First Steps Towards Finding Contentment
I can’t tell you how to live your life. Actually nobody can. I also can’t tell you how to find contentment. Again nobody can. But I can share with you, life tools I have had to learn to live and thrive. As I share, take what makes sense to you and leave on the computer screen what doesn’t.
Accepting ourselves and our lives as they are today is the first step towards appreciating life.
I know both actions take a lot courage and humbleness. Looking at our accomplishments and failures and seeing our part in them can make us both elated and sad. When we have acted in clever and compassionate ways, we can learn to draw on those feelings to feel satisfaction. When we have acted in fear and confusion and the result was not positive, it takes courage to own our responsibility in the outcome.
I have learned whoever we are today and whatever we have done in our lives, finding contentment depends on embracing it all. But how can we do that when there are things about us we are not proud of? By remembering life is a learning process. We must experience and live all kinds of circumstances to acquire wisdom and compassion. If we were always perfect or if life was always perfect existence would be very plain. I know when we are struggling the last thing we want to hear is that it builds character. We want to say hell with character and just want the pain and the fight to go away. You and I know that just wishing for the struggle to go away doesn’t make it so. We learn to feel, recognize and finally accept our circumstances. Once we have acceptance than change can start to take place.
We have to also learn to apply the same kindness and understanding to ourselves that we would have towards a dear person. Again, life’s purpose is not for us to be perfect but it is for us to gain strength and knowledge as we get up from every fall we take. We can only think broader and reach higher because we have learned from our past experiences.
Looking in the mirror is a life-long process and as you do so you start to recognize the reflection as that of your best friend and your loving partner.
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the others welcome, and say, sit here. Eat
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life
- Derek Alton Walcott