For me to find true wealth I needed to give up some things:
- I gave up a very secure job with great pay.
- I gave up excess clothing.
- I gave up saying yes to everything my parents or friends were getting rid of and offered to me.
- I gave up my entire 2000 + CD collection, once my pride and joy.
Now I am giving up most of my musical instruments and recording equipment which has been sitting around collecting dust, taking up room, and hardly ever used. In a sense I am giving up a dream as well.
However, I am of the firm belief that dreams can be reborn if they are meant to be. Sometimes we have to clear away our past attempts to force our dreams to happen, and start back again with the simple dream. This is part of the path to contentment.
Contentment is partly about being able to let go of everything and partly finding joy in what you have. Holding everything you have loosely, but not carelessly, and letting go of what does not add joy.
If we hold on too tightly we risk loosing ourselves in the thing we are holding onto whether it be a house, a car, or a relationship. We also run the risk of losing the very thing we are trying so hard to hold onto, or losing everything else in our obsession with this one thing.
In relationships we run the risk of driving the other person away.
If we hold things carelessly, we do not assign proper value to them. In this case we run the risk of losing them to neglect, or being weighed down by what we cannot get rid of because its value to anyone else has decreased due to our neglect. In the case of a house, boat or car, we purchase it at a certain value, don’t take proper care of it, its value drops and we find ourselves stuck with an eyesore that now we owe more on than people are willing to pay.
If we hold relationships carelessly they will disappear, leaving holes in our lives that we try to fill with other relationships and other things. Continuing in this pattern we spiral downward into a state of despair.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and there are ways to recover our sense of contentment, through setting boundaries in relationships, decluttering or tidying our homes, turning off the incessant voices that tell us what we need, need, need in order to be something better, and carving out time for stillness and silence every day.
Sometimes I find contentment in simply being alive.
“Be content with what you have;rejoice in the way things are.When you realize there is nothing lacking,the whole world belongs to you.”― Lao Tzu