You were happy, perfectly content with your life and then you went on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or other social media. Jane has been on a beautiful vacation, Tom just remodeled his kitchen into a chef’s dream and Sue has once again received flowers from her husband. Suddenly you can’t remember the last time you left your state, let alone your house, other than to get groceries or go to work. Your kitchen cabinets are looking shabby and why is the floor sticky? Let’s just say the closest thing to flowers you’ve gotten lately is a Bloomin’ Onion.
Your life no longer seems to measure up to what is the very best version others choose to share. You want to be happy for them, but somehow it feels hollow and fake. I think it is safe to say that most of us have been in this spot. If we are honest, we have been there more than once. So while it may be normal, is it healthy? By definition, contentment is comfort, happiness and peace while discontent is dissatisfaction, misery and sadness. Which “tent” would you rather stay in?
When you find yourself in this state of mind stop; take a breath and consider the following steps.
ONE: Acknowledge that the Facebook version of anyone’s life rarely shows the true reality of their situation. Good or bad, there is usually more to the story.
TWO: Stop comparing yourself to others. This is a choice and something that may not come naturally. Why are we happy until we see what someone else has? Have our circumstances changed? No, but how we view it has. Contentment is not dependent on our circumstances, it is a choice despite them.
THREE: Take stock of the good things in your life. Maybe that sounds cliché but focusing on the positives in life helps to put things in perspective. Where we center our thoughts tends to dictate our outlook. It’s a matter of flipping how we look at a situation on its head. Sink full of dirty dishes? There was food on the table. Piles of unending laundry? Clothes to wear. See what I did there?
Consider what you need, rather than what you want. Are your needs met? When we can find joy in our everyday blessings, contentment grows. I am not saying that it is easy. We are bombarded on every front with what the world says we need making us feel like we are missing out. The following verses share how the bible addresses this problem of discontent.
<em>Matthew 6:25-26 </em>
<em>Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do no sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?</em>
<em>I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength. </em>
<em>A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. </em>
Clearly this is a problem that has been going on for a long time! So when you feel yourself setting up residence in the wrong “tent”, think about these steps. It is an ongoing process but it gets easier with practice!
I pray your needs are met and your heart is full of comfort, happiness and peace.