One of the reasons I needed this year to be focused on contentment is my love of things.
This is a different type of relationship to focus on because many of us do love some of our material possessions, but I only love what I have until it is done serving me.
This love of mine for my possessions is fickle and abusive. That scarf I absolutely had to have in the store – I haven’t worn in months. The newest haircut/color…well I could change that every day and I probably would if I could afford to.
The fact is, what we have has an expiration date on the joy it brings us. In psychology it’s called the point of diminishing returns. I am looking to extend the joy I have in what I already own by one simple mindset change.
I’m going to take care of what I already have. I’m going to ‘love’ it so to speak.
The strangest things happen when we point our focus in a different direction. In order to be content with what I have, I am going to do 3 things:
- Use what I already have. When I’m bored, I have a membership at the YMCA where I can swim, participate in group exercise classes, or watch tv while I jog on the treadmill. When I need to shut off my mind for a bit – hello Netflix! I’m already paying for these services so I should be using them!
- Take care of what I already have. This week, I bought a $4 box of hair dye and the greys are gone. I have tweezers so pretty soon those extra wispy rogue eye brow hairs can be plucked away. I’m going to put myself together. As for the rest of my possessions, I’m going to clean them, organize them, and place them in hallowed spaces to honor their impact in my life. It probably sounds like a strange concept to “honor” the material, but I’m not talking about worship here, I’m talking about gratitude and care.
- How about the things I don’t use? Well, I’m going to give away what I don’t need. Are there things in my house that someone would love to have? Yes! I have stored up treasures where moth and rust destroy. What a win-win would it be to joyfully re-purpose this excess to someone who would use, love, and care for them.
I want to love and care for what I do have and I have a sneaking suspicion that this will lead to greater satisfaction in them which leads to contentment. As an added bonus, I also suspect I will save some money along the way too. It doesn’t take Sherlock to figure these things out and it doesn’t take a mountain of willpower.
Just one step at a time!