View Full Version : What is it about us?
02-03-2009, 02:14 AM
Disclaimer: I have only just joined RFT (and find I cannot stay away!) and have barely looked into the personal growth section, so I hope I am not overstepping. But I have a burning thought and think this might be a good place to throw it out there?
Why is it so hard for us (as a species) to simply be content?
I know that meandering through our lives is very much a very fluid process. It follows no graph, that is for sure. It certainly doesn't happen overnight, and I would never expect, nor want it to.
I have just written and re-written several paragraphs, ad nauseam.
I suppose I simply have a question: are you happy? Are you content?
02-03-2009, 06:51 AM
I think our life experience is about bouncing around and bumping into things and, from that, figuring out what we want. A lot of the time, we get to an idea of what we want by seeing what we don't want. The trick becomes not getting caught up focusing on the don't-want, and allowing ourselves the gift of using that contrast to determine what we'd like to expand into next. The happiness/unhappiness comes from this place - do we look at what we don't want as a reason to be unhappy, or do we look at it as a point of expansion and appreciate the gift in helping us move forward?
This is an expansive universe, and so wherever we are, we can see somewhere else we want to go. If you look at that as an adventure and a gift, it brings happiness for where you are and where you're going. If you look at it as a reason to beat up on why you aren't already wherever you want to be next, it can lead to a lot of unhappiness.
I also think there is a big difference between happy and content. For me, I can find gratitude and happiness from any perspective in life. But the idea of being content feels like settling - like I should be fighting against my natural urge for expansion. I realize this might just be my personal relationship with these words, but that's the energy I feel when I contemplate those ideas.
I'm finally happy. I haven't been happy as usual for a little while now. I've been missing a piece, just sort of forgot about it. It's also been about the pressure I've had on myself to continue to succeed out in the "real world." I'm getting to the point where I simply want to succeed in my own world, and I am not tied to what happens with my career. I know that I can be happy with or without it now. I'm looking forward to a career that I can build and touch other people and make less money. It's OK. I'll keep this one for the paycheck while I build that one up, but I'm not going to let it make me crazy!
And for that reason, I stopped working early on Friday for the weekend. And I'm going to bible study on Wednesdays now (starting tomorrow) during work hours. Ha! I guess it will be me and the soccer moms.
I think when you look at the things you do during the day and realize that none of the things on the list have meaning, it's when life feels like a chore. For me, anyways. I don't want life to be a chore. What a bummer!
Melanie, I just read what you wrote. I guess I sort of forgot about the word "content." I don't have the same personal differentiation between the words. When I feel happy, a part of that is feeling content. That's just me. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the subject. :)
02-03-2009, 07:09 AM
Eva, I absolutely agree with you about not wanting life to be a chore! I remember my last stint working in a corporate environment at a great job, and most every day I would feel such a lack of inspiration over what I was doing. I was able to find happiness, yes, but there was still that dull sense of blah that came with not following my heart! And that did change a great deal - I started having kids. :D From there, I've had lots of wonderful opportunities for expansion on a personal and professional level. Life is good!
As for the word content... I think I was skewed on this by my husband, many years ago when I first met him. He was living in a place he really disliked, working in a field that bored him. He would ask the people around him if they were happy and get a more settling-type response where they'd reply they were 'content enough'. He put out some pretty big vibes for happiness over 'content enough' bag in those days!!
Ha, this just gave me a flashback to when I was dating my husband and he was trying to play Mr. Suave. He would ask me questions like this, only about what I needed to be content. Actually, that was one of the first real things he asked me. LOL, I don't know why that wasn't the first thing that came to my mind.
Haha, and it was so cheesy. But endearing. It was irrelevant. I was in love with him from the start.
Anyways, sorry for the tangent. I remember saying I needed travel in my life. And I guess I do have that base covered. LOL. :eek:
02-03-2009, 08:28 AM
Before retiring I worked for many years as a machinist. Shortly after starting to work in a large union shop I noticed that I was working most of my weekends and a co-worker was never there on the weekends. Working weekends was a voluntary assignment so one Monday after working several weekends in a row we were both there at the same time because he was starting his work week and I was somewhere in the middle of mine. I went up to him and I asked him why he was able to take the weekends off while I was practically living there at my machine. He looked at me and said "I got the satisfieds". I looked back at him and said "what do you mean you got the satisfieds ?" he said "I stopped always wanting stuff and found ways to be satisfied with the stuff I had and that solved the overtime issue for me." I decided to try and get the "satisfieds" and stopped buying stuff I didn't need and stopped signing my name on the bottom line for new payment plans. I was successful in getting the "satisfieds" and got my life back. His approach is a different way of coming at contentment but it comes down to one of the root causes of discontent - wanting.
02-04-2009, 02:04 AM
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows (from The Tempest)
Translation: Misery loves Company
02-04-2009, 07:13 AM
EZ Rider, I enjoyed your post! Though I would take the last line a bit farther... I don't think the root of discontent is wanting, as much as paying more attention to the lack of what we are wanting than to the good that we already have.
To take that to the raw foods example... say you're striving for 100% raw and have been on track for 10 days. Then on day 11, you eat some cooked rice and steamed veggies. Do you then spend your time focusing all of your energy on that cooked meal and your failure, which goes to the lack of what you want (100% raw) and does you no good whatsoever (other than helping you further clarify what you want), or do you find a way to appreciate how far you've come and use your past success as a springboard for your future actions? One choice leads to discontent. The other leads to a much happier experience.
Too often, people beat themselves up about what they're not doing right/don't have/aren't achieving instead of focusing on the places where they already have a multitude of things to appreciate. And what you focus on expands.
Misery loves company - so true. Most people think of this in terms of people gathering together in their misery, but it applies to our thoughts as well. The more misery we contemplate, the more misery we create.
02-05-2009, 03:30 AM
It's easy to be content when you live in resonance with nature& the universe BUT us human beans (as the famous BFG says :) ) did move so far away from the natural lifestyle that we don't even know what it is anymore.
Keep smilin' and
Have a happy day everyone :D
03-02-2009, 05:50 PM
Content-is wanting what youve got in your life.
Discontent-wanting what you dont have.
Yes I am content and feel blessed in abundance.
03-03-2009, 09:08 AM
I used to see a shaman for sessions who said to me once, "You may have money, you may not, but you will be very content.." So, whenever I feel very "at one" with everything, I'll think to myself, "Is it now, is it now?" Sort of like that Verizon commercial--"Can you hear me now, can you hear me now?" :p As if there is an ultimate destination...
By nature, I enjoy growing beyond my comfort zone. Paradoxically, for me, THAT is contentment--choosing to live my life in accordance with who I am. Whenever I am centered in myself and present in the moment, I am content.
What can, and does, trip me up is the fear that "it" is not enough, that I am not enough, but that comes from a "hole in the soul" place, and I'm getting pretty good at being able to tell the difference.
For me, complacency is the thing to beware, not contentment...
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