top of page
  • Writer's pictureTracey Lee

Emotions C and D

This week’s emotions are contentment and doubt.

True contentment is not having everything but in being satisfied with everything you have.’

Oscar Wilde

I’m not always sure about the place of contentment in a character’s life. Nor in our own. It is defined as a desirable and sought after easy state of mind. It conjures a sense of peace, happiness and satisfaction. Contentment is a place of rest for mind, body and spirit. It may be the ultimate goal of a life well-lived. On the other hand, it can be associated with just settling for what is and negates the need to strive for greater goals. It might also have a connection with a sense of laziness. Like a cat is contented to sit on a windowsill in the sun and ignore the mouse plague running amok.

Discontentment, according to philosophers, is linked with the ongoing search for more, usually wealth and materialism. The more you want, the more you buy, the less contented you are. The reality is that happiness and peace of mind are not created by external things, nor fulfilled by objects. Contentment is a wholly internal state that is not necessarily understood by those on the outside looking in. We often wonder how someone might be content to live the life they do but what we have missed is the notion that we are measuring other lives by our own beliefs about one should be content with.

It is a multi-faceted emotion. Perhaps it is a fleeting one. Moments of contentment, of peace, of rest might be the beginner’s goal on the way to Zen master.

‘Doubt is a pain so lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.’

Khalil Gibran

Doubt. It’s a beast of an emotion and yet its negativity has a place. Uncertainty, distrust, lack of conviction, scepticism, disbelief. This is an emotion that suspends the mind between two or several contradicting propositions which can lead to indecision. Doubting something that sounds too good to be true or that appears very dodgy is self-preservation. It is a valuable tool required to navigate the world and provides some capacity to protect ourselves from harm.

Ironically doubt is more commonly used in an application to self. Self-doubt is also a useful tool if it means we might think first and speak or act later but more often we use it as a weapon against ourselves. We doubt our capacity, ability, intellect, creativity, sociability. The mind spends a lot of time with its metaphorical eyebrow raised implying it ‘doubts we can.’ Doubt is the cynical relative that often is hypercritical of our desires to try. Its loud voice frequently drowns out the quiet voice of encouragement that attempts to foster self-believe. The ’yes you can’ is hard to hear over the ‘YOU HAVEN’T GOT A HOPE!’

Doubt is an emotion that makes us reasonable and thoughtful, but it is also the trip hazard at the beginning of the race. It is a navigation between the two that is worth reviewing how doubt rules you.

So as you quiet the voice of doom in your head may you find a moment or two of contentment with the life you lead, the choices you make and small joys around you.

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page