Contentment, from where does it come?

This week has been spent at home with my boy convalescing from the COVID virus. I had made plans for the week, all of which have been cancelled, along with many in the forthcoming week. Being forced to spend time at home without the pressure of pleasing others creates a space to reflect. Lately, I have been very caught up with various activities during the day which has left less time for reflection.

As I floated in and out of sleep, I was faced with my guilt about not achieving. For me, achieving has been a way of disproving some false beliefs about myself which were formed when I was very young. Interestingly, most of these I have managed to disprove, except the one about becoming financially well-off which I figure is too late in life to attain now.

This brings me back to the real question, which is “What is the purpose of all this pressure to achieve?” The effort to achieve should be to create happiness in our life. Sadly, for many of us it is to impress others so that they will like us and then we can like ourselves. For me this translates to becoming rich to impress my family. However, I am not sure that this will make me happy.

As I grew up, I witnessed my own parents’ struggle with money. Dad managed to build a small fortune from his focus on work every day of the year, including every holiday. But this came at a price, it impacted family relationships. He was not involved in my upbringing which meant mum became my sole parent. For me, he was an angry, distant man even though he worked only metres from the home in which I grew up. To this day, I still do not understand his motivation, but I do know it gave him a sense of power and control.

I know now that contentment does not come from money, nor does true love and I certainly know that pleasing my family will never make me happy. Then, the only question I have for myself is “Have I done enough in my life to bring me contentment?”. Deep down I know that I have done enough because contentment comes from discovering ourselves and does not come from what we do.

Are you content? What will help you find your happy place?

This is my view as I convalesce.

In love, Jenny

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