Happiness v Contentment.
Are they the same? Does it matter if they’re not? And most importantly what do they mean to you?
Meditation is all about finding that inner point of ‘self’, but what does that mean? So often during the past months I’ve constantly reminded of the need not to stress about achievement, and that in trying too hard, you’ll probably block the one thing you want from coming into your life.
So, what is the difference between happiness and contentment? While the answer should be generically similar for everyone, upon reflection it’s easy to see how impossible that is. Individually while we may all strive for the same goal, no one person will travel precisely the same route to achieve it.
Is contentment a lesser goal than happiness? Or is it more real, and less transient? And what of happiness? Is it an emotion that takes you to such heights staying there permanently could even be dangerous?
Checks and balances. It seems this old chestnut appears very frequently when discussing meditation, but stop for a moment and think about it, life IS all about checks and balances. Some imposed form outside and others from self – from within.
So, contentment v happiness. Does it have to be an ‘either/or’ situation or can it become a case of graduation?
If you are looking to me to give you the answer today, then I’m sorry, you’re in for a disappointment. Only you can decide what gives you contentment, and what gives you happiness. Only you can decide whether happiness is a constant state of being or not, and only you can decide whether striving for contentment means you lessen your chances of being happy.
How can you do that?
By meditating on them both. Perhaps one at a time. Instead of concentrating on breathing – remember one of the first meditations I offered? - concentrate on the single word ‘contentment’. Next time you meditate, concentrate on the word ‘happiness’, note the differences, jot them dot if you want to, and then if you still need more answers, meditate on both words at once and see what you come up with.
If nothing appears to happen, don’t make the mistake of dismissing the experience out of hand. The very act of meditating on ‘contentment’ and ‘happiness’ will give your subconscious and subliminal mind permission to keep working on the conundrum while you go about your daily routines. Results are rarely instantaneous when meditating on specifics, but be assured, the changes will come, your awareness will sharpen, your focus, on what is important to you, will shift, and in doing so will alter the balance you have with people in your life. Maybe for the better, maybe not. Change brings challenges, but if you know what gives you contentment and happiness you will find it easier to continue to strive, and meditate on those things that matter most to you.
Contentment and happiness.