Health is the greatest gift,
Contentment, the greatest wealth,
Faithfulness the best relationship - Buddha
I was listening to a You Tube talk by Sydney Banks, he said that mental health is contentment. My first thought was how lovely and simple that sounded, but with some retrospection I saw how intelligent and mature contentment is.
It is being ok with what is. It is knowing I may desire something different than what is appearing right now, but I don’t need to exchange this precious moment’s peace and my priceless mental health until it arrives. That could create resistance, resentment, and blindness to what is here now, e.g., a home, health, loving friends, and family. So not only would I be withholding until my wish list is fulfilled, but I am also missing the current treasure trove of goodness. That would be foolish.
It would be easy for me to blame it on our culture or something from my past, but truly I just have a brain that loves to go on and on about what it thinks it needs to be happy, fulfilled and even complete. Lose ten more pounds, answer ten more emails, two more loads of laundry and call your parents. Then you can be content, then you can appreciate your life…if you’re not too tired.
We’ve learned that the brain is wired for survival, not contentment. It’s not looking out for your peace of mind, it’s looking out for your safety in a very self-centered, overly dramatic, and slightly paranoid way. We can’t look to our brain for the contentment and mental health that Mr. Banks speaks of.
We need to vibe with our innate wisdom if we want mental health. Our wisdom, which everyone of us has, knows that gratitude gets way more bang for its buck than desire ever will. Wisdom knows to achieve something; the journey will be much more enjoyable and sustainable when you appreciate who you are and what you have now. Wisdom takes time to breathe in the abundance of just being human, on this magnificent blue and green orb floating around in a galaxy of stars.
Then and only then can I see what is truly for me, not just a prop in the story of how my life will be happy when I have said prop. What will expand on what is already here, not fix me and make me happy until the next promise of happily ever after.
Wisdom knows. Contentment is grounded and doesn’t get swayed by the delusions of grandeur the storyteller brain produces.