Sometimes a word will be repeated in different contexts and conversations, to the point where it makes one perk up and take notice. Of late, that word has been contentment.
I think this word has been used in conjunction with, or in place of, complacent, or possibly even apathetic. Don’t look at me too funny, before reading what I mean by this!
Sometimes we come to a point in life that resembles contentment, a resignation can take place and we can convince ourselves that we are content with our situation whatever it may be. It can become dangerous, if we become content in something that is not good for us. Sometimes we get stuck in relationships or jobs that are not well suited for us, or us for them – and we think we’re content, when in reality; we’re either complacent or worse apathetic.
A true state of contentment is a desirous, not a disastrous thing. Sometimes, I think contentment gets a bad rap because we wrap it with the other adjectives above. We think that if we become content, we become “stagnant” or “stuck” that there is no longer any room for movement. We must remember a state of contentment is not a stairway to a pinnacle, or even a point of arrival.
Rather, I believe it to be a state of flux, one where we can say, despite what is going on in life, I am choosing this day to be okay with my state of being. For instance, I am single, and at times I would like to be married, only, I don’t want to be in a marriage that kills me slowly. I could as some have suggested, go online to any random dating site and find some desperate soul, hook up with them, and learn to be “content” with them as my life long choice. Wouldn’t it be better though, to make the best of where I am, to find a modicum of contentment in singledom, rather than bringing another into the mix and try to get them to conform to me?
Truly, I think contentment has a lot to do with being adaptable, able to swing and sway with whatever life throws our way…I know someone will be asking even death or disease? To which I would answer, no one should ever be content with death, as it was never intended for the human race, yet in the same breath, it is part of the “life cycle”. Same with disease, that was never part of the original plan, yet, despite hardships, much can be learned in times of trial.
Recently, I have been dealing with this very issue; I love and live with two late octogenarians, who sadly, are advancing closer towards the inevitable. As hard as it is to watch this slow progression, I have two choices. I can either be content with the time we have and make the most of it, or I can grow bitter at the perceived injustice of it all, and lose any strides towards the goal of contentment, and happiness of the moment.
Alas, I truly think the only way we can find true contentment, is in surrender. That is not to say, “We throw up our hands and give up”, rather it is to give all our cares to the One who cares for us. Some who read this may not be of the Christian persuasion and thus would be looking for a state of “Zen” or “Nirvana” a state of being “in the bubble” or perhaps the “zone”.
Whatever you choose to call it, I think we’re all searching for this state. This place where we feel safe, happy, and hopefully loved too. So who wants to as one of my favorite songs says, “join the joyride”?