water until you catch your breath and start to swim again?
If things are simple but simple is you, then be grateful for that, unashamedly so. If brands are you thing and you can afford them then that’s fine too as long as you are content. My home is rather different to mainstream city life; between the duck, the cats, the dog, the birdlife, the chickens to come, the dreams of an ostrich and the little creek full of crabs and frogs I’ve long ago lost the love for brands and chrome finishes, but I respect those who want those things, as long as it gives them contentedness and isn’t just filling a gap where their soul should be.
I have observed that no amount of physical comfort and wealth can make you happy if you surround yourself with people who can’t value people but only things, or you surround yourself with people who don’t value you but only the next “trip” with you. Those two should be the first to go, I’d wash them out with the duck poo first thing in the morning!