The Most Undervalued Value

Finding contentment in an increasingly complex world

As a mother with a handful of young kids, and a career that I try to juggle between school runs, global pandemics, and the occasional nationwide shutdown, I’ve found my life growing in complexity and discontentment.

And although we may find ourselves in different boats, we’re all in the same sea, facing the same storms—so I’m guessing your world may be feeling complex and lacking in contentment too?

If so, here’s what I’ve been reflecting on as I try to reclaim some contentment, despite the chaos… 

First off, why should you even contend for contentment?

Because if you don’t, nobody else will. 

Look around. Contentment is a fast-vanishing and radically undervalued value. Perhaps because discontentment sells far better. Advertisers, brands, and most marketers certainly don’t encourage us to be content.

Most seek to rob us of our contentment and then sell it back to us (at the price of their product or service). 

If you just use this shampoo, or have this kind of child, or drive that car… all will be well. But will it? If true contentment can only be found through what we have, and through the absence of trials and challenging circumstances – then only the very rich and genetically blessed could have it. 

In response to this, listen to what Jim Carrey once said:

I wish everyone could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that’s not the answer. You can chase followers & money all you want (don’t let me stop you) but I hope you’ll realize beyond your basics needs they won’t do much.”

Contentment might not be for sale, but it sure ain’t free.

If contentment is available to all of us in every season, how come so few of us seem to have it? Because it still costs us something. Like that flying snitch ball in a game of Quidditch, it has to be fought for, captured, and guarded. 

Guarded? Yes – fiercely.

In my own life, I’m learning to fight off these three horsemen of the contentment apocalypse: 

1.ENTITLEMENT

If contentment is a superpower, entitlement is its kryptonite. Entitlement tells us we deserve all the good things we have, and none of the bad. It helps us to constantly justify our insatiable desire for more – and to expect the best of everything as if it were our ‘right’.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the more we have, the more entitled we can become.

Instead of entitlement, which spots all the gaps in my life, I’m trying to practice daily gratitude and become more aware and thankful for what I do have.

2.COMPARISON

Let’s be honest, comparison can be a real curse. It drains the joy out of life and leaves us looking over the fence at what others have. Most times, it relies on faulty scales too – we tend to measure the best of someone else’s life up against the worst of our own (or visa versa).  

3.DOOM-SCROLLING

Of all my weird addictions – this is the one I hate the most. It describes our tendency to spend way too much time scrolling through social media, all the while, absorbing other people’s bad news, outrage, sadness, and fears.

The end result: a depleted soul that’s a strange mixture of despondent and numb – more aware than ever of the worlds’ problems, more burdened by them, and yet even less able to do anything about them. Some of us (including me) have been doom scrolling for far too long.

And it’s got to stop.

These emotions, mindsets, and activities actively work to sabotage our outlook, drain us of energy and deplete any levels of contentment we may have left. But real contentment is worth contending for, moms. It may even be the most undervalued value there is. 

Let’s shrug off entitlement, shake off the curse of comparison, and put down our screens when they start to drain us of joy…

Our lives, our real lives, are right in front of us – waiting for us.

Written by Julie Williams

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21 thoughts on “The Most Undervalued Value

  1. chantelle says:

    amazing article, being a mother takes lots of energy and
    patience, but being a mother is the best thing that ever happened to me, thanks for this article

  2. Jolene says:

    “Our lives, our real lives, are right in front of us – waiting for us.”
    I love the above mentioned saying. It is so true. I take some breaks from social media myself. It really does you good to just focus on other things and the people in your life closest to you.
    The constant scrolling, comparing and controlling of your social media pages can get draining at times. So, just take time off. Go sit at the beach (do whatever your soul needs), savoir that moment instead of posting it online. Life is too short to spend it on your phone 24/7.
    Lets be present in Real Life and not just on social media.

    Take care Mums.