Ease of Mind: Contentment
July 21, 2012
“Contentment is the greatest treasure.”― Lao Tzu
Ease of mind. Comfort of mind. The opposite of dis-ease: without ease.
When we experience dis-ease, it is difficult to live up to our potential. We become burdened with wants and desires that diminish the parts of our lives that are of the highest value.
Contentment is sometimes used interchangeably with happiness. They are two subtly different things.
When you’re happy, it’s really a state of being, influenced by a number of factors, including contentedness.
Contentedness, on the other hand, is a matter of being satisfied with what you have. It focuses on what you have and don’t have instead of just being a state of being. It influences happiness. However, you can choose to be content, just as you can choose to be happy, and if you choose to be content, you will be happy.
I don’t ever mean to sound like there is a magic button called “choose” that you just push and make everything better. I know it is harder than that. However, I do believe that by making one different choice in one circumstance you can begin to develop the strength and power to choose differently.
I believe contentment is an example of this. You can choose to be satisfied with what you have instead of filling up the pintrest board with things you want and feeling sad that you can’t have them all at once. Of course it is great to work towards something, but will the attainment of that “thing” make you happier”? Every time you want or need something it is a pinch from the world of disappointment: saying, hey remember, ” I can not be happy and content if I don’t have a new red car.” Why not take the first step in altering your perception and as you climb into your worn, but functional car, and say to yourself, “I am grateful to have a car.” Find contentment in what you have.
As with everything in life we need to find a healthy balance. In this case the balance between contentment and desire and longing. We all struggle with this.
When we get so caught up with “working at” being happy/content are we forfeiting the opportunity to be happy and/or content? Do we become lost and unable to see the potential for happiness and contentment that is all around us.
Looking for “ease-of-mind”? Contentment? Begin where you are and be grateful. Know why you are saving for something, why you “have to have” something….keep desire for “having more” or something “else”, at an arms length, and see where those things fit into your choice of working towards being content/happy. Keep it real.