Restlessness Vs. Contentment
Everyone is familiar with the battle of contentment and restlessness. It's something we wake up with, go to sleep with and build our lives upon. We know that if we are present and in the moment we can enjoy it's fullness and be content with what is, yet we also have a drive to move forward and keep making progress. We want more but live with the tension of 'I should be happy with what I have now'.
Both contentment and restlessness are benefitial in their own ways. On the one hand, restlessness keeps us moving forward and pushing ahead in our careers and relationships and on the other, contentment is what we want to experience once we have achieved certain milestones, like buying that house, or going on that dream holiday, but it's this last feeling that seems very fleeting and hard to hold down.
Theres always more I can do, more I can include and experience, more people I can help. Never "I am fully there, and I have it all."
Don't get me wrong, these thoughts aren't actually bad. They do serve us in many ways, as there is much to do in the world! But this 'restlessness' needs to know its place and function and we need to recognise when we are over functioning in it.
How can fullness in the moment and yearning for more coexist? I don't actually have an answer, but I do know that our tendencies (with our social media habits, the media/news and our yearning to keep achieving) that we lean toward restlessness as our motivation to keep going. Is it possible that our contentment could be more of a convincing reason to achieve more and do more?
We created the Gratitude journal to help balance the scales back to contentedness. To help us find a certain kind of deep contentment. It's all good and okay. That foundationally our lives are wonderful and deeply satisfying. This may not be how we 'feel' about it as a whole, but as soon as we move our attention from pure achievement to pure observation on what is good, perhaps our feelings will begin to follow.
What do you love about today? Is it the way the sunshine reminds you that it’s good to be alive, or simply that you’re wearing your favourite jeans? Refresh your sense of wonder in the world and appreciate again the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure and wonder.
The battle between contentment and restlessness may never be resolved, but taking the time to cultivate a sense of love for 'what is' and not just 'what will be' could be the very thing we need to bring us peace in a restless world.
"Gratitude can transform common days into thanks givings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessing."
– William Arthur Ward