Contentment

I should apologise to those who have had to put up with my year of gloom, as I paused to reevaluate my life in full. I am sorry that you had to witness my descent through ingratitude and envy, ignoring every lesson of faith. Walking up the valley in the sun with my beloved this lunchtime, all of a sudden it occurred to me: “Be content with all that you have!”

These blues, I’ve come to recognise, largely spring from measuring myself against other people’s standards of success. Yet everyone has different goals and aspirations; what is right for one person might not be right for another. I realise now that I have been knocked off course because I forgot what my own aspirations are. I was measuring myself against the expectations of others, a standard impossible to attain because those expectations shift perpetually.

Today, I recalled contentment. “The best wealth is contentment in a little,” proclaims the picture frame in our living room. I must have read those words hundreds of times over the past twenty years, but only today did they seem to reach my heart. Be content. “Practice truth, contentment and kindness; this is the most excellent way of life,” said that wandering sage of the east, who called Hindus and Muslims back to the One.

“Be content, oh soul,” I address myself today. Remember what your own aspirations are; there lies contentment. Be content in the blessings of your Lord. Return to life, remembering the purpose of your creation. Remember who you are and what you were called to. Yes, I have recalled one of the first of our teachings at last. Return! Return! May these blues now cease.

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