I’ve been struggling with contentment lately… and by “lately” I mean for most of my life. Logically, I know I’m blessed beyond what I deserve, and I really don’t have any complaints about how things in my life are unfolding, but I sometimes get this nagging “what if” feeling that just won’t leave me alone. I struggle with feeling like I’ll finally be happy if x, y, or z happens only to achieve it and find myself surprised that nothing’s changed. I just end up wanting something new.
In some ways this is good, I guess. It motivates me to try new things and work to improve myself, but more often than not this eternal quest for something else, something more or different, leaves me feeling hollow.
The good news is that I’m finally figuring some stuff out like:
Whatever I think I’m lacking or will make me happy is immaterial. The subject is constantly changing, yet the restless feeling of wanting something new remains the same. Since I am the common denominator the answer must lie within me… somewhere. I’ve evidently hidden it really well.
I’ve never felt this nagging lacking while keeping a gratitude journal. I was really great about keeping one in high school. The entries would get rather repetitive, but keeping a record of all I was thankful for was a really powerful exercise. I’ve since allowed life to get in the way, and I’ve deteriorated into someone who frequently feels uneasy and unappreciative. Not good. This also isn’t the model I want to be for my kids (so we can add guilty to that list now too).
Happiness will never come from outside of myself. I’m stubborn so I’ve tried over and over and over again to achieve what I think the picture of happiness looks like, but eventually the novelty wears off, and I’m back where I started. I need to start looking in new places… specifically within.
Things are rarely as they seem. When I was younger I bought into the lie some others had perfect lives. It wasn’t until someone said my life was so easy and perfect that it finally clicked that everyone is fighting their own battle. All lives have their own challenges, and the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy” is very true.
Where does this leave me? I’m not really sure to be honest, but I think it’s finally sinking in that I’m never going to achieve contentment until I’m able to feel genuinely grateful for all I do and do not have. Looks like it’s also time to start up another gratitude journal.
(I may be linking up to these great parties.)