I believe there are people in this world who regularly experience deep satisfaction. I’ve just never counted myself among them.
I’ve spent years labeling my never-ending dissatisfaction as “Divine Discontent” writing it off as just the way I’m wired. No sooner do I cross an accomplishment off my list than I tackle the next one. Or decide that the first one wasn’t big enough to begin with. I can always do better.
On one hand, this serves me well. My divine discontent has always felt like a primary source of my drive and ambition and it has fueled a lifetime of accomplishments. But on the other hand, it’s a drag. It keeps me from savoring any moment as it unfolds because my mind is already on to the next one.
When I look back on a given moment, I can see how sweet it was. But in the moment as it’s happening? Not so much.
And I’m not alone. Many of the women I cross paths with share some semblance of this problem with me. We are so driven to get it right, to get ALL of it right, that we won’t allow ourselves to be satisfied, lest we stop striving. This turns our lives into running Project Lists, and we’re never without fresh material. Even if we don’t really see an issue, we’ll invent one in the name of progress.
That familiar restlessness surfaces, and we find a project to tackle.
Marriage going well? Time to remodel the kitchen.
Happy with the house? Look for a new job.
Job is a dream? Declare you’ll lose 10 pounds.
Happy with your body? Sign up for guitar lessons.
And so on.
This constant itching for what comes next, in an endeavor to reach the place where we finally have it all together, is exhausting. And it’s misguided.
What if all this striving is a foil for the true source of our discontent?
What if discontent surfaces when we’re living out of alignment with our purpose? What if it really is a nudge from the Divine? But when that nudge comes, rather than getting quiet and determining the action that would move us closer to our divinely inspired path, we try to satisfy ourselves by doing more of the same stuff.
It’s like eating a pile of cheap chocolate hoping to satisfy our craving for Valrhona. It’s never going to work.
Divine Discontent is real. And it can serve a powerful purpose. But to harness it, we need to stop moving for a while. We need to get quiet. To listen. And to be ready for answers that may surprise us.
What if this Divine Discontent is how God speaks to you? What if it’s how He urges your highest self to come forth? And what if your highest self really doesn’t care about the state of your kitchen drawers, or the extra five pounds you’re carrying, or whether or not you have the right sandals for the party on Saturday?
I think your highest self cares far more about the state of your relationships, and about you having the opportunity to express yourself, and about the quality of your energy and where you invest it. She’s not going to settle for blonder hair or marble countertops or a higher paying job. She’s not going to let up until you start to listen to what she’s really saying.
And until you listen, you’re not going to feel satisfied. And neither am I. If we’re going to experience true satisfaction, we’re going to need to make room for changes of a Divine order.
If you’re wrestling with an inability to feel satisfied, will you try this? Will you get quiet for a little while and see what direction surfaces in your quiet mind? Keep a journal close by to jot down what comes to you. Make room for the unexpected.
Listen to me. You’re going to resist this. You’re going to close this message and mutter “Who has time for that?” I know. I’ve been there more times than I can count. But what if you MAKE time for it?
And then what if you choose to listen to and to act upon the direction that comes?
Well, in that case, you should prepare to be deeply satisfied.
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This is based on a blog post originally published April 30, 2015