Contentment is a truly counter-cultural value. It’s not one that I am much good at. It’s hard to be in America, told to Achieve or Die Trying *everysingleminute* and keep your peace.
Years back, I disciplined myself to what I’d call negative contentment. This is a discipline! I trained myself to not-expect, and that did bring me quite a bit more happiness than I’d had. You know – you are much more pleased with mother’s day hugs if you don’t paint a picture of waffles in bed. The culture will feed you to the eyeballs with expectations, and it’s important that you not internalize those if you want to be happy with what you have. If you want to *experience* what you actually have.
That’s an important discipline, and this isn’t meant to disrespect it. It locks down the nonsense.
But there’s another form of contentment, and we in the West and me in particular – we’re *terrible* at it. I mean, even worse than not accepting false ideas, what if you *didn’t enjoy what you had*? Why, that would drive contentment away forever!
To relax and enjoy, that’s a discipline of opening up. It’s a discipline of looking up, and thanking God. But to truly engage in this, you have to unlock some of the heart-truths that can sometimes get locked up when you lock-down the nonsense. “Oh! I LOVE this experience! I remember this… I wanted this… this is so cool… ” You have to remember your dreams to live in them.
I dreamt of the puppy for years……… and locked that dream away for another time. Later, later, not yet. it’s good to have her. But the experience of the first weeks with a new puppy aren’t EASY. They aren’t the chill quiet loving moments you have with an adult dog. But they’re sweet. She’s sweet.
And there are Very.Good.Things – like seeing the sunrise and spending loads more time outdoors. I love to be outdoors, and she forces me outside.
God has been telling me for MONTHS that I was supposed to rest, to chill out, to wait. And all I could think of to do is to find something else to work on. If I can’t work on what I used to work on, I can surely work on getting all my ducks in a row so that I can charge forth when the door opens. No. No. No. CHILL OUT.
I have wants. And they’ll come. But I am learning to sit and rest and *wait*. And if I needed the kind of help that comes with being exhausted from Puppy Patrol to get there? So be it. God knows that she is exactly what I have needed.