Finding Contentment in the Midst of Hard Seasons
Have you ever wanted something so badly it hurts?
A job. A significant other. A baby. Thicker hair.
Better skin. A home. More money. Vacations.
Health. Wisdom. Friends. Peace and love.
Something more, different, or less than what you already have?
We all have things we long for in those quiet moments. How do you handle it? How do you find peace and contentment in the midst of longing?
How do you celebrate authentically with others when it feels like everyone around you is doing what you hope to be doing or achieving what you hope to be achieving or getting what you hope to get?
Where do you find your contentment? Or do you?
I’ve been there.
It hurts. Sometimes it can feel as if the whole world is against you… that if you were only _________ or did _________, life would be great. From that space, those things can feel insurmountable and unattainable. In those dark spaces, comparison often rules the day. The problem with comparison is that we never give ourselves or the other person a fair shot. We oftentimes compare our worst to someone else’s best. It’s never an even playing field. This perpetuates us feeling down and discouraged, hardly the mindset to go out and make our dreams a reality. That’s the energy we bring into our business, our work, our relationships, our finances, our parenting… every part of our life. It is as if the little black rain cloud follows us everywhere.
So how do we change it?
Breathe. Be. Take notice of those thoughts.
Three simple but important steps.
The decision can wait a minute or two. Breathe in for four, hold for four, and exhale for four counts. Let the oxygen you need, fill your lungs, oxygenate your blood, and slow the release of stress hormones throughout your body. Let your heart rate slow down. Feel your shoulders relax. Breathe. Take a few minutes and center.
Find a comfortable place. Go somewhere you feel safe and good. Maybe it is your bedroom or a favorite chair in your living room. Look around you. Find things you’re grateful for. Notice what’s good about your space and your life as it is now. Look for things that you’ve accomplished or reminders of what you’ve overcome. Take a break. Sometimes we are trying so hard to make everything happen that we forget that we need rest. Ask yourself the question, “What do I need?” and pay attention to what comes up.
3) Take Notice of “Those” Thoughts.
We all have shame cords. We all have thoughts that tell us we aren’t good enough. We shouldn’t be this or that and should be (fill in the blank). You know the ones I’m talking about. In an instant, you feel this and it makes you want to run and hide. It isn’t bad to feel these things or think these thoughts. It’s human. Relax, you’re not alone. Take notice and kindly breathe and be. You know your truth. You know that you are loved, enough, valued, and whole. What would you tell a friend who is thinking those thoughts? What would you tell a child? My guess is that you would be much more kind with friends and children than yourself. Extend that kindness, patience, and love to yourself.
Sometimes the very thing that stand in the way of our refreshed, renewed, and restored life is our mindset. So breathe, be, and take notice of your thoughts. You’re going to be okay. You’ve got this.