Think back to a moment when you felt perfectly at peace. Perhaps it was on a beach at sunset. You watched the sun touch the horizon in a burst of color, and suddenly felt the world was exactly as it should be.
Maybe it happened during a romantic dinner when time stood still. The world was never more beautiful than in that instant.
Savvy marketers would like you to believe the magical ingredient was the beach or the restaurant. Their message, delivered in countless advertisements and commercials, is that to be happy you must go somewhere else, buy something else, be someone else.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that poverty is the only path to happiness. They preach a gospel of austerity and lack.
The truth isn’t in either of these viewpoints or anywhere in between. Contentment has nothing to do with what you have or don’t have, where you are, or who you’re with. Proof lies in the fact that unhappy people are found on every rung of the economic ladder.
Your contentment is within you. Contentment allows you to become more aware of the goodness and beauty in this world. Contentment is yours when you train your heart and mind to dwell on the abundance in your life and not the absences, the surplus and not the scarcity.
You need not wait around for cosmic tumblers to fall into place. You don’t need to win the proverbial lotto jackpot of life. You don’t need more of anything. You can choose the experience of well-being and contentment anytime you like.
Wise men and women know that happiness and wellness are the result of accepting the impossible, doing without the indispensable, and bearing the intolerable. Yet some of us allow our lack of contentment to overpower us so that we compromise our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Wouldn’t we all have a better chance of experiencing contentment if we didn’t place so many conditions on it? We lose ourselves in the world of if only…
- “If only my husband had a better-paying job, then I’d be happy.”
- “If only my teenager didn’t have such a bad attitude, then I’d be happy.”
- “If only my boss wasn’t such a jerk, then I’d be happy.”
The conditions we demand for happiness are often what keep us from being content. Unfortunately, life is simply not fair, nor will it ever be. Justice will not always be served; tragedy will strike the innocent; the actions of the cruel will go unpunished. You and I may not approve of this troubling arrangement, but that’s the way life is.
It takes only a cursory reading of the book of Job to understand that the upright will feel the sharp end of the stick as often as the scoundrel. To accept this as part of your belief system is to embark on a journey to peace, acceptance, and contentment.
Examples of Contentment
We do well to follow the example of the apostle Paul, who wrote:
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether liv- ing in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11–13)
Those are words that will lead us toward health, wholeness, and healing.
If you are struggling with to feel content in life and looking for a path to healing, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help. Our team is skilled at navigating sensitive issues surrounding fear, depression, stress and anxiety. For more information, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.