My parents have a mirror in their house that is warped in just the right way to where your body looks elongated just a little…just enough to where you think to yourself, “I look good!” Many people have commented on how much they like looking in the mirror and that it makes them feel good about what they see. It’s weird how just a little tweak of our vision can change our thinking.
I imagine a lot of scenarios for my life – where I could have done something better, or something different, times when I should have said yes…and times when I should have said no (there’s lots of those). At times it’s nice to think how different my life would have been had I done something different, but there’s other times – other thoughts – when I think about them it only makes me feel sad.
I have a lot of regret for things I’ve said and done in my life. And while I have let go of a lot of things, some of them are going to be with me forever. I have yet to find a mirror I can put up to those things that makes them look better – I haven’t been able to find the good in them yet. I wish I could, as Edith Piaf sings so beautifully, have no regrets: “No, nothing of nothing / No! I don’t regret anything / It’s paid for, swept away, forgotten, / I don’t care about the past!”
There’s a great word that I often forget about: content. In an all or nothing society, being content with what you have is almost frowned upon. It seems to me that we’re pushed into wanting or desiring something just because it’s there. There’s no rhyme or reason for having it, but you just have to have it. Contentment is saying that what you have, what you see in front of you is good enough for you. You’re not resigning and giving up, but you’re accepting and proud of what you have.
William Randolph Hearst was a very wealthy newspaper publisher who had an incredible collection of art. The Hearst mansion in northern California is a testament to his insatiable desire for artistic treasures. On one occasion he learned of some artwork he was determined to obtain. He sent his agent abroad to search for the treasure. After months of investigating, the agent reported that the treasure had been found. To further sweeten the find, Hearst learned that the relic wouldn’t cost him a dime. He already owned it. The rediscovered piece was in Hearst’s warehouse with many other treasures that had likewise never been uncrated.
Matthew 5:5 puts it like this: “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” (MSG)
It takes a lot of time and emotional healing to be content. Every day we have to look at our lives and say, “This is who I am today. And I’m glad that I am.” We can work on our lives and progress to be better, but we first must accept ourselves as we are. Frank McCourt writes in Angela’s Ashes: “He tells me God forgives me and I must forgive myself, that God loves me and I must love myself for only when you love God and yourself can you love all God’s creatures.” Take your time, be patient, and be content with who you are.
.much love. sheth.