“Why does she always get everything?” “Why is her life so easy?” “When will it ever be my turn?” “Why can’t I be more like her?”
Do you ever ask yourself these questions? I know I do. I ask myself questions like this all the time, and questions like this seem especially prevalent during times in which you may find yourself living far outside of the norm.
Maybe you have a child with special needs that greatly impact your daily life. Maybe you are not married, have never been married, and haven’t even come close to meeting Mr. Right while all your friends have been happily married for years. Maybe your friends are all having their second and third children while you are still waiting for your first child. Maybe, like I have before, you have fallen on hard times financially.
Whatever it is that has taken you far outside the lines of normal, these kinds of questions can bombard you all day, every day.
Before we go any further, I want to be sure that you know that I understand that the struggle is real. The struggle is painful, and the struggle can often feel like it will never end. How do I know this?
Because I have been there.
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If you are a Christian as I am, we know that the struggle of discontent goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. After all, what got Eve into trouble? Thinking that something was better. Thinking that she was missing out on something.
Eve was discontent.
While I think we can all agree that the struggle of discontent is real, we don’t have to accept it. We don’t have to let discontent monopolize our thoughts, and we don’t have to constantly feel like the grass is always greener on the other side. I’ve actually written about this before, most notably when I talked about taming your own green eyed monster.
But, if we are not wanting to live our lives in a fog of discontent, what are we to do?
I’ve got eight things, but please keep in mind that I am not minimizing the power these feelings of discontent can have, nor do I think that doing these things will make all your feelings of envy disappear in some sort of magical *poof* of a moment.
These eight things need to be done repeatedly, often many times in a day when these feelings of discontent really grab ahold of us. Knowing this, let’s move forward.
Here’s eight things to do what you’re left asking, “Why can’t I be more like her?”
Stop and name three things that you’re thankful for or three blessings in your life. They can be major or they can be minor, but being thankful and being discontent cannot occupy the same space in any given moment. You are either one or the other in that moment. Focusing on being thankful means that you are not focused on being discontent.
Recognize that she has struggles too
Remember how I talked about this concept in the green-eyed monster post? She may look like she lives on Easy Street, but there are going to be struggles in her life because we all have them. You may never know what they are, but there is not anyone alive who doesn’t face pain, hardship, trials, and challenges at times…and yes, even their own insecurities at times.
Reflect at the end of the day
At the end of the day, reflect, and write down, three things that you’ve done right that day. Don’t let yourself get away with saying that you’ve done nothing right. No matter how minimal they are, you will always be able to find three things you’ve done right each and every day. Find them and then write them down. The beauty in that is that you can go back and read them when you’re feeling down another day. You can see your worth written right there in your own words. Trust me, just do it!
Each day, decide on one thing that you are going to do to bless someone else. Again, this doesn’t have to be something earth shattering. It can be something as simple as making your husband’s coffee for him before he leaves or choosing to hold your tongue when your kids irritate you. Every day, focus on blessing someone else in some way and then do it!
Read something that inspires you. The book we’re reading right now is hugely inspirational to me, but maybe something else inspires you as well. Whether a book, a blog, or something else, find something inspirational to read, and make time to read it even just for a few minutes every single day.
Work with what you have
Ok. So maybe things aren’t just what you thought you’d be. Maybe you thought you’d be able to afford that new couch by now, but you had to pay to get the septic system fixed instead. Work with what you have. Try rearranging the furniture in that room instead. Try bringing in some accessories from a different area of the house to give the room a different feel. I’ve even used old bedsheets as a tablecloth when I couldn’t afford to buy one even if I found one used. When life limits you, find a way to work with what you’ve got.
Fix what you have
Similar to the scenario above, find a way to improve your little corner of the world. Don’t wait until putting your house on the market to fix whatever needs fixing. Fix it for yourself. Can’t afford a hi-lite this month? Try styling your hair a bit differently so maybe it’s not so visible while also giving yourself a different look to feel better about yourself. When feeling down and discontent, find a way to fix some of what you have until you can come up with a more permanent solution.
Pray for deliverance
As a Christian, let’s not forget about prayer. When these feelings of discontent creep in, we can ask for our spirit of discontent to be lifted from us and then be replaced with a spirit of contentment instead. We can pray for this time, and time, and time again as often as needed.
“Why is life so hard?”
I so wish I had an answer for that. But, you can do your best to live the life you’re given, which is exactly the life God has chosen for you.
Choose to be an overcomer. Choose to be content.
This post is reflection of the book we are reading as a book club community. This is the book we are reading.
Here is a bit more about our book club…
This book club is a way of encouraging others to carve out the time to read at a pace of just two chapters a week because I’ve learned that finding time to read never just happens on its own.
Generally, every Monday and Thursday there will be blog posts here with Monday’s Inspirational Reads somewhere in the title with my reaction to each of the two chapters for the week.