With inflation knocking on the door, and unemployment statistics rising, people are finding it increasingly difficult to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’! And yet the urge to buy impulsively and compete with the latest consumer trends, despite not having the bank balance to match it, is ever increasing.
Whether it is the acquisition of mobile phones, cars, outfits, perfumes or the latest fashion fads, there is a strong yearning in the soul to ‘fit in’. To be like others; to be seen to be affording everything! But where do we draw the line and say it’s ‘enough’?
How much is enough? If wage earners were questioned as to whether they found their salaries to be satisfactory, it would be interesting to know the answers. Do most people not feel they should be earning more? And if so, how much more is it going to take to gratify the soul?
How many pairs of shoes are enough? How many clothes do we need in our wardrobe to dress us? How much food in our pantry is enough to feed us? How do we gauge this balance between need and greed? In fact everything can be enough when the heart is big and generous and when it’s not, then nothing is enough.
Waste is a relative term. What is waste to one may be a necessity to another! Someone may sit for four hours in meditation a day as they feel it an absolute need in the soul, others may consider this an absolute waste of time. Someone may spend two hours daily in the gym and others may consider this a waste of time. Someone may take a whole plateful and another may judge that as gluttony. Therefore it is important not to judge another for what their ‘needs’ maybe. Suffice it to say, one needs to look within, at themselves, and check where they are wasting their time, money and other resources. What is the excess in my life that I can trim or put to a better use?
Whether one earns 10 in their currency or 10,000, the body can only create the same appetite. So why take on the added stress? Be happy with the little you have because with that little, you may have a lot more peace, autonomy, independence and many other freedoms that money cannot buy. Sometimes there is a deep hunger to over work and stretch the mile to prove oneself; to compete, to be something or somebody in the world. Though would you not say this sort of proving is primarily to the self! And if that is the case, is it necessary for the soul to prove anything to itself.
There is a place for ambition and goal setting, but not when it butchers my peace and sanity. The restlessness, agitation and impatience created by desire means the end result will be of a similar nature. If I can’t be happy with a little, I will never be happy with a lot!
In order to cultivate contentment, one needs to reassure the self that the original nature of the soul is in fact that of abundance. One has mistaken this to mean acquisition of people and possessions on a more external level. Although having said that, the feeling of abundance in the soul does indeed attract external wealth but by then the soul has moved onto other heights of happiness.
It is because of a deep knowledge of having everything ‘once upon a time’ that the soul strives for more of the same feeling. This is the reason why any form of lack in one’s life is intolerable and throws one into victim mode. But to get oneself out of this pit, one needs to cultivate contentment on a conscious level. I literally need to tell myself that I have enough of everything that I need in this moment. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: there is enough for everyone’s need but not greed.
The lack in the soul is due to an equally deep lack of self worth. It is only when I realise that I deserve better that I will put an end to abuse and ill-treatment. That is when I need to put my foot down and say enough is enough. And in that moment I am not speaking to the other party, I am speaking to myself for having given my power away for so long to too many people and it’s enough.
There is also another side to ‘enough’. There is a calm and tranquility when I have given enough time to planning and preparation. If I am scurrying to the airport the last minute there is going to be stress and strain, which could have easily been avoided, had I left enough time and prepared for the journey.
It’s time… to appreciate all in one’s life and to say to the Universe that I do indeed have enough. This will not stop me from aspiring to become a better person as I know I have not quite had enough of the peace and happiness! And as I plan and prepare in life, I can be at peace knowing that I have enough time to get to my destination.
Share these thoughts! These thoughts are indeed for sharing to help make the world a better place! Feel free to forward this wisdom, but to avoid any karmic rebound, please acknowledge its source.
These thoughts have been inspired by the meditation taught by Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.
Writer: Aruna Ladva