This past week something unexpected came up which resulted in me jumping in the car immediately and changing my plans for the afternoon. The moment I merged onto the freeway my gas light came on. I hadn’t planned on this little excursion so the level of gas in my vehicle wasn’t on my radar.
My errand was time-sensitive. It would take time to get off the freeway, fill up, and get back on again. I checked with google maps for the mileage to my destination and then checked my dash for the estimated mileage I had left on this tank of gas. It would be close.
I love listening to podcasts and audiobooks when I drive. It makes the drive so much more enjoyable. But this gas situation had me on edge. I couldn’t pay attention to my podcast. I couldn’t focus. I was afraid of running out of gas. I was afraid of not making it to the gas station. I was afraid the number could be wrong and I really didn’t have that many miles before I ran out. I was afraid something else would happen to ensure I didn’t make it.
This is what scarcity does in our lives.
Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough food. Not enough love. Etc.
Fear of not enough takes up an enormous amount of space in our brains. That’s space and energy your brain could be using to find solutions and solve problems. It’s space and energy you could be using to enjoy what you already have, right now.
Scarcity pretends to be helpful. It’s looking out for us. It’s trying to keep us safe. It’s helping us to be cautious. It tells you that remembering you don’t have enough will help you make choices so you don’t run out or you don’t make it worse.
But the opposite happens.
When you think there is not enough, you actually create more not enough. So if you constantly think you don’t have enough money, you will never have enough money. If you constantly think you don’t have enough time, you will never have enough time.
Your brain wants to be right more than it wants to have enough. It will find more and more evidence to prove you don’t have enough. When you feel that lack, you will make choices that create more lack.
Let me give you a few examples from my life.
I’m divorced and have a custody schedule with my ex. For the longest time I thought the time I had with my kids wasn’t enough. How could I teach them all the things in only half the time? Especially when the things they were learning during the other half were countering what I was teaching them? We didn’t have enough time for their extracurricular activities AND quality family time AND learning responsibility (chores) AND teaching them the gospel.
As I was thinking all those thoughts, feeling the fear, and the panic, and the lack…how do you think I showed up as a mom? Certainly not the same way I’d show up without those thoughts. And to make it worse, I was wasting time fretting about it, resulting in even less time.
When I think I don’t have enough time to complete my to-do list, I feel overwhelmed. When I feel overwhelmed, I often do nothing. I waste time watching netflix or checking Facebook. I’m less able to complete my to-do list because I feel like I’m drowning in overwhelm which makes it harder to focus on my tasks.
When I think I don’t have enough money, I buy things that are on sale. I don’t have enough to pay full price so I spend more money buying more things simply because they are on sale. Because I think I don’t have enough, I now have even less.
When I think my husband isn’t paying enough attention to me, I start acting like a crazy, hormonal female and guess who wants to pay even less attention to me? You get the idea.
What if there is enough? What if there is more than enough? What if there is plenty?
I’ve spent most of my life practicing scarcity thoughts. So my brain knows them really well. I had to start practicing thinking thoughts like:
I have plenty of time with my kids.
The time I have with my kids is more than enough to teach them everything I want them to know.
I always have enough time to get the important things done.
I am enough (I practice this one every single morning).
And the cherry on top: Whatever I still lack, the Atonement can more than make up for.
If there is anything I want you to take away from this post it’s this: when you think there is not enough, you think you are just making an observation. But in actuality, you are making a choice.
Choose abundance, my friend. There is more than enough to go around. You have exactly what you need. You are capable of creating more. Stop telling yourself there isn’t enough. Try it out and let me know how it goes.