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What does “enough” look like in our lives and how will we know when we’ve got it? Somewhere along the line, “enough” became synonymous with “more” which evolved into a future destination that can never be reached. What about what’s actually here right now?
I recently had the pleasure of listening to Lynne Twist’s book on audible.com entitled Unleashing the Soul of Money*. Wow. This is some important stuff! Ms. Twist suggests that as a culture, we are living under the spell of what she terms the “three toxic myths”.
Myth #1: There’s not enough… There’s not enough of anything, right? Think about it… when was the last time you bemoaned that you didn’t have enough: time, space, money, love, sex, friends, shoes, shirts, pants, sweaters, cars, games, books, music, sleep, gadgets, phones, computers… etc.
Does anyone believe they have “enough”? Consider the average conversation with a “poor person”, a “middle-class person” and a “rich person.” How many of them have you heard say that they are content and that they have precisely what they need? Why is that? Why does no one ever have what they need at any point in their life? As soon as you’ve got the “it” you’ve been craving and yearning for, what happens? Why, if you’re like most of us “consumers,” you want the “next thing.”
This leads to Ms. Twist’s second toxic myth:
Myth #2: More is better. We live in a throw-away society that tells us perpetually that “what we need is more-more-more-more-MORE… Bigger is better! More is better! What we have isn’t enough and we must have MORE!” And really, there is no limit on what constitutes “more” is there? More french fries, more hamburgers, more cars, more money, more friends, more love, more sex, more time, more play, more cosmetics, more ties, more space, more soda, more candy, more clothes, more homes, more movies, more games, more whipped cream, more… more. We stuff ourselves, our homes, our lives with food, things, and crap we don’t need, can’t use, and rent storage to make space for the “more” we’re going to buy tomorrow. As a country we are obese with “more” and there appears to be no end in sight!
And what are we to do about all of this crazy avarice that is promulgated by the money-making machine? This leads to the final toxic myth.
Myth #3: It’s just the way it is.
Right? I mean, on some level, we know about the unquenchable need for “more,” but we’ve told ourselves that nothing can be done about it, so we just keep buying… hmmm…
We all need to stop, and take stock… what is at the root, for you, of the feeling that there simply isn’t enough, that more is better and that it’s just the way it is?
“There’s a signpost up ahead… you’re entering… the Saboteur Zone.” It’s our Saboteurs that tell us that we aren’t enough, that if we get “more” we’ll feel better… and the Saboteur’s mantra is surely, “it’s just the way it is”.
So the next time you’ve found that after digging through the 50 shirts you don’t like you’re off to buy another 10, STOP! And ask yourself, what am I really feeling right now that makes me want to fill this hole in my heart with shirts? Maybe you’ll go out and buy those 10 shirts anyway… but know why you’re doing it. Know that maybe, just maybe, you’d be better served by investing in what you really want instead: a fulfilling life where you get to express, share and be who you truly are.
Always infinite possibilities… always your choice.
(I invite you to comment about what you found interesting, or not, about this post… Looking forward to hearing from you!)
*”Unleashing the Soul of Money” ©2006 by Lynne Twist
2 Comments Add yours
What a great topic, Christine! Money is a funny thing, isn’t it? Just how did little green strips of paper and metal circles ever get the power to buy fulfillment, happiness and security? I’ll speak for myself: I give it that power. But after chasing after all sorts of dreams and material things, I finally noticed how empty I still was. Money and the stuff it acquires never gave me the peace and fulfillment I really longed for, and worrying about scarcity kept me in a state of fear and protectiveness. What I was seeking is inside of me. It IS me, as you point out so clearly. Abundance, which is the state of awareness that we already have everything we could ever need or want, is my inheritance! And it’s everyone else’s inheritance, too, which means that coming into my abundance doesn’t take away anyone else’s. And I don’t have to jump through hoops, be smarter, or work harder to earn it. It has always been there waiting for me to claim. I just needed to be ready to look inside myself and love what I see.
Thank you for your comment Susan! I love where you’re looking with this and it brings some interesting thoughts to mind. While I am entirely with you on the concept that coming into our own abundance does not rob anyone else of their’s, Lynne Twist, in her book “The Soul of Money” looks at the meaning of the word abundance from a slightly different perspective. She takes a stand for sufficiency and enough-ness. Not sufficiency from the place of lack or asceticism exactly, but more from the place of the Universe providing for us precisely what we need. Sometimes “abundance” can be a need to have “my cup runneth over”, which in a funny way, begins to require paper towels. Abundance is truly a beautiful thing, and indeed there is abundance all around us… and as she says, “what we appreciate, appreciates.”