Abundance and Scarcity Lessons

Abundance and Scarcity Lessons

I’m constantly trying to figure out where I land on the abundance/scarcity spectrum. Basically, I want to be someone who believes in abundance. I want to believe that if I do the work I’m supposed to do in the world with all of the right intentions, I will always have what I need. However, due to trauma/ upbringing / society/ whatever, I often operate from a scarcity mindset. It’s not that I’m not giving or generous, because I am. But I tend to worry about money and a lot and fear that there’s not more where that came from. It’s a constant work in progress for me.

More Than Enough by Miranda Anderson

I got to thinking about this topic in a fresh way while reading Miranda Anderson’s book “More Than Enough: How One Family Cultivated A More Abundant Life Through a Year of Practical Minimalism.”

In this book, she shares a childhood memory. In it, her father had given her a set amount of money to go shopping with for back to school clothes. Towards the end of the mall trip, she found a denim jacket that she just had to have. However, it cost $30 and she only had $15 left. Her father told her that was too bad; he wasn’t changing the rules.

My first thought was that he could have taught her that she could return some of the first items she got if she really wanted the jacket instead. But, that’s not what happened. He told her she couldn’t have the jacket. She didn’t get it. And she’s remembered from that day forward, but in a positive way, not a bad way. And this is where the abundance / scarcity lesson comes into play.

There Will Always Be Something That You Want

Anderson remembers that her father told her, “there will always be something that you want.” And remembering it as she took on the challenge of redefining how she related to material things as an adult, she recognized that this simple sentence holds an important message about both abundance and scarcity. She notes:

“There will always be something”

We actually already live in abundance. There will always be so many more things around us. Every single time that you go to the mall to look for clothes (or wherever you shop, since I personally don’t shop at malls), there will be sooooooo many things that you can buy. There are endless iterations for every possible item we could ever want for the rest of our lives.

“That you want”

And here, the author notes, is the scarcity. If you constantly have a desire for me, then what you constantly feel is a sense of lack. If we aren’t focused on the abundance that we have right now, then there will always be more that we want that we don’t have, can’t have, or immediately get bored with as soon as we do have it.

Applying This Lesson to My Own Abundance/Scarcity Mindset

I’ve never quite thought of scarcity in the way that she’s putting it here in this lesson. But it got me thinking about how abundance and scarcity are two sides of the same coin.

There will always be other jobs that I want. I can celebrate the beauty and abundance within the one I have now (because I honestly do love it.) Or I can look for something else, which makes me feel the lack of what’s amazing right now.

There will always be more money out there, for me to chase if I so desire, for me to acquire if I so make the effort. But when I focus on what I don’t have, instead of the abundance of what I do have, it begins to feel like I don’t have enough because there’s just so much out there to snag.

So, regardless of the amount of money I have in this moment, I can feel scarcity or abundance. I want to choose to feel abundance.

Where do you land today on abundance and scarcity? What would you ideally like to truly believe about this topic?

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