I was reading my scriptures the other day and had flipped to one of my favorite verses, Phillipians 4:13. I was reading the chapter and came across a verse that usually doesn't get as much of my attention:
I think it would be awesome to be content with whatever my circumstances in life! So! I went searching for some more words on the topic. I came across a couple of talks that had great insights.
Neal A. Maxwell hits it out of the park with this talk
Another favorite is this BYU Devotional given by Mary Ellen Edmunds.
Elder Maxwell speaks a lot about being content in our "allotment" in life, allotment generally referring to our circumstances. Our responses to what has been given to us, the choices we make based on our personal circumstances, are what matter.
This quote particularly stuck out to me:
"Being content means acceptance without self-pity."
Kind of a doozy, eh? My baby sister is about to start high school and I'm about to start school as well (again! another master's degree! because why not?! #allthemaster'sdegrees #andhogwartsgraduationrobes) So! We've had some good conversations lately. She had some really difficult things happen in middle school (turns out middle schoolers are still the worst) that are still affecting her life. There are things that I wish were different about my life, too. It's hard to not feel sorry for myself when I compare the "worst" parts of my life with the best parts of other people's lives. And whether we are entering high school or established in our careers or in whatever state of life we are in, that comparison is never going to make us happy. Finding contentment within the circumstances, or the unchangeable aspects of our lives, is a task!
"Developing greater contentment within certain of our existing constraints and opportunities is one of our challenges... Neither should we pine away, for certain things outside God’s givens ... because there is so much to do within what has been allotted to us. "
A real "epiph" (as we like to call them) happened when I read that. I have a tendency toward thinking if I just accomplish x/y/z, THEN I will be doing something meaningful. Or THEN I'll be working at full capacity or doing something important. We don't have to wait to be content. Who even knows what I'm waiting for. There is plenty for me to be doing right now to help others and improve my own life if I would just open my eyes. And when I DO open my eyes, I am content.
Sum up! It's our choice when it comes to contentment. Mary Ellen Edmunds reaffirms, "Contentment comes from within much more than it comes from without." Three things I think we need to focus on to be content:
1. Be grateful for how our life looks in this moment (helping others/service usually helps with this!)
2. Have faith that there is a purpose and point to the current circumstances of your life
3. Don't get too caught up with the day-to-day. Honestly, will this really matter in a week/month/year?
And! If all else fails - read this Kanye quote and recognize the realness :)
Love you too much!
Happiness consists not of having, but of being; not of possessing, but of enjoying. It is the warm glow of a heart at peace with itself. - William George Jordan
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