The 3 R’s of Contentment
Contentment is found when you recognize, respect and respond to the calling in each phase of your life as it is revealed to you.
Like most things in life, this is easier said than done. Each "R" in this contentment quotient is difficult to address and many times hidden from us in our busy day. They are never really complete and behind us. But the more we recognize, respect, and respond, the easier it gets and the more contentment we realize in our lives.
The first "R" is to recognize. We need to recognize when we feel upset or anxious and uncover the root causes. Many times, those causes are based in a fallacy or unrealistic expectation.
Our nature has a great little trick it does to help us on this journey toward contentment. It causes discomfort which should be the trigger for you to recognize. It tugs at us like a child wanting our attention. When we feel this tug, this discomfort, we must ask ourselves, "Where in my life am I not being true to who I am?” “Am I over valuing my importance?” or “What outcome was I too attached to that I am unwilling to see other possible solutions?”
These questions lead to a very important first stage of a contented life. We must ‘find our name’, who we are, what represents us. The “I Am” of our identity. This is self-knowledge.
Let me give you an example. I once told a close friend that I have a new name for myself. After strange looks and almost a dismissal of this statement, he bit. He asked me what the new name was. I said it was passion. He said, “That actually fits you.”
Now I didn’t go around insisting others call me passion. I simply knew inside this was going represent who I was and it would be how I would be RECOGNIZED. I studied the word and all of its connotations. I incorporated those into my life as best as I could. I embraced passion, thus I became more passionate.
By discovering our “name” we have a guide to help us through difficult situations. This “name” defines who we are and how we should act and interpret the world.
I think it is important for our contentment to recognize what word or name represents you. Once you have done this you can begin to respect and honor who you are. Remember, in the Bible God answers the question, “What is your name?” with “I am that I am.” What he is telling us is that “I Am…” defines us. It is the most powerful two words in the world. It is God’s name and thus when evoked, it is God within us. Carefully pick your “I Am…” and live that with clarity and confidence. So for me, I am…passion.
Next comes the pruning stage. This is never really done. In respecting the “I Am” one must be vigilant and face the weeds and saplings that have attached themselves over the years. These saplings consist of old memories that still interfere and define us today. They include negative thoughts, messages, and beliefs that strangle the life of your “I Am.” This can only be done through gentle, unconditional awareness and releasing those weeds to the universe.
The last stage of contentment is the responding stage. This is where not only have you responded to who you are, and gently pruned as you grew, but others now see you this way and thus respond differently. I am not suggesting a phony façade that we create. I am stating that to live a contented life, one must identify who they are; nurture that, while responding to anything that detracts from it.
It is not unlike a farmer who must cultivate his land. He first identifies what it is he is going to grow. Then he prunes it as it is growing, while all the while responding to his true identity, a farmer.
As I stated earlier this is easier said than done. Part of the problem is that the so-called weeds never stop growing and many of them have deep roots. This is a process. As the farmer learns the secrets of his trade and thus becomes a more efficient master of the land, the same is true for us as we progress in this process.
When we enter the cold hallways of life it’s natural to think the whole house is freezing.
Here lies the crux of our dilemma. It is forever ongoing and thus it is easy to fall prey to the message that it will never get any better. What I am suggesting here is that we be a little gentler with ourselves in this process. It is important we don’t assume the whole house is freezing just because the hallway we are in is cold.
Be gentle, loving and so kind with yourself. Recognize your discomforts, respect your abilities and humanity and respond according with gentle kindness and love.
Author: Stephen budd
Copyright © 2012. Stephenbudd.net All rights reserved.