Last night I had something happen.
I realized through an onslaught of tears (which is actually my normal way of processing things) that I am dissatisfied.
I didn't realize that I was, but I have definitely been acting like I am. It's a deep rooted weed and it's been squirming its way to the surface. Tonight I saw it. And let me tell you…it wasn't pretty.
I generally would call myself a positive person who is content and grateful with her circumstances. Satisfied. But recently this snarky, glass-half-empty/everything-bad-happens-to-me, not-grateful attitude has taken (secret) residency. You'd think maybe just in one area but as I
cried and assessed…it's everywhere and I didn't even realize it.
The thoughts of dissatisfaction went something like this (some of these are embarrassing for me to even type…it's not my finest moment…but it's real):
"I wish my kitchen was bigger. I wish I had more space to entertain people and host parties. My kitchen is so small and crowded." Dissatisfaction. "I wish our songs would get played on the radio. I wish it weren't so hard. I wish more people would pre-order our albums and come to our shows." Dissatisfaction. "Ugh, it's really not fair that everyone seems to be finding 'the one' or already having kids with 'the one' and I'm still single. Why can't I find a good man? I'm so alone." Dissatisfaction. "I'd love it if my wardrobe was bigger cause this whole 'I never have anything to wear bit' is getting old. Everyone has seen me in these clothes. People probably are wondering why I don't but new clothes. I should buy new clothes." Dissatisfaction. "I've been eating really healthy and working out a ton and don't feel like I"m seeing any results. It's not fair. My pants should be fitting better by now." Dissatisfaction.
As I was thinking tonight of all of the complaints in my heart and the dissatisfaction, I was overwhelmed. I cried and cried because it hit me that the dissatisfaction was robbing me of SO MUCH. This is what my dissatisfaction is robbing me of….I thought of those little orphans in Africa and adults who run those homes. I was thinking about how they would kill to have A KITCHEN…that's right…they don't have one…they cook on an open fire. How they would be blown away by the ability to have clean water at a moment's notice in their sink…hot and cold…a stove to cook on. Guys…I'm still crying as I type this. I'm ashamed. That I have cupboards full of food to eat. Nourishing, healthy, life-giving food. A refrigerator to keep my food fresh…yet all I could focus on was that it's TOO SMALL.
Next, I thought about how many people pre-order our albums and all the wonderful people who show up at our shows. Who take the time to say nice things to me…people that wait in the cold to get a good seat to see us play…people who wait in lines to talk after a show and who share their stories with me. I thought about how even though it's hard to be independent artists, we have control over our careers. We get to call the shots and make the decisions. We get to record what/when/how we want to…we don't have a bunch of suits telling us what to do.
I thought about "being alone"...I have good friends in my life. I have friends that would drop anything if I said I needed them. Friends that I see often & that I do life with. Dinners and lunches and coffees and birthdays and cry-fests and deaths and you name it, my friends are there. I get to work with my best friend every day. I have family that are all just a phone call away--they send me notes and gifts for no reason except to say that they were thinking of me. They travel and make an effort to see me. (And a mom that will read this blog and immediately call me and say: "I read your blog. I'm so sorry you were crying. How's your heart today?" <----- True story.) Oh silly child I am. I am not alone.
Again, my heart goes to Africa. I am complaining that I don't have new clothes and the kids there have taught me to be more than that. They wear the same thing all day-every day. Normally they wear said items to the point of "so many holes that it's no longer staying on them" clothes. That's a whole new level. I have so many options. None of them have holes..other than jeans that I buy WITH holes in them on purpose! Crazy. All of my shoes fit my feet comfortably. I have options like running shoes and fancy shoes and everyday shoes. If I close my eyes I can see the little feet of the kids I've played with who are wearing shoes about 3 sizes to small for them. Blistered and bloody. I have clothes that keep me warm when I need to be. I not only have a winter hat but about 8 to choose from in all different colors. Guys…I mean…insert the emoticon of the monkey covering its eyes right now cause that's how I feel. I am still crying as I type. I have so much to be over-flowingly grateful for.
Don't even get me started about dissatisfaction with one's personal self. I get it…we live in a youth, beauty, size 0 culture but at the end of the day, I have a healthy body. I am not fighting disease or illness. I can get up and down out of a chair. I can walk and run. Why am I dissatisfied? I eat food that is nourishing to my body. I eat food that tastes good. I am healthy. But I'm dissatisfied because I don't fit into a certain pair of jeans.
After the crying subsided a bit I had this thought: I think God wants to give us good things. I really do. But I think we need to open our hands to them…and what I realized is that I'm so busy clenching my fists because I'm so darn dissatisfied with everything I already have, I'm missing out on things. What if God were trying to give me good things and I'm just down here pounding my fists with all my dissatisfaction?
Ugh, guys….I felt such profound sadness. How could I miss this? So many good things and all I had to show for it were clenched fists of dissatisfaction. I told myself (and God) that I don't want to be dissatisfied any more. I want to have open hands. A satisfied heart. I want my first thought to be that of gratefulness. It's easy to get caught up in dissatisfaction. It was for me. Maybe you know what I'm talking about…maybe you feel it too.
This was definitely a wake-up for me.
Here's to no more closed fists.