A Most Treasured Gift
Humans are not programmed to be Content. We are always striving for something. Goal oriented beasts we find the need to make lists, resolutions, timetables, graphs, and spreadsheets.
Its the end of the first week of a New Year — I bet most of you out there have made at least one list of some kind or another.
Why do we do that?
I used to be the Queen Of Lists. Menu Plans, Grocery Lists, Rotating Cleaning Schedule, Christmas Cards, and Shopping, you name it — I had it on a list. And I get it. It was with enormous satisfaction I crossed things off my lists. In fact, sometimes I would add something I’d already done to the list — just so I could put a hash mark through it!
What Joy lay in task management!
Or so I thought.
Eventually, though I got weary of the lists. I let some of them go. I got a taste of Freedom From The Lists the first year I stopped sending Christmas cards out. From there it was as if a house of cards collapsed as list after list of my To-Dos fell away from My Life.
All those lists which I thought I could never function without slipped into oblivion.
I was winging it at Life. And it was working. In fact, it was better than working — it was peaceful, calm, unstressed. I felt Content for the first time.
Don’t get me wrong — I still make out a list or two here and there. And check it twice. The difference is I am no longer ruled by my lists. I don’t need to sit down and plan My Life, My Time, My Menu, My Shopping Excursions down to the last iota/circumstance/item.
I opened up My Life and let some fresh air into it. I allow for Serendipity. I encourage Spontaneity. I take time for Time. I accept the Blessings. I pay attention to the Now.
With this slight change of focus — this increased sense of freedom of spirit — I have also discovered those precious moments of Contentment. Long minutes where I can rest in the peace and sereneness of My Life. No task or To Do List floating around in my subconscious to torment me. Just the sense of all being well in My World.
Society tells us we will be happy, fulfilled, contented when we reach X, Y, or Z goal in our Life. Graduation, College Degree, Marriage, Children, That Great J.O.B., Retirement, The Lottery — Whatever — pick something.
But it’s a terrible lie. We strive — we make lists — we check off all the tasks and when we finally arrive, bedraggled and worn to our final destination — our goal — we are no more content or elated than when we began. The satisfaction of completion of the journey might last for a while. But eventually, we will make another list with more tasks. And rinse, lather, repeat.
Life IS the journey. Not the tasks, not the lists, not the goals. But we never see that. We ignore the experiences we have in our Everyday Life to focus on those damn goals and we miss all the chances we had to sit with Contentment. To realize we are always Enough. To know Peace.
Let this year be the year you let go of your goals. Let this year be the year you live your Journey — completely, consciously. Let this year be the year contentment becomes your companion.