Discontented people sometimes pull me aside at various places and ask me questions. They hope that as a pastor I might have some words of wisdom. I rarely do. But what I notice is how often we fixate on a problem in our lives (often quite legitimate and serious in nature) to the exclusion of paying attention to the small next right steps we could be taking with sacred awareness.
These problems are inevitably other people. They bemoan and grieve over the folks they loved, wished loved them, lost, and all the other ways love goes awry. At issue is often the perceived cause of the restlessness, irritability and discontentment. We often look outside ourselves (at others) to explain our internal discontent. This causes many a relationship snafu. Others cannot and should not have the responsibility or the power to constantly disrupt us. But they do. This appears to be a universal problem.
There is power in approaching our restless, irritable, discontented selves with an eye on the sacred.
Restlessness, irritability and discontentment are all warning signs that are trying to get us to wake up! They are encouraging us to wake up, slow down and pay attention to what is already true, already peaceful, already worth celebrating in our lives. AND...stop focusing on other people quite so much. Our distractions with the actions other people take are just that - distractions. Our work is to live the life we want to live; we can do that without requiring other people to participate in our dreams.
Today, what can you celebrate? Not in a Pollyanna, “It’s all good,” positive thinking and abundant living of the prosperity gospel kind of way, but what can you find to awaken you in the moment EVEN as you are aware of what is breaking your heart and spirit?