If Only ...

In Search of Inner Contentment

I’d like to share with you a poem that I wrote after listening to talks by Tara Brach, a meditation teacher, on the topic of contentment. Here are the links if you want to listen to them as well: The Blessings of “Enough” – Discovering Contentment in Daily Life (Part 1, Part 2).


If Only

If only my mother was more accepting of my queerness
If only my grandmother was not lying in perpetual pain
If only I had a full-time job with a salary, half of a six-figure
If only I didn’t have to stare at tiny boxes of faces
If only all my students passed my classes
If only all my student loans were forgiven
If only my neck and shoulder pain melted away
If only my hair stopped growing so I don’t need to cut it again
If only I could have spicy rice cake and soft tofu soup on demand
If only I could sing like Beyonce in Dream Girls
If only I could dance like J-Hope in BTS
If only I could run fast without knee pain
If only I could travel freely to visit my friends
If only I could kick back in my lounge chair every day
If only I could live with dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, otters, and dolphins
If only I could rescue all animals from torture and slaughter
If only I could punch sense into all those bigoted mouths
If only I could throw a tantrum for all the bullshit in this world
Would I be content?

Perhaps I could let go of all my wishes,
acknowledge that things fall apart in real life,
allow space for anger, grief, guilt, resentment, fear, and worries,
and listen to them quietly, like messages from my heart

Perhaps I could wallow in moments of joy and pleasure without rushing to the next item on my ever-growing to-do list

Perhaps I could focus on the present and say
This is enough
I am doing enough
I am enough

Perhaps I could fully believe in the possibility of inner contentment
independent of the ever-changing constellation

Perhaps then

I’d be content

here and now

Photo by Michael L. Hiraeth on Pixabay

Would you like to read more of my poems? Here you go.

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