The Source of Most of my Malcontent


Is this chart looking familiar??  The sine-curve is back to illustrate yet another point.

Only this time it is not about your blood sugar.

I am sick and tired of getting to the end of a perfectly wonderful day, and feeling, well, blech.  I am well into my thirties, and still hung up on some of the same things I have been for more than half my life now.

I wish I looked differently.  
I wish I had a higher 1RM deadlift, or mile time.  
I wish I had thought of a more innovative recipe than “Lara-balls.”  
That Restoration Hardware couch really would probably make everything better.  
I wish wish wish wish wish…….

Why?!  I did some soul searching last night to try and decipher: where does all this malcontent come from?  It comes wave upon wave for me.  I am up with confidence, then down with doubt.  Then I am back up…and oh crap now I am back down.  I am sick of it.

Whenever I need to soul-search, I go away from all the noise, make sure there are no other distractions while I ask myself and God, “What is going on in me?”  After only about three seconds into the quiet, and one word came to the forefront as if in blazing flames:


ARRGHH.  Not that!  Anything but that!  Why not “work harder?”  Or “just don’t worry”!  Hmmph.  Vanity.  Okay.  Vanity it is.

The second thought that followed was a verse:  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”  Phil 2:3.  I have tried to internalize this, but apparently I have not done so, considering my current and consistent struggle.

I had no idea that mulling over my physical shortcomings, my lack of creativity, even our unfortunate couch situation, meant that I was vain.  Doesn’t it mean I know what I am going for, and I know what I want out of life?  Not really.

The reason it is vanity for me, and not healthy competition, self-determination or inner-drive, is because it has gone sour.  I am great when I feel like I am ahead, then I doubt myself as soon as I feel I am behind.  It can even go a step further towards mental defeat, or full-out resentment when I feel threatened by anything or anyone that is better than I am.  How twisted is that?

Putting any amount of mental/emotional energy into anything that begins a sentence with “I wish…” is like trying to use a sieve to hold water.  Nothing is going to happen.  So something else is going on.  Vanity is pride on steroids, having this kind of excessive self-admiration…it seeks to step on everyone around you, so that you remain on top.  That is why I feel so down when I feel like someone is better than I am.  I get threatened at the thought of anyone rising above me in any way.

Anybody else?

Ouch.  Seems I have had to come to terms with this in many regards the past few weeks.  I want to be okay with being me.  I want to LOVE who I have been made to be, in spite of my perceived shortcomings.

Vanity is a thief…a murderer of true joy.  It can make us suspicious, paranoid even.  When it creeps in, I begin to waste time and emotional energy thinking about how to get some other set of gifts, talents and material possessions to go on TOP of what I already have.  Great, now I am greedy too.

Let us relish, foster, and cultivate the gifts and talents we have been given.

So what are some answers to this dilemma?  There is nothing good about the label “vain”…nothing to be proud about there.  I have been deep in thought over this stuff for the past few days.  Here is what I have heard.

1.  Keep your inner thought life clean by washing it with the Word of God.  Daily.

2.  Identify the things that cause your mind to wander.  Those things that make you feel “up” when you’re on top of things, or ahead of people, then swing you back “down” when you feel behind or not up to some arbitrary standard.  One example for me is that I tend to avoid reading the comments sections where people post their WOD results.  For some people, it is a healthy gauge.  For me, I have made it far too central to my self-worth.

3.  Stop.  Comparing.  OR, make sure you ALWAYS consider how things could be worse, with deep gratitude.  Besides, if someone else lived your exact life, your exact environment, they would do it the same.  Your journey is tailor-made for YOU.

4.  Your affirmation of yourself will never fulfill you, nor will the affirmations of others…because of the back end: fear of getting behind.  You must find fulfillment in the utter grace God has given you, that your lot is secure with Him.

I will close with one of my all-time favorite quotations from Michael Scott.  “Do I need to be liked?  Absolutely not.  I like to be liked.  I enjoy being liked.  I have to be liked.  But it’s not like this, compulsive, need, to be liked.  Like my need to be praised.”

Um, I kind of identify with that one!

13 comments on “The Source of Most of my Malcontent”

  1. Love how raw this is, thank you for having the courage to expose your inner thoughts to help better us all! We are all, in some way, guilty of this type of thinking and as my husband reminds me when I get stuck in a rut like this, “it’s just plain not primal.” Eat a lot of real foods, practice real fitness, and enjoy life as much as possible. That is what it’s all about! Thanks, Leigh. I hope to take your reccomendations to heart and start the week off on the right foot!


  2. I absolutely loved this post Leigh: beautifully written and so admirable! You are wonderful and everytime I read this blog, I am more and more proud! Much Love, Teresa


    1. Thanks for reading and your comments, Teresa!! I miss you! I have had to learn these lessons the hard way. You are so kind. Regarding the coconut oil, I need to read up on it and get back to you! I dont ususally recommend splitting hairs on tiny issues, especially when you are getting a good deal. my first thought is that the refined may have a different heat threshold than the unrefined, therefore one is better for sauteeing purposes but I will double check. Heather may be able to speak about this.


      1. Yes, it has to do with the smoke point, the way it is processed, and the taste/odor.
        -Unrefined coconut will have a distinct coconut aroma, whereas refined will be odorless and tasteless (which can be good for certain culinary efforts!)
        -Unrefined coconut will have a lower smoke point, although it still remains quite stable in substantial temperatures.
        -Unrefined coconut oil is naturally higher in nutrients but refined coconut oil still has tremendous health benefits in terms of medium chain fatty acids, especially considering the alternatives!
        -When buying refined coconut oil look for phrases such as “expeller pressed” or “cold pressed” so you know that chemicals were not used in the refining process.

        Tropical traditions is a great resource, and the link to the coconut oil looks good. If you are looking for that coconut aroma and slight taste, however, you will want to try either their green or gold standard coconut oils that are unrefined.


  3. Leigh!!! Another wonderful post… Did you go inside my head as well this weekend??!!!! I have had many similar thoughts… I appreciate you being completly transparant! Needed this encouragement today… and to remember that I am PERFECTLY AND WONDERFULLY made despite of myself!! 🙂 And I am reminded that I should be confident in WHO the Lord has MADE ME…Loved point #4!!!


  4. Wow! Leigh! Thank you for sharing from your heart. Your thoughts mesh so well with the book I read last week, “Present Perfect” by Gregory Boyd about living in the moment and being aware of God’s love and presence each moment of the day and seeing ourselves as HE sees us. It is quite life changing. I love your blog! You and Heather are a fabulous team and such talented women. Thank you for blessing us all with your wisdom and insight into the primal journey.


    1. Lynn, I will definitely be on the lookout for that book. It is a daily walk, but like you have said I think it has to be moment by moment. I am so distractable! Thanks for your sweet comments and for reading our thoughts!


  5. Oh, but this post could be about me, too. How I struggle with this!

    Thank you for your authenticity, Leigh. You bless us in so many ways!


  6. I stumbled upon your blog this week-thanks to Pinterest. I am so intrigued by your postings. I am seriously considering switching my family to the paleo diet. I have spent the past two days researching all things paleo. I wanted to let you know that you are making an impact!
    By His Grace, Tami


    1. Tami, so glad you found us! I hope you find that cleaning up your diet improves your energy and performance, and clarity of mind. I encourage people making the switch to give themselves (and their children!) “pillow boundaries” …and enjoy the journey toward optimal nourishment. Some days/weeks will be better than others! Thanks for reading and keep us posted on how it goes!


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