Feeling content has a lot to do with feeling happy about your circumstances and being grateful for who and what you have in your life. That can be very challenging when your basic needs are not being met. I’m not talking about food, shelter, and clothing basic needs, although I’m sure it’s difficult to feel content when those needs are not being met either. I am talking about being respected and listened to and things of that nature. It’s hard to look on the bright side and see the positives life has to offer when the people who are most important in your life don’t value and appreciate you or treat you with respect. It also becomes difficult to live in the moment and enjoy the little things when there is so much negativity on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I am speaking from plenty of experience.
I just read a quote that said, “When you learn to accept instead of expect, you’ll have fewer disappointments.” This may be true to a certain extent, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect to be treated with respect and kindness, to feel valued as a whole person, and to have others be honest with me. I don’t see a need to lower those expectations. For some people, removing people from their lives who don’t meet their basic needs might be pretty simple, but for me it’s not that easy. Therefore, I have been in limbo for a REALLY long time. Not knowing what the future will bring or when I might be able to get some resolution from my situation has contributed to not feeling content with my life. Things are beginning to change for the better, so hopefully that feeling of contentment will continue to grow.
What I do feel pretty content about though is who I am as a person. I’m not perfect by any means, but I know I am a good person with good intentions, good values, a good outlook on life, and I know how to be happy without relying on a lot of validation from anyone else. Too often I think people are looking for happiness from external factors or other people, but a lot of it really comes from within. Self-reflection to assess things like your values, intentions, and outlook on life as well as how good of a role model you are to others is important. So is taking time to be grateful for who and what you do have in your life that is positive.
It’s also important to self-reflect about anything you can do to improve any personality traits, bad habits, attitudes, skills, talents, communication, and so on. I believe you should never feel so content with yourself that you become complacent and stop wanting to be a better person or try new things. Getting out of your comfort zone, adapting to change, and doing things differently aren’t always easy, but we all have things we can work on. There’s always room for improvement, which will hopefully lead to more feelings of contentment.
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