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September 8, 2014

Holding Both the Good & the Bad


The older I get, the fewer aha moments I have. Instead, I usually have the same aha moments over and over again because I ignored them the first time around. Then I read this post from Jess Lively and the sirens went off. What do you do when good and bad happen at the same time?

I’ll start.

Let’s see . . . I write off the good things as luck or something I don’t actually deserve, worry for awhile about what I’ll do when the jig is up and they disappear, then put them in a box so I can turn my attention to the bad things. Now comes the really fun part: Focusing on the bad things in the hopes that just as soon as I eliminate or fix them my life will FINALLY be perfect and I can get back to that box of good things.

I don’t have to tell you how this turn outs.

Yep. The good things never get their day in the sun. I leave them in the box to starve. Meanwhile, something is always hard or sad or frustrating—because THAT’S JUST LIFE—and I hand it the keys to the kingdom.

It wasn’t until Jess introduced the concept of santosha on her blog that I started paying attention to this fruitless pattern. Santosha involves using the word “and” rather than “but” to describe our circumstances. Holding both the good and the bad. So much for my plan. Then this nugget blew my mind:

Contentment is not achieved by only having “good” things in our lives. It’s about allowing the good and the bad circumstances in our lives to live together without overshadowing one another.

It sounds so simple but could really be a game-changer. Just being more aware of the patterns that prevent us from finding peace is a gift. If you’re ready to put santosha into practice, I highly recommend reading Jess’ post. I’m so grateful to her for sharing her own journey.


  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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