“At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
“Are you happy, sis?”
My big brother was concerned about me when I found myself living fifteen hundred miles from my family. We’re a close-knit clan, my seven siblings and I, even though we range in age up to twenty-one years apart. Up until I moved away, all eight of us lived in the same town. Always had.
So on his first visit to my new home half a country away from everyone else, my brother slipped an arm around my waist as I stood at the sink washing up after dinner. “Are you happy, sis?”
I smiled. “I’m content.”
Seeking happiness seems to be an ongoing thing for most people, and something they never really achieve. Contentment, on the other hand, can be had even when one’s life is not perfect or joyful or “happy.”
Would I rather have been living around my family? Well, of course I would. But circumstances made it impossible at that point in time. So I had to let go of all the angst that came with leaving the familiar. I had to be still and know that God is God, and that He had a purpose in placing me that far from my family and friends. When I did those two things, sincerely and with an honest heart, then contentment came to me, and I could live without dwelling on how far away I was from everything that meant “home”to me.
Contentment came with opening my eyes to the blessings that surrounded me instead of looking back at the ones I’d left behind.
As someone once said, God placed our eyes in the front of our heads so we could look forward. Looking back is counterproductive, and hampers forward motion. It also breeds discontent; discontent brings dissatisfaction; dissatisfaction steals joy; and where there’s a lack of joy, discontent takes root. The only way to escape the vicious cycle is to “let go, sit still, and let contentment come to you.”
"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want. It is the realization of how much you already have."