FAITH

How to keep dissatisfaction at bay

THE DILEMMA

My husband and I love our little teeny-tiny-red-cabin. It’s adorable. But it is only about five hundred square feet, so a few years ago we had local Amish people build our even more adorable bunkhouse “LaCabinette”, a twelve by sixteen-foot structure with a porch.

At the time I hadn’t head the phrase “Diva Den”, but I guess that’s what it is because I’m usually the only one who uses it. I read there. Paint. Relax.

We left all the boards exposed, walls and ceilings.  We “whitewashed” the peak in a beautiful pale aqua blue and the walls are whitewashed in white.  Except for the futons in both buildings, everything is from thrift shops. It is our retreat and is the most peaceful place I know

Now that you know how much I love our cabin,  you’ll be surprised at what I’m going to tell you.

My husband and I were taking a walk along the dirt road around the corner from “teeny-tiny red cabin” and we come upon this big, beautiful home under construction. The owner invited us in to look around once he learned we were neighbors. The inside was everything I could imagine, even unfinished. Our teeny-tiny cabin would fit inside the living room alone.

My heart yearned.

I was envious.

dissatisfaction

Why is satisfaction so tenuous?  So fleeting?

What makes us perfectly happy with our lives and then whoosh; it’s gone when we see something better?

How do we go from being discontent with what we genuinely love, to wanting something else?

Surely, we realize there’s always something bigger and better. Although why we don’t remember there’s someone with less than what we have, I don’t know.

THE DANGER

Dissatisfaction can lead one down some dangerous paths. It’s easy to go from dissatisfaction in one area in our life and extend it to other areas in our life.  We become dissatisfied with one thing and pretty soon, we’re dissatisfied with everything and everyone in our life. Left unchecked, it can cause our moods to plummet.

For myself, I’m careful to maintain an attitude of gratefulness because down deep I am very grateful for everyone and everything in my life.  My envy of the beautiful house was very short lived.

Do I still love it?

Yes.

Would I love it if it were mine? I think so but that would also mean more time commitment and much of the appeal of  Teeny, Tiny, Red Cabin is that’s it’s super simple to maintain.

But does my teeny-tiny red cabin still bring me more contentment than anywhere else on earth.

Yes.

Am I truly grateful for our little piece of heaven?

Yes.

Was my sudden envy something to be ashamed of?

No.

I’m just human, that’s all.

I once read that one of the ways to avoid purchasing things we don’t need is to look at the things we see in stores as if they were in a museum. Beautiful to look at but not to buy.

That’s what the house around the corner has become for me. Beautiful to look at, but not mine to have.  “Teeny-tiny red cabin” is my piece of heaven and nothing changes that. Should someone buy the lot next to us and build something grand, I’ll go through the usual first pangs of envy and then I’ll come back to “teeny-tiny red cabin” and be glad it’s so small because I can clean it in an hour. So there!

THE “UP” SIDE 

Dissatisfaction can result in good outcomes when our dissatisfaction leads us to make necessary changes. And we probably make few significant and good changes in our lives without some initial dissatisfaction.

Dissatisfaction that leads to constructive change is good; dissatisfaction that leads to envy is not.

dissatisfaction

There’s a truism I run across all the time-“There is always something to be grateful for—always.”

Have you found your mood taking a nose dive at times? Could it be you found yourself wanting something you didn’t have and you started to feel envious? With women, it’s often that we envy another woman’s appearance even though we were initially quite happy with our own.

So what can we do to prevent this? Honestly, I’m not sure we can. I think it’s pretty much part of our human condition. So while I don’t think we can always rise above our envy, I think we can practice gratitude more.

Thank God every day for all the good in your life. And remember, there is always some good. And when we do succumb to jealousy, simply confess it. It’s not wrong to want more in our life, to strive for more. But if we forget our blessings along the way, it won’t matter how much we achieve, we will still find more to covet.

God bless and have a good day.

PS: Here’s a link for Bible verses referencing gratitude.