On a recent trip with my son to visit grandparents in Arizona, an outing culminated in a visit to a new ice cream shop for a scoop of my favorite flavor, “Graham Canyon.” After enjoying the frozen goodness and some giggles from my son donning a five-gallon ice cream bucket as a stylish helmet, we wandered into a shop next door. A duo of home décor signs for sale there caught my attention. They read, “If you love what you have…You have all that you need.” While the signs did not manage to make their way into my suitcase, the message has been germinating in my mind since then.
A discussion with a friend later about Brene Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection” fed the growing sprout with the truth that finding gratitude and joy are essential practices that inhibit our tendency to get sucked into fear and scarcity. Brene goes on to discuss the “myth of scarcity” by quoting Lynne Twist, who wrote,
For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of….Lynne Twist
We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don’t mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.
Sufficiency resides inside of each of us, and we can call it forward. It is a consciousness, an attention, an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances.
Intentional choosing. Sufficiency.
I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.
That was the message of the signs. It’s not the quantity that determines if it is enough. It is the love, gratitude, and joy I find in my life that creates a sense of fullness—enoughness. Perhaps this would have been a great conclusion to come to BEFORE I ordered the double scoop of “Graham Canyon” at the ice cream shop. A child-size scoop would have been enough. The real joy came from the time with loved ones and the laughter we shared, not the serving size of ice cream.
Nurturing this foundational sense of sufficiency has led to a peaceful beginning for this holiday season. Our family started a shared online photo album that will continue through the end of the month. It is a place where family members can post pictures of memories from the past year that fill them with joy and gratitude. It has been such a celebration of the ups and the downs, the events and the relationships, the changes and the growth, and the beautiful “enoughness” of 2021.
What are you grateful for that fills 2021 with “enoughness” for you?