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Spirituality - from August 2011 Sparta Friends Meeting Newsletter

posted Oct 19, 2011, 2:20 PM by Dianne Fowler
Spirituality - adapted from website of spirituality and practice by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat plus readings from — Philip Gulley in Porch Talk


Be Content

I once asked Ruby the secret of her contentment, and she looked at me, thoroughly mystified. Secret? What secret? She smiled and went on about her day.

Why are folks who think the least about contentment the most content?

I suspect Ruby's "secret" is low expectations. She grew up in hardship, assumed most of her life would follow that pattern, and so was surprised and grateful when good came her way. Too many of us approach life in the opposite manner. We believe the world owes us a great deal, are disappointed when it fails to deliver, and think ourselves deprived. If life were mashed potatoes, we'd see the lumps and Ruby would see the gravy.

Perhaps our headlong pursuit of happiness is the enemy. Since Ruby never believed the world owed her happiness, she's found it in small ways, in the slightest things, cultivating the wise habit of seeing the silver lining and not the cloud.

This is a great irony — people who have every reason to be content seldom are. Though happiness is their aim, it seems always out of reach. I wonder if gratefulness is the bridge from sorrow to joy, spanning the chasm of our anxious striving. Freed from the burden of unbridled desires, we can enjoy what we have, celebrate what we've attained, and appreciate the familiar. For if we can't be happy now, we'll likely not be happy when.

— Philip Gulley in
Porch Talk

To Practice This Today: Make a list of little things, small ways, moments that make you happy. Pick out one of them and celebrate it right now.