For most of my adult life, I have not been contented. I wanted many things to be different, I wanted to be in another place, and I wanted more than I always had. I am not wrong to desire and pursue the bigger, better and brighter things of life, but I have not done myself much good by allowing that desire to overcome me and blind me to the beauty of the many good things I already have.
After some soul awakening experiences, I am now learning to embrace all my life experiences and consciously practise contentment and gratitude.
I know I am more than the things I possess
There is so much more to me than the physical things I possess, and when I define myself by these things, I deny myself and the world of the riches that lie deep within my soul and the beauty of my innermost self. The riches of love, compassion, empathy, kindness and so many other immaterial virtues that I can give irrespective of the material things I have or do not have.
I let the negative emotions serve me
When the emotions we call negative come, I don’t suppress them. I have learned that even the seemingly negative emotions can serve good purposes, they are often here to draw our attention to something deep within the soul. I recognize them, I feel them, I pay attention to what has brought them and the message they carry.
I do not subscribe to the scarcity mentality
I understand that other people’s successes do not reduce my own chance at success, and other people’s failures do not guarantee my success. I believe there will always be more, where I am today is not where I will always be. There will be loss, but there will also be growth. There will always be more – more opportunities, more ideas, more relationships, more knowledge – because I lost one doesn’t mean I will never get another.
I know where my control starts and ends
There are many things in my life that I have absolutely no control over, but there are many things I can control. I do my best to work on the things that are within my control, I seek knowledge, counsel and put in the hard-work for the change I want. I set goals and I do all I can to achieve them. But when it is beyond my control, I let it go. No matter how hard I work and pray, there are some things that will never be, or may not be how and when I want them.
I live in the present, I live in awe
I am learning to practice mindfulness, to pause, breathe and take in the blessings and lessons of every moment because the next one is not guaranteed. I am going to die one day and leave everything behind, so I am learning to revel in NOW as much I can – the emotions, the joys and the sadness. I am seeing the beauty in the imperfection, impermanence and transience of everything.
I am finding purpose in my pains
I am not sure if every unpleasant experience happens for a purpose, but I know without any doubt that every unpleasant thing can be used for a purpose. For the disappointments in my life, I have stopped asking “Why?” Now, I ask “What?” What can I do with these? Because the darkness of my past can spark the light of someone else’s future, I am learning to court my pains for a birth of purpose.
I know I am on a journey
Life is not a one size fit all. It happens for us in different ways and at different times, and sometimes, it has absolutely nothing to do with how smart we are, how good we are or how hard we work. We are all on different life journeys, and all that we are, all that we are yet to be and all that we will never be, are all part of the journey. I understand this; I live in acceptance of this.
I silence the noise of the world
I cultivate an inner state of serenity in spite of the distracting, disturbing and drowning noise of the world. I understand that to find my way through the pressures of the world, I need to be unwavering grounded in my authentic self. I know that peace is always available even in the toughest of times, if I choose to be still, I will find it.
I stay away from toxicity
I refuse to be sucked in relationships and situations that drain my energy and leave me exhausted on the inside. Sometimes, walking away or setting boundaries from relationships and experiences that hurt me and take away my peace, is the most spiritual and self-loving thing I can do for myself.
I embrace what I already have
I may not have all I want, but there are many things I already have. While I wait and work towards what I want, I make use of all that I have already been given. I stopped waiting for all the pieces to fall in place before I start doing what I can, I have realized that it is only in doing what I can that all the pieces will fall into place.
I practice gratitude
I invite joy and abundance into my life by actively practicing gratitude. I am not only grateful for the good things, I am grateful for everything that comes to me – the pleasant and unpleasant – for they are all steps in my life journey.
I give of myself
I give money and other material things when I can, but I am learning that sometimes the greatest thing I can give is myself. The more I give of myself, the more I find myself. I am embracing my vulnerability and opening my soul so I can love more, show more empathy, connect genuinely, and be wholehearted in all I do.
I understand that I am not big enough to live my best life by myself and that in God, I find true meaning that no human knowledge, money, fame and achievement can give. I recognise the power of surrending to the one who is greater than all.
I Know Contentment is not Complacency
I set goals and I put in my best to achieve them, working from the sufficiency of who I am, what I have, and where I am currently.
I am Shola Okubote, Founder of www.woman.ng. I enjoy reading, writing and speaking on emotional wellness and joyful living.
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