Thursday, January 6, 2011
Surviving Scarcity: Healing the Pain of Lack
This is a big realization, but for this blog post, we'll work on a level up--at the concept and feeling of scarcity that is so prevalent in so many people.
When a Life Pattern Loses Its Meaning
Probably every human being in this world is connected to a lineage that has experienced scarcity or they have experienced it themselves. I'm talking about scarcity in terms of famines, depressions, and situations where people's basic needs couldn't be met. Consider this example: just about anyone in the U.S. of Irish descent came here because of the Potato Famine in Ireland during the 19th century. Thousands of Irish immigrated to the U.S. to escape this event, and an event like that makes a mark in the family lineage. It informs the family about survival which gets passed on from generation to generation even if the initial issue has long since been resolved. So how we respond to a lot of life in the choices we make in buying things or in how we hoard resources is founded on major survival events like famines.
Furthermore, if you've experienced times of great scarcity, this further compounds your history of scarcity. It puts you in a place where perhaps you are less likely to give to others or that you're always looking for a sense of "safety." The Great Depression that went on in the U.S. and Europe is another event closer to this time frame. It's very much alive and well in how people manage their money even today. In general, almost all of our energetic bodies have this old programming of "I have to make sure I have enough to survive."
The Purpose of Hoarding
I know that this isn't necessarily a huge issue for everyone. Some people don't have any problem giving and receiving. It may be another issue that is strong for you, but still, I encourage you to give your attention to this because the scarcity issue is so abundant and pivotal in others and in our society.
Let's look at the concept of hoarding. It's pandemic. Do you know what a multi-billionaire is? A master hoarder. Now I'm not saying that all those people are evil. I love how Warren Buffett is being incredibly mindful about how a lot of his billions are being moved back into the flow of the consciousness of the world. But ultimately, the impetus to stockpile was meant for preparation for winters or seasons when food would be less plentiful. That's all. We're just supposed to get enough stuff to survive and for our families to survive. Certainly, some people are a little better than others at doing this, but the level of hoarding that's gone on around the world is absolutely excessive.
When Hoarding Became Cool
It's like the kill-switch in our minds never got flipped once people started getting more than they needed or could immediately use. The programming saying that "I don't have enough" stayed on. So people kept collecting. They kept competing. People became millionaires. People became billionaires. And they began to worry about if stocks went up or down by five cents--as if that could possibly impact their ability to survive. But somewhere under all the justifications, there's a programming saying that "If my stocks going down by five cents I won't be okay. I won't survive."
At the outset of the spiritual path, the above statement seems absurd. That's why this blog has been designed to work through the levels, and I've gone through it step by step (check out the Starting Out section if you want to get caught up). That's also part of the reason that no one can ever give you your answers. These answers won't make sense unless you do the work. It's like starting at the end of some movies, and they don't make sense (Inception comes to mind). You have to go through the whole story arc to get there and make sense of it.
Doing the Work on the Spiritual Path
I am always emphasizing doing the work on the spiritual path. So many people want to just surf the beautiful high states of bliss, but the spiritual path is so much more than a fleeting high state. Drilling down into where and why you feel lack is huge. I've done huge amounts of work on this issue because of how much of a role it's played in my family. From growing up on welfare to having the depression lineage and even to a past life where I died of starvation, it's a lot of work. And that scarcity mindset informed the choices that I made in buying stuff and in how I'd give or I wouldn't give. I think somewhere in 2003 I was working for someone who really had a better grasp on how to use and spread money than I did. That was probably a precursor to the beginning of the spiritual work I'd do around scarcity.
Ask yourself why do you buy the things you do. Why you are always spending? Why do you never want to spend? There are lots of nuances to scarcity. Sometimes spending lots is a reaction to feeling like you don't have enough. You want to prove to yourself that you do have enough. Subsequently, you are thrusting yourself back into scarcity.
Suffering in the Midst of Abundance
With any major issue, you've probably found its echoes in other parts of your energy. Perhaps you've felt scarcity in lack of time, lack of love, lack of mental ability, and so many other forms of lacking. I believe those feelings of scarcity ultimately root down at the bottom in survival issues. When you heal a major issue such as scarcity and survival, the pressure immediately lets off of the other connected issues and makes them easier to heal as well. It's a really sticky and difficult subject, and I'll return to it in the next blog post with some tips and techniques to unearth this root fear that has caused so many people to suffer in the midst of abundance.
Next blog: 5 Tips for Healing Your Fear of Scarcity
Today's photo comes from my student, Jenn. Thanks so much!