Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The Importance of Contentment

One thing I’ve noticed this past year is that even though my health took a nose dive and the road back to having something resembling my normal strength has been slow and tedious and there's still a lot of climbing to do I’ve felt far more contented, especially during the latter half of the year. Not as contented as I’d like to be, but certainly enough to make a difference.

I know that contentment has come through making a conscious decision to simplify my life. I no longer wanted drama and intrigue to be part of it, I didn’t want to be surrounded by useless gadgets and gizmos that I really didn’t need, I no longer wanted to be bogged down by clutter, not only in the home but in my mind too, and I wanted the freedom to potter through life in a way that suited me without constant interference and demands from others. I wanted to get out of the financial mess I was in and start actually seeing the trees instead of just the woods.

That contentment has made other changes easier. When I was discontented with life I’d go on a shopping spree, trying to find some kind of happiness in material things, and while I did indeed get a high from buying stuff, that high lasted a very short time. Then I’d need another dose. And another. Spending became like a drug. Once I started feeling more contented with my life I no longer felt the need to fill in the gaps with stuff, because those gaps simply weren’t there anymore. Spending less made saving easier, and saving more meant my debts started to disappear more quickly. Contentment, I noticed, was having a positive snowball effect. Not only did my goals help me gain that contentment, the contentment itself led to the goals being far more achievable. A win-win situation all round.

Once I’d rid myself of the majority of toxic people in my life I found myself feeling far happier around those I do appreciate. Whereas the poisonous vipers were shutting me in before, I was opening up more, being myself again, understanding who I was and what my relationships meant to me. Without the negative influences I was feeling far more contented.

Getting rid of some of the physical clutter in my life taught me that I really don’t need things just because I think I need them. Yes, sometimes it was hard to let go but I learned that letting go of some things frees up space for other, more important things. The same goes for mind clutter. Spending time worrying over things that I can’t change, figuring out my next move in order to stop the toxic people from bringing me down… all those things were rolling around my mind, stopping me from living in the moment. When you’re contented, living in the moment becomes so much easier.

Discontent is soul destroying, expensive and makes life far more complicated than it need be. And while we all feel discontent creeping up on us now and then, what’s important is that we grab it as soon as it appears and take a good look at where it came from. Once you know what you’re dealing with, it’s so much easier to banish it from your life again. A little adjustment here, a tweak there… that’s generally all it takes. Sometimes even acceptance. Occasionally bigger changes will be needed but when you’re generally content with life otherwise, even those are easier to deal with.

Sharon J xx


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Margaret's Ramblings said...

2009 is going to be a great year. I have high hopes as like you I make my life simpler. Margaret

Richard said...
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Rosesposes said...

Hi sharon
I can definaetely relate to a lot of that. I love your posts
x dom

Rosesposes said...

it is so right too I think we think we need things and we dont. Me & hubby were watching a western film the other day and the families in it back then just had wagons with a few belongings!.Its amazing how much stuff we surround ourselves with(Promise to one self stop buying tea cups & cakestands!, how many cakes can I eat!?)mmmmm????

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