How to Win Against Discontentment
Today is August 13, 2020.
2 years ago on this day, the man in this picture Chris Watts killed his wife and 2 daughters (sitting besides him). His wife was 15 weeks pregnant with his son. He killed them all for the promise of a life with another woman.
Discontentment with his life led him to destroying lives. I want to use the flame of his self immolation pyre to shed light on this paradox within all of us. We all have the discontentment gene inside ourselves …nagging us, threatening us to listen. We can’t ignore it or remove it. But we have a choice.
We have to choose how we deal with our cord of discontent. Do we use it to soar like a kite or as a noose to die.
“God gave us minds to think with and hearts to thank with. Instead we use our hearts to think about the world as we would like it to have been, and we use our minds to come up with rationalizations for our ingratitude.”Douglas Wilson
It’s a reflection of our self gap.
When we look in the mirror we mostly see the unfinished self. The self that is unsure and searching for an invisible missing piece of the answer to the mystery of life. We rush away from this self and yet keep logging back in to scroll through our newsfeed hoping to find the thing that we think we need today to soothe the discomfort of the incomplete self.
“It is clear to me now that, owing to my unbounded vanity and to the high standard I set for myself, I often looked at myself with furious discontent, which verged on loathing, and so I inwardly attributed the same feeling to everyone.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground
The growl of discontent hides our fear of failure
We complain about what we deserve and what we can’t get. We show discontent for our state of slump. But all the time never aware that we reveal our fear of not trying to be who we really want.
It’s easier to grumble.
It’s in our habitual nature to have a discontented heart that complains and compares because it helps us survive. Maybe because its easier. But the same heart can feel touched by kindness, humility and gratitude. Maybe because we want to feel at ease. Should we choose ease over easy?
The curse carries the cure.
The venom of discontent carries in itself the cure. The root of discontent is a belief that we are incomplete. That we must improve. That we deserve better.
We need to shine a light on our discontent and turn it into divine discontent. Instead of seeking to feed from the fruits of discontent we should use it like manure to grow out our best self.
Use discontent as the manure and not the fruit of your contribution in the world- Andy Travis
This needs a complete acceptance of your self and a total dedication to serving those you love to grow and prosper. This requires that you love the face you see with all it’s flaws and absolute gratitude for the life that you have been given.
When you act from this place you will find a humility inside you that never hurts and yet speaks the truth. The discontent will be like a log of wood that will forget it’s pain of being cut and left out to dry and only focus on becoming the fuel of warmth in the home.
Chris Watts let his discontent drown him because he blamed the water and not that he could not swim.
“And so, onwards… along a path of wisdom, with a hearty tread, a hearty confidence.. however you may be, be your own source of experience. Throw off your discontent about your nature. Forgive yourself your own self. You have it in your power to merge everything you have lived through- false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your loves and your hopes- into your goal, with nothing left over.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits
The key is to find compassion for ourselves and then use it to nourish our world…never mind the discontented mind.