There are a number of depressing topics I could write about this morning. I could write about missing my mom on Mother’s Day. I could write about my dad getting older and the worry of losing him too. I could write about divorce and how it’s hard for all parties involved to find a new normal. I could write about the stress of being a working mom and the guilt of not being with my boys enough.
But the thing is, I don’t feel like writing about those things. At certain times, the emotions smolder and the only path to healing is to verbally project my thoughts into this blog, but lately, I’ve simply felt grateful.
I’m reading a book called Daring Greatly by Brene′ Brown and she talks about the fact that we’re a scarcity culture. We’re constantly thinking of what we don’t have or what we’re lacking.
I didn’t get enough sleep.
I didn’t exercise enough this week.
I didn’t spend enough time with my boys.
I still didn’t clean my house.
I don’t have enough money.
I didn’t accomplish enough at work today.
And so on.
This habit we have of perseverating on our scarcities causes us to feel inadequate which results in a whole slew of other negative feelings and consequences.
Brown says, “What makes constant assessing and comparing so self-defeating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable media-driven visions of perfection, or we’re holding our reality against our own fictional account of how great someone else has it.”
As I was reading this I could feel myself nodding, agreeing with every word. If I woke up each day comparing myself to those who still have a mom or those who are more fit than I am or those who have in-tact families or those who have more money, I would be miserable.
So I don’t do that. I cannot do that. I love this life I have. I love this beautiful, adventurous, amazing world that holds so much potential and possibility. I love the people in my life with such fierceness I would do anything for them.
My family may not be perfect. I no longer have my mom here and on earth, and my marriage to the boys’ dad was not a happily-ever-after, but I don’t see those things as failures or losses. I view them as lessons and blessings.
My hope for you is to not worry or obsess about what you don’t have or what you desire, but to be grateful for what you do have. Believe me, I know that is sometimes easier said than done. Some nights I scroll through photos on my phone as en external reminder of my happiness. It’s easy to get stuck in our heads and morph thoughts and ideas until they become twisted, dark forms of the original.
We’re all dealing with scarcity in one form or another but that’s just part of the journey. Before my triathlon last week, my pastor told me to “lean into the anxiety.” I had to really think what that meant. And it may mean something different for different people. But the advice can also be true for scarcity. “Lean into the scarcity.” Find the beauty in it. It’s there. We just have to be willing to look for it.