A few weeks ago, there was a vanilla event that I had the opportunity to volunteer with. It seemed like hundreds of people poured into the building to hear the speaker. There were some key points that he covered, but the one that stood out to me the most was that of contentment. He said that being content as an individual is most important, the reason being that the level of contentment held by an individual is a clear reflection of how content they are in general and more importantly, it speaks to how much they enjoy their own company. “If you don’t like being around you, why would anyone else like being around you?” Sounds a little harsh, but as I ruminated over that portion of the talk, it turned into a stark reality that many overlook.
Contentment: a state of happiness and satisfaction
Not to be confused with –
Complacent: pleased with oneself or one’s merit, advantages, situation without awareness of some potential danger or defect
without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied
There was a time when my belief was: to be content was to be complacent. But the two aren’t synonymous. To expound, erroneously I thought that to be content in any way meant that there was nothing else to strive for, or that the situation was fine just as it was (regardless of the situation – being single, partnered, maintaining a certain position, higher learning and so on), but that couldn't be furthest from the truth.
Contentment is a state of mind and state of being. Yes, there is a satisfaction, but that satisfaction isn’t based on reaching a certain level, obtaining a certain position, receiving a collar, or any other thing or situation that is impermanent – though that’s what many of us believe. I’ll be happy when I finally have a Master. I’ll be totally satisfied when they love me. After I’m accepted things will be better. These examples show that satisfaction/happiness (therefore contentment) is held off ‘until’. But what if ‘until’ never happens? Will we hold off on any amount of happiness or joy because the ‘perfect’ situation hasn’t arrived? Truly, it’s my belief that doing such holds us back not only from cultivating internal joy but also from simply experiencing life. The vision becomes myopic, which in a way is tragic; we desperately and fiercely cling to all that we believe is ideal, choking the vitality out of life itself – so melodramatic, lol.
If you don’t like being around you, why would anyone else like being around you?
It wasn’t until after quietly reflecting on this statement that it dawned on me that really, I’m pretty content in life, but more specifically, even as a slave. Realizing this brought a huge smile to my face. This isn’t to say that this has always been the case, but that was due primarily to lack of understanding the difference between being content and being complacent. There’s freedom in having knowledge!
Contentment is a crucial key to slave bliss whether one is under consideration, collared, owned and more importantly if one is unattached to a Master. Without it, a slave is constantly looking for what is believed will bring contentment. This reminds me of something author/teacher Beth Moore says, “… In one way or another, we hold out that empty cup to the people in our lives and say, ’Can somebody please fill this? Even a tablespoon would help.’” Cultivating contentment allows the slave to be her best in her service and in offering her submission - she doesn't wander about anxiously seeking a Master. She delights in what she is, a slave; her security is internal rather than external – and she’s able to display a certain level of confidence as she travels her path. She doesn’t serve because she needs or wants to be noticed or to secure/maintain a position – she’s content whether serving a Master or not, whether collared or not, whether seen or not. No, she's not perfect, yes she makes mistakes and has shortcomings; she has her 'special ways' (idiosyncrasies); there are things about herself that may challenge her growth, even. But none of this changes her level of contentment.
During my undergrad years, there was a conversation between a regular patron of our school's plays and myself. During the conversation, he was congratulating me on some accomplishment and was complimenting me on some things. And you'd never believe that my response was to deflect his compliment and congratulating me - yep, I went on talking about everything else that I needed to learn and why what had been accomplished wasn't enough and so on. Though his exact words escape me, the sentiment was that I needed to allow myself to enjoy where I was. Just because we decide to live in a state of contentment doesn't mean it happens instantly. It took me many years to move into that space and even realize that's where I am. It wasn't even easy work, but well worth it. Also, it's important to point out that just because a slave is content overall doesn’t mean that there aren’t hiccups or frustrations, because well, we’re human, and lows are bound to come. The single will want to be coupled, the coupled may want some down time and a plethora of things in between! But these hiccups/frustrations aren’t a sign that one is living in a state of discontentment; these moments are temporary and sometimes fleeting. But overall, contentment remains, which is what matters most.
It's a very good thing that contentment isn't based on circumstances or people...
Lots of love, blyss