Contentment: a state of mind. . .

Are you content, right here, right now?  If you aren’t, (and I surely don’t claim to be content every moment, ) then you have some work to do.  It’s our responsibility,  and only our responsibility, to reach a place of contentment moment by moment.  When we put the burden on others to make us content, we chance driving them away.  And if they aren’t driven away, at the very least they will begin to resent us.  And rightly so.  We don’t want the burden of making others happy on our shoulders, so we shouldn’t put it on the shoulders of others to make us happy.  It’s a heavy load.

One of the realizations I had a few decades ago was that I had allowed everyone in my life to define me; whatever they did made me happy, mad or sad.  And I mean every one!  If you were a  friend, a lover, a colleague, or even a complete stranger; I quite willingly gave you power over my moods, and my self-worth too.  How you treated me, or mistreated me,  determined what I thought of myself.  If you dismissed me as unimportant to your life, I felt diminished.  If you scowled at me, I tried to discern what I had done to cause your displeasure.  There simply was no me, in me.  I was little more than a reflection of you.  Eventually I tried to fill the hollowness with alcohol and drugs but that was to no avail.  That’s fortunate, in fact. The sense of power they gave me eventually turned on me, as is true for every alcoholic, at least all the ones I’ve met in the rooms of AA.

Discovering how to find contentment, how to create it, in fact; has been the focus of my journey these last few decades.  And what good practices I have developed.  I didn’t “invent” these practices.  I sat at the feet of many wise souls, in the meetings and in books, and tried what had worked for others.  Lo and behold, my life began to change.  Before I even knew what was happening, my inner core began to resonate to new ideas.  I wasn’t living in the shadows of everyone else any more; I was creating my own shadow.  If you weren’t smiling, I no longer assumed it was my fault.  If you treated me with any form of disrespect, I knew you were having a bad day.  Not me.

This tiny little awareness created a gigantic shift in my personality.  No longer was I dependent on you for good feelings or bad.  No longer did I need your approval or your emotional support.  No longer was I tied to you for any part of my inner core.  It was solely my creation.  Being blessed with the responsibility for who we are every moment is a wonderful gift.  Don’t postpone opening it.  Your life deserves the change that’s sure to come.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. The only complaint (not really a complaint as much as a compliment), I have about the website title is that I think it could be women’s and men spirituality:). I’ve been reading your books and blogs for many years, and have passed on many of your books to my family, who comment frequently on how much help they bring daily. I really appreciate your work very much, and this particular reading was impactful, especially the comment you made on “if you are disrespectful to me……” That was so good for me to read today and truly helps me to keep the focus on me, and what God is addressing in me…..not everyone else;). Really great and thanks a million Karen

    Dan

    • ……btw, I only mention the mens spirituality because I know, and am one, of many guys who are really blessed by your writing and insights

      Dan

    • Hi Dan,
      I can’t thank you enough for your very kind comment. I love hearing back from readers. I look forward to hearing from you again some day.
      Peace,
      Karen

  2. I have so many of your books & treasure them. Just found your blog. I will be stopping in again as I am in need of some moral support. I have a husband, grown children & grandchildren but am looking for contentment in my life. You have given me food for thought & I am deeply grateful. Loved this article. Thank you.

  3. wonderful Karen* I’m still here, still reading : ) Thank you

  4. Karen you always say what I need to hear, but todays blog is spot on. I am so thankful for your words of wisdom they have helped me through many a low time. I lost my brother to alcohol/drug abuse 6 years ago and your words have been truly an inspiration for me not only for co-dependency but for my day to day life. I am currently reading Let Go Now and love it!! Thank You so much and God Bless!!

    • Hi Roni,
      I’m simply delighted that Let go Now has found it’s way to your heart. I have to say it’s been one of my favorites too. Quite possibly because I continue to need help in Letting Go too. Embracing powerlessness takes near constant commitment, I have found. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.
      Karen

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