Monday, August 11, 2008


One of the ideas that I have struggled with, a mindset that has plagued my life, has been the idea of "enough." More specifically "having enough." I grew up in a family of six kids, I was kid number four: the lower middle. But worse, I was the girl caught in between the two boys of the family. Maybe not a recipe for emotional poverty to YOU... but for a wanna-be Daddy's Girl...? Well, it always felt like there was not enough. Not enough money, food, time, love, attention, space... insert desirable object or concept here. There just seemed like there wasn't enough.

The problem is, when you live with the fear of "not enough" you start doing ugly, destructive things to combat that fear. Fear of there not being enough food, or special treats can really push a girl into overeating when the treat or the food IS there. Fear that there is not enough attention or love, if indulged in, will often cause a girl to make desperate and stupid relationship choices. This fear, if coddled the way that I have been guilty of coddling at points in my life, can be the justification for lashing out, rebellion, hatred and rage. Wars are fought over the concept of "enough." Without going over all of my personal weaknesses with a microscope, lets just say that I feel confident that virtually every lousy, selfish, ugly, self-destructive, dishonest thing that I have undertaken has a good solid start in that fear, the feeling of there not being enough for me. A sense of living in scarcity.

Many of my first memories are tinged with the feeling of there not being enough. As I grew up and started thinking about things analytically, I bought into the idea that the feelings that I had stemmed from being in such a big family, not so much the economics... because really, we DID always have enough food and OK clothes and cars to drive to get where we needed. Still, the concept and the niggling omnipresent sense of unease seemed to be a no-brainer to place in the doorstep of an overlarge family, the clamor of the needs of so many children, a father working long hours to provide, and a mother pressed to her limits. It was a fairly obvious explanation, and so I started blaming. And even when I stopped blaming, I still held onto the idea that it was cause and effect.

Ahem. I think I was wrong.

I have my own kids now, and as I have watched them enter this world and start their interactions... I am more and more convinced that some things? Some things we bring with us. Some kids come into this world with a pre-disposition to be fearful, some bold, some individuals seem to have a need to be held, and some equate a cuddle with being smothered. And this weakness, this tendency to fear that there will not be enough for me, this is a thing that I brought into this life. It is mine and was mine before this mortal life. Sure, maybe being born into the family that I had been threw that weakness up into sharp relief, maybe even exacerbated it.

And baby... if this is true then I thank God that I was born as I was born so that I might see and understand this challenge as clearly as I do today. It really does come down to an understanding of God. The way that He works, and the way of the opposition.

There is this guy that Dadguy listens to occasionally, podcasts and sometimes on NPR, this guy talks about economics... and has gone as far as to say that God, the Christian God, is a Capitalist. And at first it sounds funny, but when you look further into what this guy says about the idea of living in "scarcity" or "abundance" mindsets, it all makes pretty good sense.

I mean... both mindsets are valid and real ways of looking at the world, but one requires an understanding of the Plenty that is Omniscience, or at least a faith in that Plenty. A belief that it is there, that God wants you to have enough, and that He will provide. The opposite mindset is equally valid... I mean hey, there are children, children on this planet who are right now starving to death. It is easy to say that we must take from those that have, and give to those that have not.

To force, to compel is not the way of the Father and it never has been.

But the world of abundance says that we do not have to force or coerce, there is enough. There has always been enough, and if there truly is not enough? That God will make there be a way for those who have not, to have. Either inspiring a person to create a way, or sending down manna. If you live in the world of enough and abundance... you can do as the Taoist who upon encountering a problem will tell themselves not that they can figure out an answer, but that they simply must remember the answer to this problem. An approach that pre-supposes an answer, and in a way creates a pocket of faith or reality for there to BE an answer. This is not just wishful thinking, this is a powerful way to tap into Deity, it is like unto prayer itself in it's efficacy and reliance on faith to work.

That we have not yet found the way to provide for all children as sons and daughters of God, is our horror and onus, but I will yet put my faith in Abundance. In the end, it is the only real answer, and no amount of the expediency that bases itself in fear and scarcity will convince me otherwise.

On a personal level I have never before in my life experienced so much abundance as I do today. It's a real, physical amount of enough. Dadguy and I have enough time and love and money and space for all but the most unreasonably demanding child in any understanding of the word. But also, in my sense of enough? I am awash with plenty, I swim in it and I send it out the door on a regular basis.

I wish this plenty on you.


Jo said...

Your post had me all a tingle. Beautiful. An incredible concept to remember, that Father wants us not to just have enough, but a measure, filled up, shaken down and overflowing. I will remember that today. Thank you.

elizasmom said...

I read this yesterday and had to go ruminate a bit. I think this is a beautiful expression of faith, and I am a little, I dunno, envious, that you are able to experience and know this. For all my engagement with spiritual/religious questions, this is one of the ones where my wish to believe bumps up against a disillusionment that, in all fairness, has less to do with whatever divine is out there and more with the way we (the collective we) have warped/ignored it.
I think I need to ruminate a bit more.

Mama D said...

I am honestly speechless. And also sleep deprived. Maybe that's why.

Lindsay said...

Cool. I think we could all blame others for a little less, and work on ourselves a little more. I am glad you are feeling so blessed!