I was thinking about a quote that I posted to Twitter and my blog yesterday. The quote is as follows:
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu was a philosopher and poet of ancient China. He is best known as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the founder of philosophical Taoism, but he is also revered as a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions. Wikipedia
I hesitate to over analyze this quote as it is so well written, and I would never attempt to modify it, but we can at least use this time to appreciate what it is telling us. To be content with what you have may be best understood as to be content with the material possessions, vocation, and relationships. The next statement says to rejoice in the way things are, not be satisfied with the way things are but to rejoice in them. If one can find contentment in what they have and rejoice in the way things are it leads to a realization that nothing is lacking. If a person can then have an attitude that nothing is lacking then the world belongs to you. Breaking it down to something we could begin our mediation sessions with we might form an affirmation like:
- I am content with all I have
- I am overjoyed by the way things are
- I lack for nothing
- My mind is clear of distractions
- I can accomplish anything
If my mindset consists of continuously wanting something, feeling depressed about not having it, comparing myself to others I will surely compromise any chance for contentment. All the shiny objects you desire fade away once they are under your possession, the new car feeling quickly fades, and you become a junkie to materialism looking for another fix. The endless cycle of desire, acquisition, and never enough, only begets unhappiness. Try to start each day with the affirmation above to begin reversing the years of your addiction to things and comparison to others.
Thanks Lao Tzu.