I’ve written before about my views on contentment vs happiness. The former, I think, is some sort of internally-generated, semi-permanent state of being, whereas the latter comes and goes.
I’ve been thinking more and more about this for a few reasons lately.
One of which is because I’ve been listening to a recording (podcast or something) by Danielle LaPorte. It’s the first time I’ve come across her and the recording is kinda weird. In a good way. It’s very theatrical, but very addictive. The recording (Fighting for your Joy) is free when you subscribe to her site and I’d recommend listening to it. (I’ll write more about my thoughts on it down the track.)
The other reason commitment, happiness and joy have been on my mind is because I’ve been thinking about food and its place in my life. A lot.
The important thing to know about weight loss surgery is that it doesn’t actually help change your thoughts around food and eating. Sure, my newly resized belly can’t fit much in, but it doesn’t stop me wanting to binge on stuff, or turn to food when things are good, bad or indifferent.
I’ve been struggling a bit with this post-Christmas. And I’ve done enough ‘work’ in the past that I know I’m supposed to look BEYOND my desire to binge. I’m supposed to consider the ‘why’. I’m supposed to ‘sit’ with my feelings and let them
overcome flow through me and then move on. I know all of that stuff. And yet…. as is so often the case I’ve been wanting something to make me feel better. I’ve attempted to (over)analyse my feelings and think I just want something to make me happy.
However….. I realise – of course (after 30 years of disordered eating) – bingeing on food won’t make me happy. Pre-surgery I’d stuff myself until I felt sick and overwhelmed with self-hate and guilt. Now it doesn’t take much to make me feel unwell or full… and the self-hate and guilt is still there.
But in my head I’m obsessed with exciting and joyous scenarios: me in front of the TV with junk food. And at night, wine and chocolate. And the rational part of my brain wonders how I can desire this knowing it won’t make me happy. For longer than the moment of consumption.
Listening to LaPorte’s recording is helping me realise what I want is something more transient. I want joy. I know it will be short-lived, but it really only has to last me an hour or so. The moment is fleeting. But is it enough?
Marinating contentment, happiness and joy around in my mind has helped me realise a few things.
I. Am. Mostly. Contented.
There, I said it. I’ve long desired contentment and I think I’m nearing what I expect that to be… when life is mostly okay. When the good outweighs the bad. When we feel we’re (almost) who we want to be.
Happiness I think, is more extrinsic. Or at least that’s what I tend to think, which is probably why I feel it less than I like. And the same goes for (the even more transitory) joy.
So I wonder if I need to find ways to experience these from within rather than expect them to come from other people or things.
Am I overthinking this? Do I need to focus more on world peace and a post January 20 America?