I met a client one evening and he started off the conversation with a smile. "I'm contented with life," he plainly stated.
Then there was a huge pause.
"So what does being contented mean to you?" I not-so-innocently asked. It was difficult for him to come up with a definition. He felt stuck. And we continued exploring what he truly wanted in life.
I don't know about you. I find the word 'contented' quite unnerving. Not because it is bad to be satisfied or happy with what you have, but it's often a disguise of something slightly sour to the taste: stagnation. For some, contentment may be a mask for their entrapment. And because they don't want to feel stuck, they look around them with an ostensible "growth mindset" and repeatedly chant to themselves that they could just change the way they look at things to make those things change.
It's true. That's reframing 101. See the potential in your situation and you'll notice the open doors. And there's a limit to such forms of reframing. Because we do not want to lie to ourselves. We do not want to tell ourselves that it's ok when we are really just resigned to fate.
When we lie to the very person whom we see in the mirror each day, we enter a state of incongruity. We feel uneasy because where we are falls short of where we want to be.
I don't know about you - but why would I want to lie to myself?