Why is it so easy to have a "lacking" mindset? Why must we continue the dangerous act of comparing ourselves to others? Are we not perfect in His sight? Monitor your thoughts throughout the day…lack is all too common in our thoughts!
It all started when we were babies…with growth charts, doctor’s statistics, "When did your baby start to walk/talk/read, etc?" We have grown up in a very competitive society. Sports, spelling bees, "Student of the Week", being picked first or last for dodge ball, "Why does Sally’s Mom let her go to the movies and I don’t get to go?", and the list runs right on into adulthood. This is natural for humans to do, and something that has been going on for generations, so it’s not going to stop here.
So what can we do now, in the present, so that we truly appreciate what we DO have and stop with the envy, jealousy, and lack mentality?
There is no lack…there is enough for everyone!
One thing I have learned is that when you begin to appreciate what you DO have, more of those things come to you. Likewise, when you focus on the lack or what you don’t have…those things tend to grow.
Job 3:25 – What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
I think most people feel, think, and say, "When I have (this), then I will be happy." Or, "After I do (this), then I will be in a good spot." The problem with this is that once those things are attained they are immediately replaced with the next yearning. They are never fully happy with where they are in life or appreciate what they have. Don’t get me wrong, we need to have goals and dreams…but we must really appreciate and be happy with what we DO have.
I have fallen into this pit on occasion myself. It doesn’t feel good. It feels like the wheels are spinning and I’m not going anywhere…chasing something that is just out of my reach. When I feel this way, I have to stop, regroup, and become present. This allows me to fully appreciate where I am and what I have. Even if you feel like you have the worst life ever…there is always something to appreciate. It builds from there!
The feeling of "Lack" does not have to be just with material things or status. It can be social as well. Let’s say that you have a lot of friends and many different social circles you run with. Some of your friends cross over into other groups. You find out that there is a party being thrown and several of your friends are attending. You are not invited to this one. What is your mindset? Do you focus on and appreciate all your friends and your wildly fun social life, or do you immediately feel left out and stew on the "whys" of not being invited? Do you realize that not all people can be invited to all gatherings, or do you wrack your brain as to why you were left out?
Appreciation is a very strong emotion. It runs deep and wide. When we are grateful for what we have, and we can be genuinely joyful for what other people do and have, it puts us in a good place. Appreciation breeds confidence, adds joy, and builds self-esteem. Appreciating the small things soon add up to appreciating the big things.
The reason you want every single thing that you want, is because you think you will feel really good when you get there. But, if you don’t feel really good on your way to there, you can’t get there. You have to be satisfied with what-is while you’re reaching for more.
This week, be aware of your feelings. When you sense that you are “Lacking”, shift your focus to something, anything, all things that you appreciate. This small shift will free you. Say them out loud, Make a list, Tell a friend.
Let’s Appreciate This Week and Beyond!