I think I sometimes drive myself crazy; always wanting something more, something better. I am striving for a perfection that doesn’t really exist. Even when everything is good in my life, I’m still worrying or thinking of ways to improve myself, my job or my relationships. The fact is life is series of ups and downs. It is filled with challenges that help us to grow. In fact, we create all the right circumstances for ourselves so that we can reach our fullest potentials. There will never be a time when everything is ‘perfect’ and you stop wanting more.
Happiness is not some elusive feeling that can only be felt when your life situation is ideal–happiness exists in every moment, no matter what is going on in your life. To feel balanced over time we need to cultivate acceptance and gratitude. Both of these attributes are tied to being in the moment and being true to ourselves. Connecting to the moment and ourselves will help us to develop acceptance and gratitude and therefore will lead us to the contentment we are looking for.
GRATITUDE involves digging deep into your heart and feeling thankful for all the blessings you have in your life. If you are healthy, safe, have a home, food to eat and clothes to wear you already have A LOT to be grateful for. If you have family and friends, you are even luckier!! I don’t think I really appreciated my health until something went wrong. It’s like the song–Don’t know what you got, til it’s gone”. Unfortunately, this seems to be the way life works!
I began to make it a habit to wake up in the morning and say to myself–I am grateful for this glorious day. I am grateful that I feel okay. Great things are gonna come my way!–and I would think of at least five things in my life I was grateful for. To do this, I had to be totally present. I couldn’t be thinking about what was wrong with my relationship or complaining about my job or worrying about when my symptoms would go away–I had to BE IN THE MOMENT.
Gratitude also brought me awareness to situations in my life that perhaps weren’t exactly ideal yet I could recognize how they had helped my growth as a human being and I could find gratitude in that. Yes, in a strange way, it was ALL good. Every day I was closer to my higher, truer self.
ACCEPTANCE asks us to look at the bigger picture. It asks us to live in reality and be okay with who we are and where we are on our path. It asks us to stop rejecting our mistakes and our ‘negative’ emotions. It asks us to let go.
When hormones threatened to take control, I soon realized that I could continue to fight and resist the situation, or I could accept things as they were and adjust my thinking and my lifestyles accordingly. Yes, the situation kind of sucked, but I tried to go with the flow the best I could. When frustration built up, I allowed myself to cry (and occasionally scream).
I still struggle with fully accepting myself. I sometimes hear my ego-mind spraying out it’s predictable stream of negative beliefs but now I am more aware and better equipped to quickly replace those self-defeating thoughts with positive ones. My goal is to keep getting better at listening to my inner voice and trusting it so I can BE TRUE TO MYSELF.
Even if you don’t believe your life has a purpose, you can still strive to be your absolute best self and make a positive difference in the world. Once you can accept yourself and your life the way it is now, you can let go of all those worries, judgments and expectations and be simply be. In the quiet place of acceptance, fears dissolve and all that is left is your true essence.
In short, don’t waste your time regretting the past or fretting about the future. And don’t waste your time beating yourself up or wishing how things could be better. Have reverence for the beauty of life and it’s magical, mysterious process. Use the power of the present to cultivate gratitude and acceptance and then you will find yourself free of selfish ego-driven desires. You will be free to live in your truth and this is what will bring you the ultimate CONTENTMENT.