In the credit/financial world, there are times when an account can be described as either “settled” or “satisfied”. In terms of the lender looking at it, a “satisfied” account is more favorable – it means the account was paid in full as agreed. A “settled” account however, although not necessarily terribly derogatory, means that the account was paid – but not in the amount or time as originally agreed.
Those account descriptions fall right in line with Miriam Webster’s definition of the two terms:
Satisfaction: a happy or pleased feeling because of something that you did or something that happened to you
Settle (for): to be content with
No my Dear Ones… this is not a lesson on credit ratings, lender or financial inner peace – but, I would like to explore for a minute how we use these two words in our personal relationships.
I know a couple who has been married for about 40 plus years. To all outward glances, it is a happy marriage, you never see them fight or argue, they are always quite respectful to each other in public, he still opens doors for her and pulls out her chair and to glance at them, you would think, “I want to be that way after being with the same person that long”.
Upon a little closer inspection, you might find that they rarely actually talk unless it’s about their children or grandchildren. You might see that she only participates in the activities they share together not because she actually enjoys them, but because she feels it’s her “duty” to do so. You might even see that although he will tell you quickly how much he loves her, he’d prefer to spend his time without her because it’s easier than dealing with her. He won’t make plans for anything without talking to her first – but it is more because he likes to keep the peace in the house. You would see that although the last 40 some odd years haven’t necessarily been bad (after all, we all go through ups and downs hence the “for better or worse” in traditional wedding vows) – they have grown apart from whatever it was they were when they started and now they are more like two people going through the motions because it’s easier than starting over. There is no doubt that they care for each other and love each other – but, the sizzle is obviously gone from that pan.
So are they satisfied…. Or settling?
Are they truly “happy or pleased” with their marriage after all this time? Do they feel like they’ve accomplished all the lofty goals young married couples list out together to do in a lifetime? Or is it maybe that at this point in their life –they’re settling for good enough?
I bring this topic up because someone made a statement to me just recently that kind of stuck in my head and made me think far too much – but in a good way I believe. I’m still working on all of it – but I want to share some of it with all of you and see what crosses your mind.
Recently, in a devastating end to an rl relationship, a close friend said to me, “Maybe, if you hadn’t settled, you wouldn’t be trying to mend a broken heart.” I didn’t think much of it at the moment it was said, but later that evening, in those moments right before falling asleep, that single sentence kept floating through my mind.
Had I really settled… or was I satisfied? It took a day or two (and several Advil for the ensuing headache) as I pondered relentlessly in the difference of the two words. During the time he and I were together – I HAD felt satisfied, I WAS happy and content – or so I thought. Taking the rose colored glasses off and digging a bit deeper – into maybe the things I hadn’t wanted to contemplate before, I thought back to several conversations, several issues that had come up and how I’d dealt with them, how he’d dealt with them – how I’d felt about them and suddenly – it occurred to me….
That quiet little voice in the back of my head – you know – the one we don’t always like to listen to because it tells us things we don’t always necessarily want to hear….. If you don’t have enough confidence and love for yourself, you’ll always settle for what you THINK you deserve – not what you TRULY deserve.
Let that soak in a minute…. I’ll wait…
How often, do we look at the people and circumstances in our lives and decide “Well, maybe this is the best I can do, so I’ll just be happy with it.” When did we stop believing in ourselves – and our self-worth? What happened in our life – that convinced us – we weren’t worthy of the best? I may not have a million dollar house on the beach – but that doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of having one. And the same thing applies to our relationships – we deserve to be happy – truly happy – even if that means we learn to be happy alone and satisfied with ourselves. None of us – not a single one – deserve to settle for “good enough” with a partner or lover – we deserve to be loved and cherished – to have someone walk beside us through the good and the bad – someone who is man/woman enough to be honest – to admit to and accept responsibility for mistakes – to work through the bad times and rejoice through the good.
It doesn’t matter what happened in our past – the past is done and gone – shut the door on it – today is a new day to start again – be satisfied – don’t settle. Look around you and your life – get rid of the people that want you to settle and start finding the people – starting with yourself – that can satisfy you. Love yourself enough to know you ARE worthy and find those things in yourself and in your life that make you happy, that please you and that help you grow – not remain stagnant in the old fertilizer in your life.