How do we find contentment?
DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHERE YOU ARE, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
– Theodore Roosevelt
There is a significant message that I think should be added to this quote. “And be content with what you have accomplished.” I believe that it’s easier said than done, but it’s possible just to do what you can and be proud of what it is that you can realistically do with your time.
Sometimes I find it difficult to stay focused on my ability to do certain things within the limits of my knowledge and the things I have. I look at what other people accomplish, but I forget to realize that they may have had more time, money, or ability than I.
Sometimes I feel like I’m upside down in a life that’s moving past me. Do you ever think that way? Do what you can with what you have is not as simple as it sounds! To find contentment takes some work but it may be easier and more rewarding work than we realize.
Learning to compare my abilities and successes to others in a healthy way.
If we live life focusing on ourselves compared to others, we will be miserable! I realized I need to find my way to fully accept me and my life as it is right now. I figured out how to accomplish this when I was at a low point in my life, going through a few struggles at one time, and feeling like everything I had, could be lost. I had to look at what I would have left. Me!
What would you do if all you had was you?
Except for a modest shelter, clothing, and food.
Are you happy with yourself and who you’ve become? Do we ever think of life regarding doing what we love to do, and finding a way to do it if we aren’t currently? Are we placing things we want to do ahead of finding good healthy relationships with friends and taking care of ourselves? Are we always all about how to keep up with our peers?
We should be ok with who we are now and ok with accomplishing new things
It’s not wrong to like yourself and compliment yourself a lot. That is what gives us the confidence to go on with our life. We can’t let negative thoughts come into our minds without replacing them with something good. And the quote “nobody is perfect,” is an excellent response to any negative thoughts about yourself. So no excuses, to find contentment we need to love who we are and be kind to ourselves primarily in our minds!
I remember times where there was no way I was going to get everything finished that needed to complete on a given day. I would feel bad about myself because of it. I remember while bringing up four children, I thought I was failing to be a good homemaker because I couldn’t keep up. Can you relate to this?
I didn’t have the energy to stay up late and go with less sleep to keep things in our home perfect, let alone remain in a good mood for the children and my husband. Young mother’s today have a more prominent challenge. Many hold full-time jobs and come home to take care of children and their home.
How do we not lose our happiness and self-acceptance when we can never get off the treadmill of our busy lives? I thought I would be happy with all the things I accomplished, you know, clean home, orderly children, lovely yard, and providing excellent meals. But when I couldn’t do it all as good as I wanted too, I felt like a failure.
How do we feel ok about our inability to do it all?
First, I think we need to give ourselves a break on why we see ourselves a certain way. Due to life experiences from a young age till now, we perceived our definition of what it means to accept ourselves fully. We probably all had plenty of experiences when other people let us know in one way or another why they didn’t receive us. Some of us believed their judgments of ourselves and this would indeed affect our ability to find contentment.
We shouldn’t have to be anybody but ourselves.
Furthermore, our parents may have always told us to do better at everything we tried to do or rarely said we did a good job with anything. We may have perceived it as disapproval of ourselves and who we were as a person.
The fear of not having friends, losing a boyfriend, or being left out of favorite groups holds us back, and eventually, we forget who we are, our likes and dislikes, and it’s hard to recall what makes us happy. We get so busy trying to be accepted by doing the things others do instead of looking at ourselves. The things we enjoy and hate is what makes us a unique gift to this world. Everyone is lovable.
But all of these things we do to be accepted aren’t being true to who we are. It takes its toll on us after a while. The truth is that if you are a human being, you are a lovable person and you will be happier if you accept who you are now. Start allowing your true self to shine. Start looking for things that you love to do, people you would like to hang out with and start your dreams.
Give up trying to appear perfect
Part of accepting ourselves, and being at peace with who we are and our differences compared to others, is exploring new things and throwing ourselves into seeking what we want in life. We don’t need to sell ourselves short by only doing the necessary chores every day. We don’t need to try to appear perfect anymore. We don’t have to keep an ideal home. We need to take care of ourselves for a change.
Accepting ourselves for who we are and where we are in life is crucial for our well-being. To do this, we need to forgive ourselves for areas in our lives where we feel we made decisions that caused failure.
We need to see ourselves differently, accepting that it’s ok to be the person we are right now. Sure, we might want to change some things, but we do not need to think we aren’t ok until we make those changes. We are who we are right now, and that is all we need to be to be lovable.
We are allowed to love ourselves wherever we are on our journey. No more guilt or feelings that we are inadequate or of no value. You have value, to others and yourself. Maybe you need to look at yourself a little more to see it.
Find your answers by thinking about these things:
What is your favorite thing to do when you are alone, or if you had all the free time you could want?
Is there anything you would change about yourself if you could?
How important is it to you for others to like you?
What thing do you do that makes you feel unique?
If you had the freedom to choose what you could do with the rest of your life, what would you do?
Acceptance of yourself doesn’t mean there is not a need to change.
I found in my life that as much as I didn’t want to give up the things I liked to do, I still didn’t try to change anything to make life better. Admittedly I figured I just had to accept where my life takes me because I didn’t have any control of it anyway. Finally, I realized that I could make a way to think about myself and what I wanted in my life. The more I looked into changing things, the more possibilities I saw? To get where I wanted to would take patience and hard work. Then I realized that when I am working towards something that is important to me, it doesn’t feel like work.
We shouldn’t listen to thoughts of how we might not measure up to someone else? Look at yourself. Your uniqueness is beautiful in your way, and everything you do is good enough. Accept where you are (Thankfulness). Work with what you have (Willingness). My story of when I was at my lowest and how I learned to rise again is here.
Accept where you are (Thankfulness). Work with what you have (Willingness).
Tell yourself good things. Push away negative thoughts and replace them with definite ideas that you have prepared ahead of time.
I am lovable
It doesn’t matter what other people think.
I am ok the way I am.
I don’t have to be able to do everything someone else does to be accepted.
I accept the things I can do.
My desires are important.
My dreams are important.
I deserve to spend time enjoying the things I love
Just because somebody else says something negative to me, does not mean it’s true.
I don’t have to please everyone.
I noticed if I have a negative thought about myself and leave it in my mind without replacing it with something good, I end up being in a bad mood, depressed, or tired. My whole day gets ruined. Here again, I find out I should only do what I can! What I can do is enough.
If you’re ready for a new start, consider some of the ideas here.
Sometimes it’s not enough
I do want to point out that there are times when our minds and spirits break due to trauma or adverse events, and it’s almost impossible if not entirely, to get the negative thoughts from our minds. There are times when these situations make us physically exhausted, and there is no strength to do anything.
There is a big difference between controlling your thoughts and clinical depression, post-traumatic stress, or other disorders. These are physical illnesses that have affected our minds, and we need the help of a professional and possibly medication to get better. If you’ve never experienced this, try to believe it. When someone is going through this, they need our support.
I heard on the news today that the happiest children are in Finland! Of course, when I heard that parents worked on average 29 hours a week I knew immediately why. Even our kids notice we are trying to do too much. However, in our country, we don’t have that luxury and our healthcare is more expensive among other things. Finally, the Dutch also put less pressure on their kids, thus helping them to find what they love and succeed!
Could we give up some things to be happy?
We had to leave our big house when my husband was sick, so I decided I would rather have a small house. I didn’t want to spend my time maintaining a big home. I don’t like to clean or do laundry or take care of a huge yard. There are plenty of other things I wanted to do. Nevertheless, sometimes my pride gets in the way, and I am tempted to think that people are judging me in some way because of my home. Isn’t that ridiculous?
Our minds can play games with us. Likewise, I know that I’m happier with less responsibility. In other words, maybe I would buy a big house if I had more money because I could hire help. Staying below our means allows us to live in our country where everything is getting expensive, and end up being able to take time off and save money.
While we’re on the subject of saving money, I want to tell you about an excellent opportunity to learn little-known ways to get scholarships for your kids. It’s called The Scholarship System. The great thing about this is they specialize in helping the students that traditionally are considered ineligible to receive a scholarship. College is too expensive don’t you agree? Check it out here!
Maybe someday our government will find a way to make life better for those of us who have to work long hours. If not, you could always adjust your life accordingly. I see this frequently happening with the younger folks, and they are brilliant for simplifying their life.