Throughout the holiday season we hear this word often and think we understand it. We’re told abundance is a good thing. We celebrate it on Thanksgiving and spend 2 months shopping for as much abundance as we can get - in the form of food, things and ‘quality time’ with oft ignored or neglected family members. Many of us get so much “abundance” during this season that by the time the New Year rolls around we’re exhausted and sick; depleted and ready to isolate until May in order to recover. Dictionary.com gives us 3 definitions of the word abundance: 1) An extremely plentiful or overabundant supply, 2) Affluence or wealth and 3) overflowing fullness. In my experience, most people limit this word to the first 2 definitions. We use it interchangeably with “excess.” While that’s not necessarily wrong, using abundance in this way colors it with a subtle negative connotation. My favorite definition, though, is the one many ignore - overflowing fullness. Specifically, an overflowing fullness of the spirit.
I’ve recently come to the realization that I’ve spent most of my life operating in the shadow of the fear of scarcity. While the origin of this idea is unclear, the persistent message that I won’t HAVE enough (money, resource or love) and that I don’t DO enough (I’m not worthy and must earn my place here on earth) has lived in my subconscious my whole life. This idea colors my perception with the conclusion that I am just inherently not enough. What a terrible thing to believe!
This false belief led me, for many years, to a relationship with God based on fear. Sure, I believed in a form of God and went to church, prayed, did the deal. However, I also had an albatross - this fundamental, subconscious idea that I had to be really, really good, (or exciting or smart or talented or successful) in order to earn even a bit of God’s love or attention. This fueled some problematic character defects in me, namely perfectionism, pride and ego. In the name of excellence, I have pushed myself in my career, relationships, service, church and citizenship to the point of exhaustion and breakdown. I’ve maintained insane schedules until I could barely stand up, gaining accolades from the world and believing that this was what adults were supposed to do. This was “service” to others. In retrospect, I realize I was ultimately hoping that God would throw me a few little table scraps of Love, not realizing the wealth I was missing.
Operating in that space, heaven was quiet - and little wonder. I was not able to hear God over my own certainty of what my life was supposed to look like, who I was supposed to be and what was possible on this Earth for my life and the lives of others. I certainly didn’t need help, other people, or any suggestions of how to do things differently. The less I heard God, the more I tried to enforce my will on situations and the more miserable I became. Closed off from God that way, and drowned in my own fear and ego, I was of no use to anyone. If you had asked me at the time, though, everything I was doing was for others. In reality, I was operating on empty. It was that emptiness through which I ultimately became teachable.
It occurred to me that scarcity, or fear of lack, is a disease - something that permeates everything we do and keeps our lives, minds and hearts small. Was this fearful, anxious woman who God had created me to be? Was I really able to be useful to others or was I only really concerned with my own fear? Was this existence of scrimping and settling for table scraps really all there was to life? My experience with the Abundance of God shouts a resounding NO. God is abundant and full of Love, Grace and Forgiveness. God IS love. The Bible is full of examples of God’s grace, forgiveness and His willingness to bestow gifts and Love on His children. I don’t know how I missed that message all these years, but I did.
So how does one begin to connect with God and begin to heal from scarcity? My experience has been that everything good begins with gratitude. Committing to make a small list every day of the good things in my life, acknowledging them and sending up a prayer of gratitude has changed everything for me. The more gratitude I choose to see, the more abundance God reveals to me. It was a relief to me that I don’t have to heal myself. Ever. That is not my job. All God requires of me is willingness. Willingness to learn, willingness to do it differently and willingness to share what I learn with others. Small efforts on my part have paid in strong dividends. My life today continues to grow more abundant - I trust God to meet my needs more every day. This trust gives me the freedom to take some exciting risks in life, leading to a larger life than I could have imagined.
So this New Year, I won’t make resolutions. Experience has taught me that resolving to do what I consider necessary is a form of taking control back from a Loving God who ultimately knows what’s best for me. Instead, I will pray and meditate and ask for guidance for the next right action. I will ask God to reveal a life of abundance - and to heal me from the damage I’ve caused by insisting on living in lack. God has answered and will continue to answer, bringing lovely gifts of joy, humor and love into my life. I look forward to the new year and beyond as I continue on this journey toward Abundance. Blessings and abundance to you as well!
This blog was written by an anonymous author who has a passion for helping others.