Do you know how to cultivate a heart of contentment?
I am so excited to see where the next turn in this 31 day journey to Living Well and Spending Zero is taking us. While I love cleaning, although with such a large family these days my house can never be cleaned to my liking, I am more excited with the way this challenge is speaking to my heart once again.
Contentment is something that I struggle with at times, and I am wondering if it is something you struggle with, too.
I love how Ruth says, “We let our homes get chaotic, cluttered, and dirty, and then foolishly think spending money is going to fix the issue.”
I would like to propose that we could substitute “our homes” from the above sentence with “our hearts.” Don’t we often let our hearts get chaotic, cluttered, and dirty? If you are like me, I think we do.
Having taken a few spending freezes before, I have learned that stepping back from being focused on money and the things it can buy allows us to realize that joy and contentment doesn’t come from the pursuit of more and more stuff. After spending up to six months on a spending freeze, I can say from firsthand experience that I have learned that the pursuit of more and more stuff is not only futile, it is rooted in thinking that is completely flawed.
So often in life when we feel sad, when we feel disappointed, when we feel depressed, or when we feel any other kind of negative emotion, we look to soften that negative feeling by buying something new. Maybe it is something new that we can get for an amazing price, but it is still something new nonetheless. It could be a new outfit, maybe a new accessory for our homes, or maybe it is even a book. All of these things are not bad, but we look to buy something in an effort to drown out a negative feeling of some kind, we are looking to the wrong thing entirely.
I have discovered that while these things may initially lift our spirits, that pick-me-up is only temporary. I have learned that the only thing that can fill our heart and soul is the joy, the peace, and the contentment that we find amidst the every day-ness of our lives – even in the midst of the messes and the unbelievably hard stuff we have to face sometimes.
I also love how Ruth says, “There is no better way to truly appreciate what you have than to take care of it.” While this is true when it comes to the “stuff” in our lives, isn’t it also true about our lives in general?
What if we were to accept as truth this sentence, “There is no better way to truly appreciate the life you have than to take care of it.” If we did, this sentence becomes incredibly powerful.
As we focus on cleaning our homes over the days that follow in this challenge of living well and spending zero, let’s focus also on cleaning out our hearts and cleaning out our lives. Let’s not only refocus our habits and priorities where our money is concerned, but let’s also focus on cleaning out our lives in general – the way we think, the way we talk, the way we interact, and the way we view what’s all around us.
There is something so freeing about feeling truly content, and that can only come as a conscious choice that we choose to make. It only takes 21 days to form a new habit. This means that if we spend the remaining days of this challenge focusing on being truly content right where we’re at, our lives will be transformed in the very best way possible by the time we reach the end.
I’m ready. Are you?