Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Corey Allan of Simple Marriage.
Tell me if you’re anything like me … I go through times where there’s an unsettling feeling in my gut.
The sorry thing is, when this happens, I usually can’t put my finger on anything particular that causes it.
It’s simply a feeling of discontent or restlessness. It’s not overwhelming or a feeling of doom, and it’s not the insane amount of crappy food I ate while on vacation. It’s simply a nagging feeling that something’s just off or not aligning right.
Do you experience this too?
My last major bout with this feeling was during the holidays last year. The good thing – after the holidays, I was finally able to place my finger on the cause.
I took my kids out to spend some of their Christmas money from grandma and I made the mistake of taking them to the toy abyss that is Toys R Us.
While their eyes lit up at all the choices before them and their pockets heated up from the money burning to get out, what stood out to me was all the other people franticly moving about the store.
Standing in the isles of mountains of toys, the nagging feeling in my gut became clear. I was surrounded by a never ending environment aimed at consuming, while living in a world that teaches scarcity.
The trouble with scarcity is that you operate under the principle that resources are limited and that we can never truly have enough. It’s like we’d better work as hard as we can to ensure that we don’t lose out to someone else – and we better work to get all we can from those around us.
Unfortunately, this is the default mode of operation for many. And if we’re not careful, this spills over into our expectation of marriage and relationships. Marriage becomes all about what will make me happy or what my spouse can provide in order to “complete me.”
The problem with this … no person can complete you or make you happy. There may be moments where you experience this – but they’re fleeting moments at best. The challenge is to be self-aware, change the way you view things, and grow up.
The first step is to adopt an idea of enoughness. How much do you really need to a) meet your basic needs, and b) do the things you enjoy?
Have you ever struggled with enoughness? Or on the flip side, have you experienced the satisfaction of enough? The pure, simple pleasure of having all you need and the sweet sense of contentment?
Know this … When you learn how to be content, you increase your capacity to enjoy.
To the naked, untrained eye, it appears that more consumption would increase contentment, but this is not the case at all. The real answer lies in the idea of enoughness; adequate provisions to live in modest comfort.
All we need is … enough.
Living with this idea of enoughness means you are consuming to meet your basic needs without limiting your capacity to enjoy. Your capacity for enjoyment can grow at all times.
One of the best ways to increase your capacity for enjoyment is through the act of creating. Whenever you make something, write something, build something, or imagine a new idea, you add value to the world.
This also applies to improving your marriage. Think of it this way, when you grow up and become better, your relationship gets better. And as you create more, you perfect your craftsmanship, further increasing your capacity to enjoy!
Both you, and I, and the world, are better off with enoughness.
So, what can you create to add value to the world?