I saw the book “Radical Contentment” by Allen Cohen. Knowing that Cohen was a Buddhist, I immediately thought of how wonderful it is that people of different belief systems can have attitudes in common that are sorely needed on this planet. I looked up Paul’s statement and was happy to reflect on this:
” I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phillippians 4:11-13
I feel overwhelmingly joyful when I think about how coming back home I have seen my community through new eyes of contentment. Instead of having what I now realize was a subconscious discontentment with members of Wellspring Community, I now see each one’s beauty and worth. Visiting other intentional Christian communities gave me an opportunity to have very satisfying and loving interactions with others, many of whom I believe will be life-long friends. Yet I also saw how easy it was to be kind and loving to others when we didn’t have a history.
So being able to love my community members in spite of and because of our history has changed my attitude from criticalness to acceptance and celebration. Yet, there are still improvements that need to be made within all of us. That is a life-long process. But valuing and cherishing each other just as we are right now is essential for healthy, happy, contented community.
Thank you Paul. Thank you Allen Cohen. I appreciate both of you.