“Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.” Aldous Huxley
“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” Dalai Lamaa
“How is it possible to be solidly aware of where you are going, and what you are doing one day, and the next day shake your head in dismay. Just when you reason you have arrived at the answers, you are sent backwards in remorse. It keeps one on their toes, because you never know when the hit is coming, and from where it will come.” Anonymous
I began reflecting on contentment. It leaves us befuddled, because we all just want a little satisfaction, security and trust that the world is okay, and so are we. As we all are aware, the world is anything but okay, and we live in fear about almost everything in our lives. As soon as a baby is born, we worry about college, never mind if we can afford the diapers and baby food. Our lives are spent in worry and discontent. It is no wonder most of us suffer, or will suffer with stress related health issues or illness.
All everyone requires is some serenity in their lives. It just cannot be found. I worried and feared and finally concluded, I couldn’t live my life fully, in worry and fear. It got old, unhealthy, boring and unpleasant. That is when I began to ruminate over what I was doing. My days were passing, and I was hardly in them. I was too busy having anxiety attacks about something. If I wasn’t concerned with a relationship, it was my job performance, the amount of money I had in the bank, how many kids I wanted versus how many we could afford, and doubt about whether my kids had enough activities or too many. I questioned if I had to attend all of those showers, weddings and birthday parties. I fretted about painting the house of fixing the yard. My social attention to inviting friends for dinner, was a concern worth mentioning.
I don’t want my kids lacking, so I get them involved. Those phone calls must be completed, or my friends will be upset with me. Everyone in my neighborhood has their yard picked up, so I’d better get to it soon. My basement is getting cluttered, because I keep throwing things in it that I don’t have a place for yet if ever. I must keep the old paint in case I need to touch up the room. My parents and in-laws expect to see us this weekend. I begin ruminating again on an answer for my problems. The list in my head continues to scribe on and on until I feel a headache coming on. I am ready to pounce at the next human person who speaks.
My life was almost getting to be impossible to live. I thought of a remote island and what it would be like if I sailed to it and left the world behind. I don’t mean I don’t care about or love my family and friends and even my life, but I can’t seem to keep up with it. I am drowning in my thoughts, never mind my duties. On the island it would be like starting over. Nothing on my plate to think about or do. What a refreshing feeling. Of course I would never make the trade, even if I could. The chaos made me mull over how well I had complicated my life.
Our lives don’t get mixed up because of marriage or kids nor family and friends. Our existence turns upside down when we perpetrate on irrelevant issues. Suddenly a new thought inspires me. I’ll think about some changes. As I deliberate I conclude my life is okay. I am happy. I am quiet and peaceful and content. I have so much to be thankful for. I am humbled and ashamed of myself for considering I had a grueling life. It was only my approach.
I don’t have to get my house painted this year if my schedule is too busy. I can even consider it in the Fall or very early spring. I am dumping useless items, and sending some worthy items to a thrift store. My kids don’t have to have three or four activities to attend. If they do I can always have them skip one now and again, if we have something planned. I can call my friends and pencil them in for coffee and dessert, or even meet at an inexpensive restaurant. I will get to see them and enjoy their company, without the need to clean my house and prepare a meal.
Weighing what is important in my life, will alleviate the lesser responsibilities. Considering what I want is helpful. I love my spouse, kids, and family. I like my small bit of space, my smaller yard, bird feeders, books, and home prepared meals. The smell of baking bread is awesome and homemade applesauce delicious. I don’t have big desires to order food all of the time, nor attend to restaurant meals. I like walks and bike rides. Simply put I enjoy my life. It is okay if others don’t consider it glamorous. It suits me so I need to stop attempting to have my life look like the next persons’ life. I’m content and that is what counts.
If I don’t get to all of the phone calls today, perhaps I will tomorrow. If not tomorrow, eventually it will happen. A true friend will be glad to hear from me whenever I call. I have found serenity in my life. I don’t demand of others, and now I don’t demand of myself. I work with what I have, and I not only love my life, but I am contented with my life. So much of what I was considering was unimportant and unnecessary. I see the truth and the simplicity. It is hard to imagine the simplicity of any life when we get so caught up in a million complications.
Once we can focus on the reality of our being, we begin living in the moment. We can’t control what happens in our lives. We can make the best choices when they are required. Our lives will unfold beautifully through our active participation, rather than our inactive stress and worry. Even dandelions are a beautiful yellow splash of bright colors on a dreary rainy day.
“Happiness is the art of making a bouquet of those flowers within reach.” Anonymous
“When you are discontent you always want more, more more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, Oh yes, I already have everything that I really need.” Dalai Lama