Scarcity & Carrots

Anybody else

have scarcity issues?

I mean, we're Americans, right?  Well, some of us are.  It may not be just an American thing, but it's clear that scarcity is a big part of our culture.  It shows up in the way we think about money, time, love, space - our very selves.  I, for one, somehow managed to spend the first three decades of my life steeped in the idea that there is not enough - that *I* am not enough.  

I'll tell you about the time I really understood that I had scarcity issues.  I was sitting at the table with my two-year-old, having a snack while she had her dinner (kids' dinner happens well before adults' dinner at our house).  While she ate her typical toddler fare - probably chicken and noodles with butter, not together but very much separated on her plate - I munched on baby carrots.  Suddenly, she asked for a carrot.  Since she'd been boycotting vegetables for a while, I happily handed one over.  The next thing I knew, she was reaching for another carrot.  And then another.  This kept going until the bag was almost empty.  And I noticed all the signs of anxiety in myself - I was scratching my neck, my eyes locked on the bag, surely breathing heavily.  And then I laughed.  Because you see - as I watched the carrots disappear, I had three thoughts:

1.  <very quiet voice> She's eating carrots.  Yay!  Maybe there is hope for vegetables in her diet.

2. <getting louder> I only bought one bag of carrots for this week's groceries.  I planned so carefully.  And we only needed one bag.  

3. If she keeps eating these carrots . . . there will be no more carrots.  There will not be enough.  THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH.   <cue panic mode> 

Luckily I laughed before the panic really set in.  Because guess what?  One can always buy - or grow! - more carrots.  And it really did take me panicking about something as mundane as carrots, to understand that Scarcity is a Big Issue for me.

Brene Brown says,

"Worrying about scarcity is our culture's version of post-traumatic stress.  It happens when we've been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we're angry and scared and at each other's throats."  

It's not really about the carrots, is it?  It's about us.  Our very selves.  Our perception of who we are and can be.  

I'll never forget the time that one of those random (aka "we've been tracking your internet activity") Facebook ads showed up on my wall.  It was a shirt, a tank top, with a very simple message, repeated three times:


I tell you, when I saw this shirt, something inside me just - softened.  Folded.  Lifted.  Opened.  I knew and believed it to be true, and to have been true since the beginning of time.  And the beginning of me.  And at the same time, it was brand new, because I'd never known it before. 

I am enough.  

Brene also says, 

"Addressing scarcity doesn't mean searching for abundance but rather choosing a mindset of sufficiency.

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."


Sit with that.  Meditate on it tomorrow morning when you wake up - or right now, after you finish reading this.  Repeat it to yourself all day long, even just for one day.

To know this . . . well, it might change everything.  First for you, and then, if you keep it up, for everyone - and for the whole world.  

I am enough.

So are YOU.