Don’t let discontent linger for too long!
Muhammad Ali said, “Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.” Imagine you are walking down a pathway enjoying the beautiful scenery. At some point along the way, a little pebble gets in your shoe. After walking a few feet you realize it has become very uncomfortable. In order to continue your walk untroubled, you decide to stop a moment to remove the aggravating pebble. The discomfort was your signal to pause and adjust yourself. When you listen to your feelings of discontent, “your unhappy can make you a little bit wiser”.
Some people pay attention to that gnawing feeling, which then, motivates them to do something different about their situation. At the same time, some people get stuck in discontent. They may feel it’s a comfort zone because it’s familiar, but in reality, it’s not very comforting.
In addition, there are people that are discontent and choose to let it be acceptable. For instance, discontent with their work might feel acceptable because they have to earn an income to pay for their standard of living. Or, perhaps they are in a time-invested relationship, and they accept the discontent in order to wait for things to settle, pass over, or eventually get resolved. In these ways, they choose to learn to manage the discontent by accepting the obligation or commitment. However, the feeling of frustration, sadness or boredom is still calling for their attention to evaluate the situation.
Discontent can provide a reason to stay right where you are, or it nudges you to do something different. Remember, when you move away from the familiar, it takes some courage to adapt. This is when you need to rally your strengths, discover meaning and what fulfills your aliveness.
Take a step back. Listen. If the discontent could speak, what would it say?
Balance is not only about being peaceful. In fact, as neuro-psychiatrist and author, Mona Lisa Schulzby says, “by avoiding negative emotions such as anger, grief, or sadness, you are causing an unhealthy imbalance.” In order to make a shift towards balance, you have to know where you are. It helps if you identify the truths about yourself. What are your unsaid words? Is there a need unfulfilled–to be heard, to be inspired, or to feel connected?
We become a little bit wiser when we listen to our discontent. Just as Erik Erikson says, “Children love and want to be loved, and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure.” We as adults want the same. We deserve it. Strive for that balance of work, love and play. Make the necessary effort to create a life that feels good.