Author: angiem, 09 13th, 2009

A few days ago while speeding on the freeway to make it to an appointment for which I was already very late, frustrated and annoyed at the drivers I felt were responsible for my lateness, I got to thinking about the sort of things that we trick ourselves into believing make us happy. ¬†Things like vacations, financial freedom, getting a certain client or certain contract, having the kids get into the ‘right’ schools, losing ten lbs., and so on and so forth.

Yet the more I thought about it, the more I realized that while these things do bring about a certain feeling of satisfaction, when I want what I already have, I feel the greatest joy and peace. Nothing can replace my children’s smile, my husband’s hand in mine, my beautiful garden, my mother’s daily wisdom, that favorite book, that first cup of coffee, that moment upon opening my eyes and realizing that I have been given another day to spend with the people I love.


11 Responses to “contentment”

  1. Jena Says:

    Wanting what you have makes all the difference in whether one is living or simply existing. For many years I thought I was living, all I remember now is rushing from home to work and work to home. Whatever it was we had we always wanted more. We never were satisfied, but we were unhappy and stressed out.

  2. Ligia Says:

    for me Angie is getting to know myself so well that I by self discovering who I am and what I am here for, find the path to my own happiness. like life is complicated and full of activities and commitments and you can live it in authomatic and then laying in your death bed feeling sad for those things you just missed… or knowing that our time is limited, figuring out what is important to us and living according to it…
    what you mean in your blog es also pretty important and it is to live and enjoy the moment…sometiems we are so worried to getting to some place, goal or dream that we do not enjoy the ride.. have to go… have a great week!

  3. Daniela Says:

    Sounds like you had a moment of clarity; a rare glimpse, like a bolt of lightening - shattering the illusion that so easily dominates our attention. I like those moments of experience. It’s definetly a good one. I’d be searching for what I already have if I had what I wanted now (as you shared). You can never have it all, I’ve heard it said, but it seems - and to me more and more, that you can. Perspective is the key. When I find myself getting caught up in what I want, I remember what is actually worthwhile to want; and find it inside of me. It is a great virtue and, seemingly, a continuous challenge to be content. The Apostle Paul, through his profoundly LIVED life experience, defines what - and to me, is contentment:
    Philippians 4:12

    I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

  4. Vicki Archer Says:

    Beautifully said Angie and something we need to remember . So often we waste time on the things we don’t have rather that those we do, xv.

  5. audrey Says:

    oh your post is so lovely and on time for me. these are somethings that i have been wondering about. i have been thinking that i don’t want to miss out on the wonders in my life and my days by always striving for some future goal. your writing has given me much to reflect on. very beautiful!

  6. angiem Says:

    Jena, I had the happiest childhood before my family moved to the US. We had very little, materially, yet that did not stop my parents from creating the most magical and loving childhood for us. We lived our lives to the fullest! And it wasn’t easy as we were five kids, in a constant growing spurt, always hungry and in need of clothes. I want to give my little ones some of that magic too.

  7. angiem Says:

    I like that Ligia, ‘finding out what is important to us and then living according to it.’ Life is short and there is so much pleasure in the simple moment.

    Daniela, perspective is the key. It isn’t easy to be content, is it? Particularly in this culture.

  8. angiem Says:

    Vicki, isn’t that so?

    Audrey, thank you for your words. Your post on writing letters to your younger self really made me realize that I often lose focus on what really matters.

  9. Daniela Says:

    No, it isn’t easy to be content. The five senses are never satisfied. I think that’s about the only weight this culture bears on being preoccupied by what you don’t have. The bombardment of images and a collective strive for the values created by society. I don’t think a lot has changed since man was created, and it makes sense. The only real way to achieve contentment is to be an all together new creation; one that trusts, waits on and is satisfied with the gift of knowing the Creator. The things of this world and their pleasure are taken into a different, and liberating, perspective. It comes at a great price. The Apostle LIVED seriously dire times to arrive at contentment. It’s why I see and understand it as a virtue; like patience. It isn’t natural. But it’s attainable and worth the effort involved.

  10. Ani Says:

    Which Daniela is this? I like how she writes too and how she thinks?

    Ofcourse I agree… Enjoy what you have, don’t always compare with those that have bigger better things, try comparing with those that have less or are going through a tough situation, so that you can appreciate in abundance your life. Give of yourself, be an encourager to others, and yes, be content… That’s how I strive to live…

  11. Jessica Says:

    mmmm, first cup of coffee really is special! LOL

    Great question.
    To live is Christ and to die is gain, that’s what I think of, but what does it mean?
    I think you’re onto something about being happy with what we have. Thankfulness, excitement, I think those are a part of truly living. :-)

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