Days of Contentment – Made By You!
I have the opportunity in my life of service, to get glimpses into others homes and lives, and see what I can do to help them. I am always shocked to see the struggles that others are having, which in turn makes me feel so much more grateful for my life.
I sometimes struggle with being content with what I have been blessed with. It seems that there is always something more that I would like, or something about me that I want to change. I have been thinking a lot on this lately. And then I came across this quote: “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” Lao-Tzu
What does it for us to be content with ourselves? What would it take for ME to be content with myself and who I am?
Don’t compare – if I stop comparing myself, my circumstances, and my life with every one around me, I should find that contentment. My life is different from everyone. I have really come to realize this, especially lately. My marriage is awesome. My children are all really good people. I have a good roof over my head, with food on the shelves. I know who I am and my purpose in life. SO many others, don’t have what I have, and yet often I find myself thinking of how I would like something else, thinking that something that they have is better, or nicer, or different. Why can’t I be content? Because it is in our human nature to WANT. Want different, want more, want bigger, want better, and just want.
The worst thing we can do is to compare ourselves with others. It will always lead to restlessness, instead of contentment. So lets stop doing that. There is not one of us who’s lives are equal in any way. We are all individuals, with our own unique set of circumstances. Let’s be content with what we have, and then when we do get more, we will appreciate it that much more.
Competition – have you ever felt like life is a competition, to see who comes out with the biggest and best? When I look around, I see this everywhere. I am glad that I personally don’t feel like this. And yet, sometimes, I feel that twinge of envy, when someone I know gets a new car, and mine is patched together, or someone goes on that vacation that I have been waiting for years to go on. It is again in our nature to feel these things, but not to dwell on them. Dwelling on them and to continue to be envious, will only lead to us not being content with our own lives. If we always think that we need something more, because of course our friends all have it, then we will never be content.
I think perhaps when we are looking at people to compare our lives with, or to compete with, how about looking at the flip side of the coin. Those who have nothing, those who can’t pay their bills every month, those who have no food to feed their children, those who have lost their home, those who are not employed, and those who are crying out for help. Compare ourselves with these situations, and I think that we will quickly be able to put our own lives into perspective, and find that contentment, that begins with us. If you are having a hard time finding these situations, just look a little bit harder, or deeper into the people around you, because I promise you, they are there, all around you.
I really have nothing to be unhappy about in my life, except my own stupid mistakes. My life is great. I can be content with who I am. I can be content!