“Just be content.” Ahhhh, those tricky little words strewn together. Just be content. This is a tough one for me to write about because I honestly wonder, “Being content is such a beautiful thing. Only I could take the phrase ‘just be content’ and misconstrue it and turn it into something stressful.” Most everyone else might have a healthy version of being content, but in case there is that one person who can get this one wrong, relax, I got your back. I know I can’t be alone in being content.
I’m talking about the deeper meaning of content. Not the discontentment that Instagram can bring. There’s a different kind that I am referring to.
Do you want more out of life? Sometimes? Always? Me too! I. Want. More. The old me would have been disgusted with myself for writing that. It just sounds wrong to want more. Especially if someone on the outside looking in seems like you have it made. A home, a husband that works, children. Or wherever your contentment lies. How dare you want more, just be content. You have what some women dream of so why are you discontent? I struggled with this for years. I would ask friends if they knew what I meant… If they wanted more out of life. If they had ambitions of what more could look like. This was normally met with what I would read as a blank stare, a quizzical, “like what?” look, or something to the extent of “I just want to be able to be home with my kids and build my relationship with God.” This is a great thing, but what if you have a stirring of unrest that makes you feel discontent? A longing for more.
We all have different wants and desires. Yours are yours and mine are mine. We should not feel guilty for that. I would feel guilty though. Like I needed to apologize to God for these feelings of wanting more out of my life and then somehow get back to being OK with where I was at in life. Which usually meant pushing down feelings of dreaming big, tapping into who I was, and any chance of going after something that excited me.
Maybe God gives us feeling of uneasiness that disrupts our contentedness. Maybe that is a good thing that needs to be looked at instead of downplaying and removing.
Trying to live out the best status quo life i could was my goal. And it turned me into a shell of a person. Honestly, I forgot how to live my life for awhile. I did not know how to live my contented little life. Through all this, I learned that I just might be living by the wrong definition of contentedness. I heard somewhere that contentedness is the killer of creativity. I suppose if Edison was “content” with just a candle for light we might never have the light bulb! Maybe being discontent with something in our life can be a good thing! It can show us where we are needing change and growth. To tap into something bigger than what our current surroundings offer.
It can be confusing when you are choosing to go against the norm to chase after that ‘more’ in your life. It takes bravery and the possibility of failure and making others uncomfortable in your choosing a different way. But that is OK. That does not make it wrong or make you discontent. It makes you brave and bold for going after something that makes you feel alive. Social norms does not mean that is God saying you have to live a certain way. You have permission to live your own life! Me choosing to live this way has ironically brought the most contentedness! I do not feel like I have to conform to the worlds standards to be content. I can be content living out my life in my unique way. When I am truly living in the way God made me to be, I don’t struggle with the guilt or comparison of others like I would before. When you release yourself from living life trapped in ‘how are supposed to’, being content is a symptom of life. It’s a beautiful thing!
I have probably thought of what seems like a million different reasons I should not be writing this first post. I am not a writer. Does what I say really matter? Do I matter? Will this even go anywhere? Will anyone read this, besides the friends and family I force to? I am 41. This…