I am a total type A personality. I like my life to go in a neat pattern of cause and effect. Good and bad. Black and white. Life doesn't work that way. It is messy, complicated and often filled with grey areas. The hardest lesson of all? We don't control any of it. The only thing we have any power over is ourselves.
I had spent a lot of time thinking that other people were getting things that they didn't "deserve" and that I was not getting what I "deserved". I was bitter and angry about my situation and I had allowed that to colour my view of those around me. I became closed off, judgmental and harsh. I quit communicating with friends who had been dear to me, I refused to participate in certain events/functions and I was constantly criticizing others. I was not a good person. I had allowed my pain to take over my life.
After I had handed up my pain, I began to work on myself. I could not continue on the path that I was on. I needed to learn to be kinder to others and to myself. I made amends with friends that I had ignored. I humbled myself and asked for forgiveness. I learned to give people the benefit of the doubt. I learned that other people are free to say what they want to say and to act the way they want to act. I have no control over it. Accepting this was huge. I don't have to like every decision that every person makes, but I do NOT have a right to judge them for it either.
I stopped being angry that other people had what I did not. I focused on all of my blessings. I learned to be grateful for my wonderful life. When I stopped wanting what my neighbour had, I became content with what I had. I was able to fully embrace my life and where I was at.
Today, I am content most of the time. I slip up here and there, but I am human. When I have a negative inner dialogue or when I feel jealous, I simply remind myself not to be judgmental and to be grateful. We must appreciate our lives. We must be thankful. We must be kind to one another and give people grace. Only then can we be content.