Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Heart's Content

Last night as I was lying in bed, I landed on the word "content" to describe how I've been feeling lately.  This is not a word I've ever given much attention to; it's not phonetically beautiful, and definition-wise it's always seemed a little boring and naive to me.  But when it came to me last night, it floated into my consciousness in a way that made me see it as if for the first time.  I began to consider what it actually means to be content, to not desire anything more than what one has, because that is truly what I was feeling as I lay there.

We live in a culture that so values goal-setting and achievement, that it's no wonder contentedness is barely on the radar, that my automatic response to the word has been a sense of dullness and disinterest.  I mean, if you don't want anything, what fun is that?  What would motivate you to get up in the morning and DO anything?  Who would ever receive special recognition for how content they are?

It had never really occurred to me that the meanings of the word as an adjective (con-TENT) and as a noun (CON-tent) are actually related.  When I did a little research this morning, I discovered that they in fact have the exact same source - the Latin contentus, meaning "contained."

And this is perfect.  The feeling of contentedness that I've been experiencing on and off lately has everything to do with the content of my life - not the circumstances, the content.  The substance.  It's all about what's inside the container of my life, which is related to circumstances, but only in the sense of how I perceive, experience, and integrate them.

Contentedness, I'm finding, is not a position of dullness and complacency, but a dynamic state in which the things my life wants to move into are contained.  They find satisfaction first within my being and then flow out into form.  It's not that I don't want anything, it's that want is reduced to its essence, a recognition that it's more about merging with energies than attaining objects.  By merging with those energies within first, even the energy of desire, there is a first-level satisfaction, a contentedness created, which then allows the manifestation of any desire outwardly to be a natural momentum rather than a future-based striving.  

In other words, my heart's cont-TENT because of its CON-tent.

The heart my very best friend crocheted  for me.

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