How to Deal with Discontent
Today, as I write, it’s -12 here in Indiana. It’s freezing! But I’ve only got 4 weeks to wait until my winter break vacation. Yay!! Although I’ve learned to tolerate the cold a lot better than I used to, I’m ready for some warmth. A lot of people around me are grumbling, feeling an equal mix of discontent and a strong desire to find a little spot in the sun.
It’s that exact combination that pushes people to make a change.
It’s just like the moment when I first began my journey to self-love. The initiation was a collision on the magnitude of a 6.0 earthquake. Discontent and desire collided in my life and knocked me completely off course. It happened the summer I separated from my children’s father. Extremely disillusioned by love and relationships, it was my ultimate summer of discontent. When the path you’ve been walking becomes so treacherous and unfulfilling, you know without a doubt that you can’t continue on it anymore. And that’s where I was. At the height of my frustration, a deep desire to know the truth about love sent me on a sacred journey I’ve been on ever since.
It was in that moment, I became a seeker, learner, and discoverer of true love. I vowed I wouldn’t stop until I learned what love really means. And since I was asking, help showed up in various forms and charted a new course for my life.
My first teacher was yoga. I’d heard of it before but didn’t know anything about it until I started dating a man who was studying to become a yoga instructor. He was my first rebound relationship and he taught me the fundamentals which ignited a fire within me for health and wholeness, things I’d been taking for granted. With even the most minimal yoga practice I began to tune into myself and see things more clearly. I learned to give myself things I’d been withholding like patience, compassion, trust, and belief in myself. Yet, like all good rebounds, the relationship didn’t last, but the yoga practice remained.
The second was an increased appetite for new ideas and wisdom. At the library, I began looking in different sections and reading everything I could get my hands on relating to love and truth. I simply followed my intuition, educating myself from the vast storehouse of knowledge on the mystery called love. Some of the first books I read challenged everything I knew about it (which turned out to be not much).
I read “The Path to Love” by Deepak Chopra and learned that if a relationship doesn’t have a spiritual element, it likely will not grow in love. Loving others he says is how we love God. His was a difficult book to read at the time because I was leaning toward atheism, not knowing at all what God was either.
I read Leo Buscaglia’s “Love: What Life is All About” and discovered that love could be a way of life, not just a material possession we try to acquire by the age of 25. Buscaglia inspired the part of me that wanted to be a better person.
And then I read Marianne Williamson’s, “A Return to Love” and learned that if I wanted to really know love, I’d have to search the inner recesses of my heart and figure out how to reconnect with Spirit in my life.
Those were just the first three I can remember vividly, so powerful was their message on my life. With books, I sought to fill in the gaps of what I’d never been taught about real love. As it turned out hundreds of authors, psychologists, sociologists, theologians, and psychics were all talking about a kind of love that goes beyond our culture’s simple ideas about marriage and relationship. What they all shared in common is the idea that real love isn’t about looking for someone to love, it’s about becoming someone who loves.
I realized that first summer that my journey to self-love might be a long one, but it seemed to be the only path that would give me everything I was looking for, not just relationship, but real love, acceptance, passion, purpose, inspiration, fulfillment, and value. All of these things were promised as side effects of finding self-love, so I went all in and never looked back.
If you’re experiencing discontent with life in general, not just frustration with the snow, ice, and bitter cold temps of winter, don’t just sit there moaning and complaining. Your life is equally as complex as the passing weather, changing daily like the sky outside your window. Tomorrow will be different, but how it feels will be up to you. When discontent threatens to drown you, identify the desire welling up inside of you. Begin to consider what it is your soul really wants and how can you get it.
Ask the bigger questions plaguing your experience. Not just why me, but maybe, why not me? What is the bigger lesson going on behind your experiences? What might you need to learn? There isn’t anyone who doesn’t know deep down when they’re stuck in a life lesson. What’s yours?
When you honestly and sincerely ask the Universe to teach you how to love yourself, it will.
LOOK FOR ANSWERS
Look for answers in everything that comes to you. Once you commit to learning self-love, the Universe will send people and experiences, books, songs, movies, etc to help you find your way. When you’ve closed the door on your old habits, you’re going to need new inspiration to keep moving toward the authentic love you carry within. Keep your focus on your heart and be patient with yourself.
DEVELOP AN OPEN MIND
Be ready for some big changes and unfamiliar challenges. In order to love yourself fully, you may find it necessary to change jobs, alter relationships, make new friends, change how you spend your time/money and reconsider what you’ll tolerate, or not. You may find a lot of what you thought mattered before doesn’t anymore. You may need to set new boundaries for yourself and others. Take each challenge and change as they come and continually remind yourself that you’re learning new life skills on this journey of self-love.
And no matter where you may be on your self-love, journey, know you are making a big difference for the world because learning to love yourself unconditionally is part and parcel of learning to love others unconditionally. Self-love is both the greatest challenge and the greatest adventure you will ever experience!
BTW, You can also find help in my online course, Writing Your Way Home
Tell me, how have you dealt with feelings of discontent? What have they taught you? And people, places or things have encouraged you on your path to self-love?